The first time our collegue Bart van Ham visited the Pantheon in Rome, he was immediately struck by its size, simplicity and tranquility. Despite the hundreds of tourists and the overabundance of detailing.
The floor, the walls and the dome are ONE unity, ONE story, ONE building.
"The most magnificent building of all time!" he says.
Benches have been placed against the side walls, Bart experienced the Pantheon by sitting and watching for a very long time on such a benchtop.
The oculus and the sun rays shining through it he finds miraculous! The dot on the floor moves slowly...
The dome with a diameter of 43.3 meters, the largest span in the then known world in 118 A.D., until a larger dome was built in 1434 in Florence on the Santa Maria del Fiore of 45 meters in diameter.
The lower structure was composed of basalt to support the weight and the dome was constructed of Roman concrete. Following the Romans, the use of cement and concrete fell into disuse. Concrete was rediscovered in 17th century. Recent study s indicate that Roman concrete is superior to modern concrete. newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/06/04/roman-concrete/