Roman Forum - Roman Forum information and pictures

Roman Forum/Forum Romanum – The Roman Forum was once the center of ancient Rome, the place where the Romans used to meet, do business, politics and shop. In 46BC Julius Caesar built a new forum because the old one was getting small for the growing population of the city. Today modern Rome is 25 feet higher than the city was when the Forum was built because of the debris that has accumulated over the years. The Roman Forum today is an area of ruins of temples, arches and basilicas but still there is a lot to be seen.

Temple of Vesta is a circular temple dedicated to one of the most sacred goddess in ancient Rome. The cult of the Vestal Virgins was one of the oldest in Rome and the Vestals had to keep an eternal sacred flame inside the temple. The Vestals were the only women priests in Rome and were selected form noble families, and enjoyed high status in the roman society. They served as Vestals for thirty years and had to remain virgins for this period. If a Vestal disgraced herself she was buried alive - a most horrible death. The building was originally surrounded by 20 columns. The temple was reconstructed partially in 1930.

House of the Vestal Virgins was a huge complex of 50 rooms where the Vestals lived. Today there are no substantial ruins and only some headless statues along the central courtyard still remain. Some of the rooms are well preserved but no visitors are allowed.

Temple of Saturn has eight surviving columns and was built in 42 BC. The older temple dated from 497 BC but the ruins are from 42 BC. Saturn was regarded as the god-king of Italy and every year at the end of December the Romans celebrated Saturn with the festival called Saturnalia. During the holidays the Romans couldn’t declare war or punish prisoners and the aristocrats would eat and drink with their slaves.
Roman Forum Temple of Saturn
Rostra is where all the orators would gather and speak in public.

Curia was the place where the senate would gather. The building was destroyed many times by fire and the current ruins date from AD 283. It was built by Diocletian and in 1937 was greatly restored.

Arch of Septimius Severus – is one of the many triumphal arches in ancient Rome and was excavated in the 19-th century. The arch is very well preserved and was erected in AD 203 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the accession of Emperor Septimius Severus. It has beautiful relief panels witch commemorate the emperor’s victories in Parthia (todays Iran and Iraq)
Arch of Septimius Severus Roman Forum
Column of Phocas dates from AD 608 which makes it one of the last monuments built in the Forum. It was erected in honor of the Byzantine emperor Phocas and is 15.3 m(44f) high.

Temple of Castor and Pollux – was built in the honor of the mythical twins Castor and Pollux in 484 BC. However the current ruins (the three surviving Corinthian columns) are from AD 6. The temple housed the city’s office of weights and measurements.
Temple of Castor and Pollux Roman Forum
Arch of Titus is a triumphal arch erected in AD 81 by Emperor Domitian in honor of the victories of his brother Titus and his father Vespasian over the Jews. The reliefs inside the arch are eroded but the triumphal procession with the spoils taken from the Second Temple in Jerusalem is still visible. In 1821 the arch was restored by Giuseppe Valadier.

Basilica Aemilia was a large rectangular meeting hall with multicolored marble floor. It was built in 179 BC and was rebuilt many times. The basilicas in Ancient Rome didn’t serve any religious purpose. They were used as a meeting place for politicians, businessmen and moneylenders.

Basilica Julia was constructed by Julius Caesar in 54 BC and was completed after his death. Today only the column stumps, the steps and the pavement remain.
Arch of Septimius-Severus and Basilica Julia

Temple of Vespasian – has three remaining columns that were buried in debris and were uncovered in the 18th century.

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina – was erected in AD 141 by Emperor Antonius Pius and was dedicated to his wife Faustina. In the 11th century it was converted into a church of San Lorenzo in Miranda and was rebuilt in 1601.
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

Temple of Romulus is a domed brick building and dates from the 4th century AD. In the 6th century the temple was converted as an entrance to Santi Cosma e Damiano church. The Temple is located on the opposite side of the House of the Vestal Virgins.

Temple of Venus and Rome was built in AD 121 by Emperor Hadrian. Today many of the columns have been repaired and re-erected. The best view of the Temple is from the Colosseum.
Temple of Venus and Rome

Basilica of Maxentius - the majestic Forums’s public building was probably the largest building in the Roman Forum. Emperor Maxentius started to build it in AD 308. The building was used as a Court of Justice and covered roughly 100m by 65 m (330f by 215f). The height of the basilica was 35m (115f) and a 12m (39f) statue of the emperor was erected in the apse of the west end. The statue was made from wood and marble.

Santa Francesca Romana – is a baroque church at the back of the Temple of Venus and Rome. It has a Romanesque designed bell tower. Inside the church, a flagstone with the marks can be seen. It is said that those are the marks from the knees of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Today the church is Occupied by the Antiquarium Forense, which are the offices in charge of the excavations of the Roman Forum.
Santa Francesca Romana Rome

Where is the Roman Forum: Between the Capitol and the Colosseum with entrances at Via dei Fori Imperiali and Piazza del Colosseo

How to get to the Roman Forum: By Subway/Metro to Colosseo Station on line B.

Opening Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-one hour before sunset

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User Comments about Roman Forum

Errornhap says:
This site is very cool throughout the Internet

Arlene says:
These Roman structures are so amazing, My Art History teacher was right

Andy says:
This is a great site, thank you! I visited Rome in 2009 and needed information about what was what for my pictures.