Discover the Oldest Building in the World (That People Still Use to This Day)!

Written by Nina Phillips
Published: January 26, 2024
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Mayan Nohoch Mul pyramid in Coba, Mexico

While these pyramids are ancient, they aren’t the oldest building in the world still used to this day.

©zhuzhu/iStock via Getty Images

There are old buildings and structures all across the globe. Signs of ancient civilizations like Mayan ruins, the pyramids, and ancient burial mounds still haunt us to this day and leave us in awe of the people who built them.

For the most part, though, these buildings are nothing more than a ghost of what they were. Though impressive to look at, they don’t offer much in the way of use.

That’s not the case with the oldest building in the world that’s still in use today. Built around 100 A.D., the building stands tall and proud and is regularly used. If you want to learn more about this ancient building, keep reading below.

What Is the Oldest Building in the World Still in Use?

Rome, Italy above the ancient Pantheon at dusk.

The oldest building in the world still in use is the Pantheon.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

There are many ancient civilizations, including ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and many more. There are even still some structures and buildings from these societies left behind, like the pyramids or mounds.

However, none of them still have buildings used to this day. The civilization that has that award is Ancient Rome. The building in particular is the Pantheon. The Pantheon was built sometime around 125 A.D. That’s almost two millennia ago!

Where Is the Pantheon Located?

Don’t confuse the Pantheon with the Parthenon. While the Parthenon was built about 600 years before the Pantheon in Ancient Greece, it’s no longer in use. It’s not much more than the bones of a building anymore.

The Pantheon, on the other hand, is in Italy and still survives in its full, intact glory to this day. It’s not easy to miss as it’s right in the heart of Rome. This intimidating building has a diameter of 142 feet. To put that into context, that’s the same distance of the Statue of Liberty’s torch down to her sandals.

The History of the Oldest Building in the World Still Used Today

Pantheon in Rome, inside view, Italy

Despite being almost 2,000 years old, the building is still beautiful and in grand condition.

©Pavel Ilyukhin/Shutterstock.com

The Pantheon was built by the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus in 125 A.D. However, while that’s when the current building was finished, it’s not the first form of the Pantheon. It was first built in 80 A.D. before it burned down. In 110 A.D., the Ancient Romans rebuilt it. Unfortunately, that one also burned down after a lightning strike.

Thankfully, the third time’s the charm, and the version from 125 A.D. held strong in its structure. Though some people believed that the building had a curse on it, that didn’t stop many from using it every day once it was built.

The information surrounding The oldest building in the world still in use is somewhat vague. However, historians do know that Pantheon means “all gods” in the Ancient Roman language. Many historians believe that the name means it was used as a site of worship.

Either way, it was, and still is, fiercely protected. The building has a way of pulling people in and making them feel a sense of power and awe.

How Is the Building Used Today?

Interestingly enough, the building is still used in basically the same way. When it was originally built by the Ancient Romans, it was used as a way to pray and give thanks to the gods.

Nowadays, it’s used as a Roman Catholic church. The Pantheon hasn’t changed hands much, despite its long history. It’s been a church for the Roman Catholics since sometime in the 7th century, and it likely isn’t going to be given up anytime soon.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © mjols84/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals, FIDIS Travel, and Giant Freakin Robot. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing about animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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