Curia Julia

3d model and reconstruction

Curia Julia

The Curia Julia, whose well preserved main hall is today a church dedicated to Saint Hadrian, was reconstructed based on the many historical sources talking about the activities which took place inside it, and thanks to the drawings by Antonio da Sangallo (for the interiors): the hall was divided into three sections, with paving in the centre and to the right and left the three steps where the seats for the senators stood.

On the back wall the was the large statue of the winged Victory. As regards the outside, recent studies confirmed the presence of an arcade in front of the building, which was also depicted on one of Octavian’s coins, and some rooms at the back known as Atrium Libertatis.

The entrance door to the Curia, made of bronze, is today one of the doors of San Giovanni in Laterano.

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Short history of

Curia Julia

The Curia Julia, commissioned by Julius Caesar in the last years of his life and completed by Augustus in 29 BC, rises in the northwest corner of the Roman Forum.

This new building, the meeting place for the Senate, replaced the old curia built by King Tullus Hostilius, on the slopes of the Capitol overlooking the Comitium. Oriented along the same alignment as Caesar’s Forum, the new Curia has a rectangular plan (27 X 18 meters) which still conserves its original height (21 meters).

On the inside, against the long sides, are three steps, from which the Senators took part in their meetings, under the vigilant eye of the Victory from Taranto which Augustus had placed in the back of the hall.

The history of the building is marked by numerous restorations, among them: an important renovation ordered by Diocletian introduced the marble floor, still visible today; the transformation of the building into the church of Saint Hadrian during the course of the 7th century AD, and the installation, during the Middle Ages, of several tombs still visible on the façade.

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