Temple of Vesta

3d model and reconstruction

Temple of Vesta

The reconstruction of the temple starts from the ruins still visible today in the archaeological area of the Roman Forum. Even though it is partly a modern reconstruction, the ruin provides sufficient elements to show that it was a round temple on a high circular podium covered with marble slabs: the columns rested on molded pedestals jutting from the podium and ended in Corinthian capitals. A cone-shaped roof with a hole in the middle covered the structure, probably to let the sacred smoke outside.

Our reproduction shows the temple in its shape based on a reconstruction at the time of Commodus (after a fire in 191 AD).

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Short history of

Temple of Vesta

The Temple of Vesta was one of the oldest and most venerable in all of Rome. It housed an eternal flame that represented the hearth of the Roman State. This sacred fire was watched day and night by six priestesses, called Vestals. No men were allowed to enter the sanctuary except the Pontifex Maximus.

The monumental complex known as the Atrium Vestae, which included the temple dedicated to the goddess and the residence of the six Vestals, was situated along the Via Sacra, in front of the Regia and, according to ancient authors, it was built by King Numa.

The round temple and the spaces which can still be seen today were commissioned by Julia Domna, the wife of emperor Septimius Severus.

The archaic temple has still not been identified but it is probable that it was a small round building like the more recent ones on the sight. The house of the Vestals, on the other hand, was comprised of six small rooms opening on to a rectangular courtyard behind the round temple.