Last Updated on April 30, 2021
The Roman forum is located on the low ground between the Palatine hill and Capitoline hill in the center of Rome. Today the forum is one of the most popular and most visited sights of Rome and was the central area of the city around which Ancient Rome developed. The centre of most Roman cities was the main piazza where people would meet to do business, sell and buy things and visit with friends. Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The archaeological site was the pulsing heart of Rome, where people of various classes would meet. You could pass rich merchants very well dressed and a moment later come across poor girls carrying baskets full of produce.
The Roman forum was origionally covered with grass, but the Romans drained the area to make it the center of social and political activity. Most interesting is the fact that the Roman Forum shows remains from several centuries all together, due to the Roman practice of building over earlier ruins. It is easy to understand how the forum can look like a disorderly collection of ruins to the uninitiated, but if you use your imagination as you wander through the ruins, you can see the Roman Empire come back to life. It was really like a walk through history. Making our way walking through the ruins was an amazing experience. There’s a beautiful, time stopping quality about the ruins that really just takes your breath away.
The main sight of the Forum include: the Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), the Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. Each of these sights are linked by the Sacra Via, the main road that runs through the Forum.
10 interesting facts that you may not have known:
1. The excavations to clear the Roman Forum took over 100 years; it was fully excavated in the 20th century.
2. Not all of the temples in the Roman Forum are dedicated to gods; some are dedicated to people. The Romans believed that by building a temple and dedicating it to themselves they became a deity.
3. There were actually many Forums in Ancient Rome. It was the inclusion of the Senate House that made the Roman Forum the most important.
4. When the Roman Empire fell, the Roman Forum became abondoned and many of the monuments and buildings were plundered and used in other areas of the city including the walls of the Vatican and many of Rome’s churches.
5. The latin name for the Roman Forum was Forum Romanum.
6. The Roman Forum today attracts over 4.5 million visitors yearly.
7. The forum was in use for approx 1400 years with its start in around 800 BC to 600 AD.
8. In 46BC Julius Caesar built a new forum because the old one was getting small for the growing population of the city.
9. Remains from several centuries are shown together, due to the Roman practice of building over earlier ruins.
10.Today modern Rome is 25 feet higher than the city was when the Forum was built because of the debris that has accumulated over the years.
Have you had the chance to visit the Roman Forum? What were your thoughts?