Famous Roman temples around the globe: Cultural heritage

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Religious places are one of the great ways to disclose details on any culture and the Roman temples are one of the best examples. The Roman temples expose details about their rich culture and religion. We can also see a lot of artwork details and architectural beauty on the site of Roman temples. 

The main thing about Roman temples is they are enormous with amazing patterns, designs and entrances, etc. Let’s decode more information on some of the ancient Roman temples that still stand tall and are some of the most visited sites. 

Temple of Augustus & Livia: This gigantic Roman temple was built at the end of the 1st century and is a popular tourist attraction in Vienna, France. Temple of Augustus & Livia and Maison Carree, both Roman temples have architectural resemblance. Originally the temple was dedicated to Augustus. However, in 41 AD, their grandson Claudius dedicated it to Augustus and his wife Livia. Archaeologists believe the main reason for this temple to stand intact after centuries is because it was turned into a church in the 5th century like many other Roman temples. In the 9th century the temple of Augustus & Livia was restored for the world to marvel at its charm with other Roman temples. 

2. Temple of Zeus at Aizanoi: Among all the Roman temples this one’s history is quite interesting. Romans occupied the city of Aizanoi from 3000 BC and cultivated it. The temple of Zeus is one of the spectacular structures in the city that was built in the 2nd century. To collect the money for the construction of the temple, the authorities gave the land around the temple for rent. Yet, the boundaries of the temple were not clear so people used to not pay tax properly and the workers of this site refused to pay. At last, Emperor Hadrian cleared out the dispute. Later on, issued copies of the letters inscribed on the wall of the temple of Zeus. This is one of the well-preserved Roman temples.  

3. Dougga Capitol: This Capitol houses in ‘the best-preserved Roman small town in South Africa’, Dougga in North Tunisia. It was built in the 2nd century and initially, it was dedicated to Roman Gods: Jupiter, Juno & Minerva. Over time, it was also dedicated to emperors Lucius Verus & Marcus Aurelius for their well-being. In 1997, UNESCO declared this ancient town as a ‘World heritage site’. Today Dougga Capitol is among the mind-blowing Roman temples from the ancient era.

4. Garni temple: During the 1st century, an American king named Trdates I established and dedicated this temple to Helios, the Roman god of the Sun. The king gave military support to Roman emperor Nero against the Parthian empire. In exchange, the emperor paid money which the king used to fund the Garni temple. This impressive structure has 24 lonic columns standing on an elevated podium. The temple is made of Basalt rock which is unlike other Greco-Roman temples. In the year 1679, an earthquake destroyed this temple and was reconstructed during the 1970s.

5. Temple of Augustus in Pula: Temple of Augustus is the only remaining monument from the original Roman forum in Pula, Croatia. It was dedicated to the 1st emperor Augustus and was built during his lifetime between 2 BC to 14 AD. During Byzantine rule, it was turned into a church like many other Roman temples and after that, it was used as a granary. During WW2, a hit of a bomb severely damaged the temple and was rebuilt later. Yet today it’s one of the magnificent Roman temples. 

6. Sbeitla Forum temples: Sbeitla also known as ‘Sufetula’ is a finely preserved ancient Roman city in Mid-West Tunisia. The city contains a huge almost square forum paved with stones and guarded with walls. The forum also contains a gateway on one side and 3 Roman temples of Jupiter, Juno & Minerva on the other side. There was an option of building only one for the 3 Roman Gods, but the residents built 3 separate Roman temples. Baelo Claudia in Spain and Sbeitla forum have the almost same design for the Roman temples. 

7. Maison Carree: Temple of Augustus & Livia and Maison Carree, both Roman temples have similar architectural features. During 16 BC, Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa built the Maison Carree in Nimes. He dedicated the temples to his 2 sons who died very young. It’s one of the well-preserved Roman temples in the world because it was converted into a church during the 4th century just like many other Roman temples. Over time, the temple was renovated and restored too. Masion Carree was also used as a town hall, a stable, a storehouse and finally a museum. Hence, it’s one of the splendid examples of Roman temples. 

8. Temple of Bel in Palmyra: Palmyra is one of the most popular tourist destinations and is the standard Roman tour destination in Syria. It was one of the prime and wealthy cities during the ancient times that houses the temple of Bel, one of the Roman temples. Today tourists can witness the colossal temple of Bel, a monumental arch and colonnade that used to have 1500 Corinthian columns. 

9. Pantheon: The Pantheon in Central Rome is counted as one of the well-preserved Roman temples and buildings which make it a famous tourist destination. It was built in 126 AD to dedicate Roman Gods & Goddesses. The temple has a huge circular portico with 3 ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns. The portico opens into a rotunda that has a concrete dome on top of it with an opening in the center: the oculus. During the rainy season, you will be able to see raindrops pouring in Pantheon through the oculus which stands out from other Roman temples. During the 7th century, the temple was converted into a church because of that it’s still well preserved among Roman temples. During middle age, Pantheon was used as a burial chamber for remarkable figures and Italian kings. Hence, it’s the most famed structure in the list of Roman temples.

10. Roman Temples at Baalbek: Baalebek also known as ‘Heliopolis’ is a breathtaking Roman archaeological site in North- East Lebanon consisting of more than 1 ancient Roman temple. Starting from the 1st century to over two centuries, the Romans built 3 temples here for Gods: Jupiter, Bacchus & Venus. The temple of Jupiter was the largest temple in the Roman Empire that was line with 54 gigantic granite columns, each 70 feet tall. Unfortunately, out of them, only 6 columns are standing but even they are incredibly striking. The temple of Bacchus, built-in 150 AD is the best restored out of the Roman temples on the site with an attractive entrance. It was dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine and ‘Dionysus’ is his other name. These Roman temples are a top tourist attraction in Lebanon today. You can also witness the stair of the temple of Mercury and ‘Propylaea’, a ceremonial entryway here.

11. Temples of the Forum Boarium: The Temples of the Forum Boarium are the best-preserved temples from the Republican era and are from the 2nd century. The Temple of Hercules Victor and the Temple of Portunus are the 2 Roman temples here. In the beginning, the Forum Boarium was part of the Roman cattle market and then became a commercial center.

12. Temple of Ercole Vincitore: The Temple of Ercole Vincitore is around in shape with 20 Corinthian columns and a podium of marble steps. It’s the oldest preserved marble monument in Rome among other Roman temples. It was built in the late 2nd century and restored around 15 AD. The fresco of the Madonna with a Child inside is a beautiful reminder of its time as a church. Thus, the temple is added to the list of the popular Roman temples sites. 

Conclusion

Such fascinating Roman temples were built a long time ago yet hold elegance. These Roman temples’ survival after centuries concludes a powerful architecture and many more details. Today, the Roman temples welcome million visitors every year. 

At Secret temples, you will learn about various sacred sites of different religions.

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