The Pantheon is one of the most iconic and impressive monuments of ancient Rome. It is the best-preserved ancient building in the city, and has been in continuous use since its construction in the 2nd century AD/CE. But did you know that the bronze doors of the Pantheon are also the oldest doors still in use in Rome?
The doors weigh about 20 tons and measure 7.5 meters high and 3.5 meters wide. They are made of solid bronze, and open to reveal the stunning interior of the Pantheon, with its famous dome and oculus. The doors are a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship, and a testament to the longevity of Roman architecture.
However, the doors are not the original ones commissioned by Emperor Hadrian in 128 AD/CE, but 15th-century remakes that are slightly smaller and unpainted. The original doors were probably painted with gold and silver, and decorated with reliefs of gods and goddesses. They were also perfectly proportioned to create a sense of awe and mystery as one enters the sacred space.
The fate of the original doors is unknown, but they may have been melted down or stolen during the turbulent times of the Middle Ages. The replacement doors were made by Pope Eugenius IV in 1432, who also restored the Pantheon after a fire damaged it in 1106. The new doors are simpler and more austere, but still impressive and elegant.
The Pantheon is more than just a building. It is a symbol of the greatness of Rome, the power of the gods, and the harmony of the cosmos. The doors have witnessed countless historical events, from the coronation of emperors to the burial of kings, from the sack of Rome to the rise of Christianity. They reflect the beauty and elegance of classical Roman art, and the skill and ingenuity of Roman metalworkers.
The next time you visit Rome, don’t miss the chance to see the bronze doors of the Pantheon. They are not only functional, but also artistic. They are not only old, but also timeless. They are not only doors, but also portals to history and culture.
– Never Yet Melted » Doors of the Pantheon, Never Yet Melted, April 5, 2021
– The Bronze Doors of the Pantheon: the Oldest Doors in Rome, Walks in Rome, September 14, 2022
– Are the pantheon doors original? – TipsFolder.com, TipsFolder.com, October 25, 2023
– The Pantheon: A Marvel of Ancient Rome | What a Life Tours, What a Life Tours, October 27, 2023