Rome - ancient buildings

Built by Romans, Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers.

Etruscan neighbors and forefathers supplied the Roman architects with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics and in the construction of arches. Later they absorbed Greek and Phoenician influence, apparent in many aspects closely related to architecture; for example, this can be seen in the introduction and use of the Triclinium in Roman villas as a place and manner of dining.

The Ancient Romans intended that public buildings should be made to impress, as well as perform a public function. The Romans did not feel restricted by Greek aesthetic axioms alone in order to achieve these objectives. The Pantheon is a supreme example of this, particularly in the version rebuilt by Hadrian, which remains perfectly preserved, and which over the centuries has served, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, as the inspiration for countless public buildings.


This is the most ancient monument from ancient Rome. Its building began in 7.5. A.D. and was opened in 80 A.D., an opening celebrated with a full day of bloody games during which, according to legend, five thousand animals were killed. This was a gruesome leisure activity for the ancient Romans: prisoners condemned to death were torn to pieces by ferocious beasts, animals were killed by archers and there were fights to the death between “professional” gladiators. The surface area of the Coliseum, which totals about 19,000 square meters, was arranged into four sections, each of which could hold up to 70,000 spectators. The Emperor’s box was placed in the center from where he could decide the gladiators’ fate with a simple hand gesture. The underground area of the Coliseum was used to organize and create the settings for the games, such as how to make the ferocious beasts appear unexpectedly in the arena, bringing them up to the main area with an elevator hoist that was hidden in the sand. In 438, the games were prohibited and the Coliseum was gradually abandoned.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was built in the 6th century B.C. on marshland that was drained by the creation of a sewer and drainage network. It rapidly became the center of social and political life in Ancient Rome, and new palaces, statues, temples and courts were added to the area century after century. From Via Salaria (parallel to Via dei Fori Imperiali) it is possible to enter this amazing archeological site, which is almost a city within a city.

Circus Maximus

This enormous structure was used for entertainment events such as the gripping chariot races that were a huge favorite of the Roman people. The area could hold up to 230,000 spectators and is one of the oldest areas in Rome.

Domus Aurea

This structure was built on the ashes of a terrible fire that destroyed a large part of Rome in 64 A.D. Domus Aurea was built on the wishes of Nero, who was also probably responsible for the fire. During one of his famous ravings of omnipotence, the prince wanted a more majestic Rome with his enormous, new residence as the center of this newly-styled city. Inside this new palace there were buildings, gardens and a lake called "Stagnum Neronis". The palace was disproportionately large, but was in perfect harmony with the 35-meter high bronze statue of the prince that was sculpted and placed at the entrance to the Domus Aurea. The Domus Aurea has recently been opened to the public after years of restoration work.


This is one of the best-preserved buildings that date back to ancient Rome. This building dates back to 27 B.C., but was partly destroyed and then rebuilt between 118 and 125 A.D. It later became a Christian place of worship where the tombs of Raffaello, Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I are still kept, The huge dome and the fine marble decorations inside the Pantheon are worthy of note.

Castel Sant'Angelo

The original building, dating back to 123 A.D., was very different from the one that stands on the site today. Around 1200, Castel Sant'Angelo became the property of the Vatican and a sort of fortified corridor was built to connect the building with the Vatican Palaces.


The catacombs were the places where the early Christians celebrated funerals and where they were buried when they died. The catacombs, the oldest of which dates back to the 2nd century, were built outside the city walls.

Terme di Caracalla

These were the most luxurious and sophisticated thermal spa baths in ancient Rome. They were built using the finest marble and had a sophisticated plumbing system that supplied the baths with hot water. It is still possible to imagine the original splendor of this place when we visit what is left of the site today.

Tags: | Italy | Architecture | Rome | Buildings | Roman Forum | Circus Maximus | Domus Aurea | Pantheon | Terme di Caracalla |


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