Day 16: Monday, April 26, 2005
Photos by Pat Tyler.
Nicola, our guide for the day, paused for a quick snapshot while we waited.
Oops! What's that on the right? There's a huge ruin we hadn't noticed before.
Temple of Venus and Rome
Some research tells us that Hadrian collaborated personally with the architect Apollodorus of Damascus in this project's design. Construction began in April 121 AD. It was completed fifteen years later during the reign of Antoninus Pius. (Many of the emperors didn't last long in those days.) In order to make room for the building, the Domus Transitoria had to be demolished, and the Colossus of Nero that rose inisde the entryway to the Domus Aurea had to be moved closer to the Flavian Amphitheter (Colosseum)
It was a double temple with two cellae back to back: The one of the Goddess Rome was oriented toward the Forum and that dedicated to Venus, toward the Colosseum.
It backs up to the present-day Virgin Mary & St. Frances Church, facing the Forum.
It was the largest temple in Ancient Rome, surrounded by a portico with 150 columns. Like all the ancient monuments, it was later despoiled of the materials that had covered it. Until the 13th century, it was used as a marble quarry.
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