Temple of Venus and Rome

3d model and reconstruction

Temple of Venus and Rome

Placed above a large stylobate in Greek style, according to the taste of Emperor Hadrian, the grandiose temple of Venus and Rome was surrounded by a colonnade of which there are traces left only in the plan, and by arcades whose granite columns are still on site.

The Rome cella was included in the former convent of Santa Francesca where there is part of the ancient paving and the lower part of the brick base of the deity’s statue. The cella, following a decorative pattern of the imperial age, was divided into niches made of small porphyry columns, resting on shelves with an alternatively triangular and round gable, which included other statues.

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Short history of

Temple of Venus and Rome

This grandiose building was built by Hadrian after his own design in 135 AD. The temple is situated on the slope of the Velian hill, between the Arch of Titus and the back of the Basilica of Maxentius.

In order to obtain the space necessary to accommodate the building, the emperor had to destroy the vestibule of the Domus Aurea and move the colossal statue of Nero in the valley of the Colosseum. The building was situated on a wide platform made of cement surrounded by a portico. The temple sat on a seven-step stylobate with ten columns on the front and 20 on the sides. It was made of brick work and faced in marble. On the inside of the temple were two cellae facing in opposite directions with a common back wall, the one dedicated to Venus Felix and the other to Roma Aeterna. The building underwent significant restorations, made necessary by a fire which partially destroyed it, in the reign of emperor Maxentius (4th century AD). At that time the back wall of the two cellae was transformed into two apses and decorated with large columns in porphyry, while the floor was covered with splendid polychrome panels.