Feb 1, 2017
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20 facts about the Roman Forum

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In the heart of Rome, and beside one of the seven wonders of the world, the Roman Forum remains one of the most visited attractions in the historical city and in the world.

Roman Forum Map, Rome, Italy

Image Credit: pixgood.com

The Forum is a rectangular plaza, full of ancient ruins of important government buildings that were once the center of operations of the Roman Empire. The Roman Forum attracts over 4.5 million visitors a year and here’s why you should add it to your Rome itinerary.

1) Most of the buildings were destroyed in 410 AD, during the fall of the Roman Empire.
Roman forum attraction, Rome, Italy

Remains of the heart of the Roman Empire

2) The forum was used by Rome’s elite for over 1400 years starting in 800 BC right through to 600 AD.
Stone ruins in the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

A site used for 1400 years

3) The Roman Forum remained undiscovered right up until archaeologist Carlo Fea came along in 1803.
Roman Forum ruins, Rome, Italy

Re-discovered in 1803

4) Excavations to clear the Roman Forum took over 100 years eventually leading to full excavation in the 20th century.
The Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

Open to visitors in the 20th century





5) Buildings in the Forum include banks, temples, public baths, and markets as well as state operational hubs.
Roman ruins, Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

Structures were built over centuries

6) The name derived from the Roman reference to a central square within an urban area, Foro (Forum).
Tall columns in the Roman Forum, things to do in Rome, Italy

Foro, Italian for an urban retreat

7) The Temple of Saturn contained the money and accounts of the state finances during the Roman rule.
Columns, top things to do in Rome, Roman Forum, Italy

The heart of power

8) The Roman Forum covered an area of 250 meters x 170 meters.
Roman forum in Rome, Italy

A mass of land in the center of Rome

9) Some temples were built to honor great men and some were constructed to honor religious gods.
Roman Forum tours, Rome, Italy

Many surviving memorials





10) The ruins within the forum stem over a period of several centuries as standard Roman practice built over earlier ruins.
Roman Forum, top things to do in Rome, Italy

Ruins on top of ruins

11) You can bag yourself a triple ticket for the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and Palatine Hill for €12 (free for children)
Entrance fee, Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

Bargain entry for a whole lot of history

12) The Temple of Venus and Rome was built in 135 AD and measured 100 x 145 meters. It was the largest religious structure ever built in Rome.
Roman Forum, things to do Rome, Italy

Some of the largest structures in Rome

13) The Senate House gave the Roman Forum the status of being the most important fora in Rome, there are many others.
Roman forum tour, Rome, Italy

The most important fora

14) The rostra was the platform next to the curia (Church) and was used by orators to speak to citizens of Rome. Julius Caesar went to great lengths to maintain the rostra and had it re-built in marble. Marc Antony was said to have delivered his funeral speech to Caesar from the rostra.
Basilica Aemelia, Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

Julius Caesar constructed most of the Forum

15) After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Roman Forum became known as ‘Campo Vaccino’ (cattle field) as it became a derelict and overgrown with marsh.
Roman Forum, things to do in Rome, Italy

Built on top of a marsh field





16) Via Sacra is one of the most important roads in the world and can be found in the Forum. The road was used to transport emperors to their coronations and to transport the returning army.
Column roman Forum, things to do in Rome, Italy

All roads lead to Rome

17) Romans drained the site of the Forum using one of the world’s earliest sewage systems, the Cloaca Maxima.
Roman bath, Roman Forum, things to do in Rome, Italy

Early technologies were born here

18) Three arches were built within the Forum. The first by Augustus in 29 BC f which nothing remains, the second was the Arch of Titus in 81 AD, and the Arch of Septimius Severus from 203 AD.
Flowers and ruins, Roman Forum, things to do in Rome, Italy

Two of three arches built

19) Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus built most of the structures present in the Forum.
Columns in Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

See the work of Julius Caesar and Augustus

20) Historians believed that the ground of the Forum was once an Etruscan burial area.
Statues in the Roman Forum, things to do in Rome, Italy

Once a burial area?






For further reading, we recommend the following book

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Roman Forum Facts
Did we miss anything?
We have derived this list from personal experience after spending a day in the Roman Forum. We probably missed a lot more!

We’d love to evolve this list and we invite you to leave your suggestions in the comments below.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful city of Rome, let us know what you enjoyed the most.

Article Categories:
Europe · Italy

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Agness Walewinder
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I was there a few years ago! I already miss this spot!

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