Sun lights up Pantheon door on Rome’s birthday in stunning timelapse video

Italy's culture ministry captures one of history's "first great special effects" in an empty Pantheon on Rome's birthday.

Rome's birthday, known as Natale di Roma, falls on 21 April, and this year the city marks 2,773 years since its legendary founding by Romulus in 753 BC.

Each year on this date the midday sun enters the oculus of Rome's Pantheon and creates a disk of light that centres perfectly on the entrance doorway.

At that exact time, the emperor would enter the temple, his body bathed in golden sunlight.

Italy's culture ministry has captured the dies natalis phenomenon, which it describes as one of history's "first great special effects", in stunning timelapse video footage.This year the Pantheon was closed to the public on Rome's birthday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Video by Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

General Info

Address Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

View on Map

Sun lights up Pantheon door on Rome’s birthday in stunning timelapse video

Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy