The Pantheon

This passage is about the wonders of the Pantheon in Rome.

Lexile Level: 850L

Categories: History People & Places Science & Technology Art & Music


Of all ancient buildings, none is as magnificent as the Pantheon in Rome. It is the oldest, most important, and most intact structure left from antiquity. It was originally built in 25 B.C.E. One hundred years later, it was rebuilt much as we see it today. Inside, it has a huge dome ceiling that is 143 feet tall and 143 feet wide. No one would build a larger dome for over 1,200 years. At the very top of the dome, there is a circular opening called an oculus. From inside the building, you can look up through the oculus and see the sky. When it rains, the rain pours through this opening into the building. And when it snows, the snow falls through the oculus onto the floor. So the floor won't stay wet, the Romans made the floor slope very slightly to the middle where they put a tiny drain that you would barely ever notice. Floor to ceiling, it is an amazing building.


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