The Roman Forum – A Guided Tour Through the Present and the Past
|Welcome to the Roman Forum and Via Sacre—your road to Imperial Rome. ALL PHOTOGRAPHY property of EuroTravelogue™ unless specifically noted. Please do not use photos without permission.|
|Arch of Constantine—Roman Colosseum to the left and the Roman Forum to the right.|
|The Arch of Titus constructed in A.D. 70.|
|The north wall of Maxentius' Basilica is only one third of the colossal structure that once stood upon this ground. PHOTO CREDIT: Wikipedia - this photo only.|
|Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. The anicent tympanum that at one time supported the pediment over the entry way, reads "To the divine Faustina by order of the Senate."|
|Once the outer wall of the ancient basilica, this plaque honors Lucius Caesar, Augustus' grandson, who was the Emperor's 'chosen one' until his premature death at the age of 19.|
|Looking down the central nave of the Basilica Aemilia. Note this layout served as one of the models for designing Roman Catholic churches. The Curia or Senate building is in the background with the Arch of Septimius Severus to the left.|
|Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum - home to the sacred flame of Rome.|
|Vestal Palace - relics of the two-story home to the Vestal virgins who guarded the eternal flame of Rome. Note the statues at the left, these honor all those who served their 30-year term.|
|Close up of the Vestal Virgins immortalized in the courtyard of the Vestal Palace.|
|Temple of Julius Caesar—behind the wall, lies a dirt mound that marks the very spot where Julius Caesar's body was burned. PHOTO CREDIT: Giovanni Dall'Orto on 17 March 2008 Wikimedia - this photo only.|
Further down on the left is the Temple of Saturn. Restored three times during history, these ruins date to A.D. 283 and at one time, contained a statue of of Saturn which was carried in parades after many a Roman triumph. The actual altar of Saturn that stood in front of the temple is now housed in the building that lies on the hill beyond the Arch of Septimius Severus.
|Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum.|
On the right, stands the Curia Julia or Senate Building. Commissioned by Julius Caesar in the 1st century B.C., the building we see today is actually a reproduction completed in the 3rd century due to a fire that destroyed its predecessor. During the 7th century, the structure was converted into the church of Santo Adriano which is the reason for its survival. Actually, many buildings in Rome that stood the test of time owe their survival to such conversions. Note the green doors on the facade are actually replicas while the original doors now hang on the San Giovanni in Laterano Basilica, the Vatican’s predecessor seat of the Pope. See my article “Hidden Treasures of Rome.”
|The Curia or Senate House in the Roman Forum. Note the replica green doors.|
|Looking down at the behemoth Arch of Septimius Severus from atop Capitoline Hill.|
|Close up detail inside the Arch of Septimius Severus.|
|Close up detail of one of the reliefs that decorate the Arch of Septimius Severus.|
|Statue of Pollux standing atop Capitoline Hill.|
The Roman Forum - Part 1 from Bernard Frischer on Vimeo.
And so our journey back in time has come to an end and this concludes our tour through the ancient Roman Forum. Every step along the way is as fascinating and thought provoking as the next. Imagine, 2,000 years ago, these few acres were the center of all religious, political, and social activity in Rome if not the world. It staggers the mind to walk through these ancient relics knowing that the ancient Romans lived, worked and recreated on these very grounds so long ago. I hope you enjoyed this tour through the past and the presnt and when you visit, I hope you find the Roman Forum as fascinating as I did!
Some tips to know before you go:
- Make sure you pick up a guidebook before your journey to Rome or at the entrance to the Colosseum and Forum to make your tour more meaningful.
- In March 2008, the city of Rome closed the Forum to the public and now charges admission to fund ongoing restoration efforts. See below for suggestions on purchasing a combination ticket that includes access to both the Colosseum and Roman Forum. I urge you to pre-purchase your tickets online before you go because the queues can stretch for miles outside both these historic places.
- For Tickets, here are a few helpful sites for you to visit: