The Pantheon is the only ancient monument, originally built in 27 BC, preserving its original religious function. It's a temple in honor of the Olympic gods. The word pantheon is Greek for "Of all the gods." Today's building was reconstructed in AD 114, following destruction by a fire. Pope Boniface VIII received the building as a gift from the emperor of Byzantium and made it into a Christian church and dedicated it to the Madonna and the martyrs.
The Pantheon interior is very interesting, with an opening at the dome's top which allows a ray of sun to sweep around the floor during daylight hours. There are no other sources of light. It's also the resting place of the famous artist Raphael. Piazza della Rotonda, and its fountain, which face the Pantheon, is surrounded by out door restaurants and cafes. It's a fashionable gathering place for locals and tourists alike, especially during warm evenings when the nearby buildings are bathed in light.
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