How Would the Pantheon Looked Different in Ancient Times?

The Pantheon is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome, with its impressive domed structure and intricate architectural design. However, have you ever wondered how the Pantheon may have looked different in ancient times? Let’s explore some possible differences.

Background Information

The Pantheon was originally built as a temple to all the gods in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa. The building that we see today was actually a reconstruction built by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD after the original structure was destroyed by fire.

The Entrance

One of the first differences we may notice is the entrance to the Pantheon. Today, visitors enter through a massive bronze door that dates back to the Renaissance period.

However, in ancient times, it’s possible that there was no door at all. Instead, there may have been a grand archway or even an open entrance where visitors could freely come and go.

The Interior Design

While the basic structure of the interior of the Pantheon remains unchanged since ancient times, there are some differences that might surprise you. For example, it’s believed that there were once colorful marble floors and walls throughout the building. The interior would have been bursting with vibrant colors and intricate patterns.

The Dome

Perhaps one of the most striking differences between ancient and modern versions of the Pantheon is related to its dome. Today, visitors can see a beautiful coffered dome made of concrete and brickwork. However, it’s believed that this dome may have been covered with bronze plates during ancient times – adding an extra layer of shine and grandeur to an already impressive structure.

The Altar

Finally, we must consider what may have been present at the center of the Pantheon: its altar. While today we see a marble altar dedicated to St. Mary and other Christian saints, in ancient times, the altar would have been dedicated to all the gods. It may have been a grand, golden fixture, or it could have been a simple stone slab.


While we may never know exactly how the Pantheon looked in ancient times, we can make some educated guesses based on historical evidence and our knowledge of ancient architecture. What is certain is that the Pantheon has remained an impressive and awe-inspiring building throughout the centuries – a testament to the skill and creativity of its original builders.