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The rotunda has a rather awesome inner diameter of 142.4 feet (43.4 m), made mostly of concrete.
Other buildings such as the Temple of Mercury (71 feet/21.5 m diameter) at Baiae and Domitian Nympheaum at Albano (51 feet/15.6 m diameter) have domes of this type.Again, it is truly a credit to their mental prowess and organizational skills.The following pictures show the beautiful interior.It is ironic that our building has existed throughout many wars while being dedicated to all Gods; one can readily perceive this to be a temple for our one God. TERTIUM FECIT" which is translated, "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it." Indeed, it is worth mentioning that Agrippa's engineering talents were used in building the famous Pont de Gard aqueduct in France.And, the Church has claimed this holy structure as a resting place for its most famous Popes, so we continue to honor its magnificent divinity. As with many cities, tragedy in the form of large firessuch as those of 60, 64, 79, 100 and 110 A. Originally, many Roman buildings contained travertine (limestone rock) which easily cracked in fires.This long construction period was fortunate as it gave this pozzolan concrete ample time to cure and gain strength. Yes, the fundamental principle of the old Roman religion required that the temples be rebuilt without changes in original form.
Tradition required that the main entrance face north, and thus the whole building was oriented on the north-south axis of the building.
The beams in the roof structure of the porch are wooden.
They were substituted for bronze members stripped-out by those in later years needing metal for their canons.
Recent studies reveal several major cracks in the dome, but it still functions unimpaired.
This condition will surely excite the curiosity of our structural engineers.
And from the floor to the top of the opening in the dome is the same distance.