Almost 1900 years after the Roman Emporer Hadrian - of Hadrian's Wall fame - visualized this grand Greek-inspired Temple of the Gods, the Roman Pantheon is still a truly imposing structure.
“My intentions had been that this sanctuary of All Gods should reproduce the likeness of the terrestrial globe and of the stellar sphere…The cupola…revealed the sky through a great hole at the center, showing alternately dark and blue. This temple, both open and mysteriously enclosed, was conceived as a solar quadrant. The hours would make their round on that caissoned ceiling so carefully polished by Greek artisans; the disk of daylight would rest suspended there like a shield of gold; rain would form its clear pool on the pavement below, prayers would rise like smoke toward that void where we place the gods."Hadrian. 76 - 138 CE.
Dominated from the exterior by the 16 columned portico, the internal dome is all soft womb-like contrast. A huge, ancient glass-topped, stone womb that is.
Lovely was so busy taking photos...
... that it was me who spotted a stray Minion balloon pressing against the heavens!
Back outside, the boys loved these standby-Gladiators and wanted to have their photos taken with them... we didn't do it at the time but might just have to wander back before we leave Rome :)