The Oculus


The sunlight streams in through the oculus of the Pantheon in rome and hits the inside of the dome to seemingly put a spotlight on two of the coffers (used to reduce the weight – see below).

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy was originally a roman temple (built from 27-25 before christ)  and was later used as a catholic church.

With 44 meters diameter it is still the largest masonry dome in the world. The Pantheon is made perfectly harmonious by the fact that the distance from the floor to the top of the dome is exactly equal to its diameter. The Adytons (shrines recessed into the wall) and coffers (sunken panels) cleverly reduce the weight of the dome (you can see a small part of them in the picture).

The oculus has a diameter of 7.8 meters – it provides natural light, but also opens the church to the weather – rain or snow can fall into the church, as well as light …

 

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