What to See at the Roman Forum

by vacationideaz
roman forum

Roman Forum was the center of ancient Rome during the days of Julius Caesar and the Roman emperors. Forum Romanum in Latin, this is where the temples, basilicas, government buildings, and squares were located, some of which go back to 2,000 years. This rectangular area was once marshy burial ground originally. It was developed in the 17th century and grew over time to emerge as the political, commercial, and social hub of the Roman Empire. However, it turned into disrepair after the fall of the Roman Empire. At one time, it was even used as pasture land.

The Forum was a very important part of everyday Roman life in its heydays. Initially, a marketplace, the Forum Magnus was the center of day-to-day life in Rome for centuries. Elections and processions were held here, and also criminal trials, public speeches, and gladiator fights. There were many monuments and statues. Now, it is the most important excavated part of Rome.

More than 4.5 million tourists visit the Forum every year, making it a top attraction in the city.

Roman Forum – Quick Facts

Roman ForumHeart of the Roman Empire that goes back to 2000 years. The most important excavated site of the empire.
Developed In17th century
Size250 meters x 170 meters.
In Ancient RomeAt the center of daily life. Temples, squares, government buildings, public baths, banks, markets, statues, monuments.
Excavated InOnly in the 20th century. It took more than 100 years to excavate the site completely.

Top 8 Attractions In The Roman Forum

You can easily spend several hours in the Forum. You can see it on your own but it is best to hire a guide to understand each building and its history. Don’t miss these 8 attractions –

1. Temple of Saturn – The temple’s huge column towers over the Roman Forum. There was a huge hollow statue of Saturn during the Roman Empire. It also served as the treasury. To this day, the temple is an iconic sight.

2. House of the Vestals – Vestal Virgins was a priestess who looked after the sacred flame of Goddess Vesta. This was her house. Walk inside the remains of the garden and her house. See ancient statues.

Roman Forum
House of the Vestals

3. Curia Julia – This was the Senate. Julius Caesar asked it to be built, but the work was stopped when he was killed. This was one of Rome’s most important political buildings.

4. Septimius Severus and Titus Arch – Two beautiful triumphal arches just opposite the Forum. The Titus arch was made to celebrate the victory of Titus in the Siege of Jerusalem. See the battle scenes depicted here. The Septimius Severus arch commemorates the victories of Septimius.

5. Via Sacra – Ancient Rome’s main street linking the Colosseum with Piazza del Campidoglio. This was a busy street used by everyone. Processions were held here. To this day you can walk on this street.

Roman Forum architecture
Temple of Antoninus

6. Temple of Antoninus and Faustina – A 2nd-century temple, this is the best-preserved temple in the Forum.

7. Column of Phocas – This 13 meters high column was built in 608 to honor the emperor of Byzantium. It is still standing.

8. Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine – A huge structure made in 312. This was Rome’s largest building. It used to be a meeting hall and courthouse.

Top Tips Before Visiting The Forum

  • Many tourists wander around aimlessly not knowing what to look at, as there is very little information on display. It is better to take a guided tour.
  • At least, bring a guidebook.
Roman Forum buildings
Temple of Saturn
  • It can be hot in the summer, especially in the afternoon. There is little shade at the Forum. So visit in the morning, when it will be cooler.
  • Bring some water and sunscreen.
  • You will have to walk on uneven cobble stoned ancient streets. So make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • The best views are from Capitoline Hill and the top of Palatine Hill.
  • Visit after dark to catch the ruins illuminated. This is a sight to watch.

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