About La Maison Carrée
La Maison Carrée, or Square House, in Nîmes is a staggeringly well preserved Roman temple, and one of the best-preserved examples of a Roman building anywhere in the world – for fans of Ancient Rome, La Maison Carrée is simply a must-see site.
Originally built in 16BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa – the close friend and confidant of Emperor Augustus – the building was dedicated to Agrippa’s sons Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar. During this period, as Augustus consolidated his hold on power and confirmed his status as the first true Roman Emperor, he undertook many building programmes across the Empire and La Maison Carrée is a great example of this. During this period Agrippa was also responsible for the construction of the original Pantheon in Rome.
La Maison Carrée was lucky to survive the fall of the Empire. This is mostly due to the fact that the building became a church in the fourth century. Through the ages La Maison Carrée has been used as a consul’s house, stables and the town’s archive. It has been partly renovated and restored over the years, but remains true to its Roman origins and is certainly not a recreation. Nowadays La Maison Carrée is one of several well-preserved Roman sites in Nîmes, which also boasts a Roman Amphitheatre and a grand tower built by Augustus, the Magne Tower.
Visitors to La Maison Carrée can view this stunning structure in all its glory as well as watching a multimedia presentation inside the building which brings Roman Nîmes back to life.