Roman Forum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

About Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, or Forum Romanum, was the very centre of ancient Rome. Throughout the lifespan of Roman civilisation the Forum served as the focus of political, civic and religious life.

From magnificent temples and triumphal arches to the very seat of power in the Senate house, the Roman Forum was the very centre of it all.

The Roman Forum was the active heart of the Republic and Empire for over a thousand years and its changing nature reflected the constant shifting in the fortunes of the religious, military and political nature of the Roman world.

First built in the 7th Century BC, the Roman Forum has seen any number of buildings large and small constructed, destroyed and demolished over the years. Today much of the grandeur of the Roman Forum has been lost to the ages, as the buildings were pillaged and the material used elsewhere. Some of the key structures have survived due to their conversion to Churches or other uses, like the Curia Julia and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, but others have left just a shadow of their past glories, hinting at the magnificence of a by-gone age.

No visit to Rome is complete without a stroll around the Roman Forum and it is a must see for anyone visiting the city.

There are a large number of historic buildings or their remains in the Roman Forum, some of the notable ones are: The Temple of Saturn; the Arch of Septimius Severus; the Arch of Titus; the Atrium Vestae (once home to the Vestal virgins); the Gemonian stairs; the Curia Julia (once the site of the Roman Senate); the Temple of Caesar; the Regia (where the first kings of Rome lived and later the Pontifex Maximus); theTemple of Vesta; the Temple of Concord; the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (perhaps the best preserved structure in the Roman Forum); the Temple of Venus and Roma; the Basilica of Maxentius. This site also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy.

There is a great website which has produced a 3D virtual reconstruction of the Roman Forum and is well worth a look before any visit so you can get your bearings before you go there in person – the Digital Roman Forum.