Do you know that there are well-known and famous Roman’s buildings not only beautiful and majestic but also functional? The Roman ancient buildings are unique. The Romans based their ideas from the previous ancient Greek civilization and architecture. Yet, both civilizations had a completely different form of designs and functionalities. The ancient Greek architecture had paid more attention to aesthetic and artistic appeal. The Roman architecture focused more on the functionality.
If you have to compare the two architectures, you can see that the Greek architecture has more contemporary feel. It focuses on the aesthetic form and exterior appearance. The same principle could be found from the Egyptians and Persian architectures. They had grandeur and majestic form but the function was limited. The exterior look was marvelous but that’s about it.
The Roman’s architecture was different. They managed to discover arches, concrete, and other novel engineering creations. That allowed the ancient builders to create majestic and marvelous buildings. The construction was with intricate internal structures. Something that was considered impossible and impractical. As you can see now from the majestic famous Roman’s buildings, they still survive the years and decades. They still retain some of the amazing wonders of construction and engineering.
This monumental and majestic arc was set up in 203 CE to commemorate the Roman victory conquering the Parthians. It was an unprecedented winning in the turn of 2nd century CE dying years – because of this, the arch was built. Septimius Severus ruled the area and time during the period. He managed to suppress the civil war happening among his neighboring states successfully. But it was the peak that he finally declared war and went to the battle with the Parthian Empire and defeated them. Because of his victory, the senate had the triumphal arch built. It was one of the beautiful arches that was constructed to commemorate his winning when he returned to Rome.
The arch was built with a bronze gilded inscription to pay tribute to Septimius’s victory. And for his two sons helping him during the war: Geta and Caracalla. They had the role to restore and expand Roman Republic. Even to the contemporary standard of Roman time, the triumphal monument was quite different and unique. Unfortunately, the arch has undergone heavy damages because of the time. But still, it stands proudly as a reminder of the old days where the Roman Republic was majestic, royal, and flamboyant. No wonder if it is listed as one of the most famous Roman’s buildings still exists in this modern era.
If you go to Lebanon, you should visit Baalbeek Temple. It is a majestic and impressive archeological site that has become a major attraction and visit for tourists. Baalbek has been listed as one of the most spectacular and amazing wonders from the ancient time. It is a Roman temple that has been well preserved through time. Not to mention that it is also one of the most prestigious and biggest temples ever built by the Roman Empire.
Baalbek temples were first built during the 1st century BC. Within the next 200 years, the Romans were able to build other 3 temples. They built each temple to honor each god of Bacchus, Venus, and Jupiter. The biggest temple was Jupiter with its 54 granite titanic columns built in lining up form. Each of the giant columns was 70 feet in height. It is too shame that only 6 of those columns still remain until today. But you can imagine how big and vast the Baalbek temple was. After the Roman civilization fell, the temples were heavily damaged from the war, natural disasters, and theft. It is a good thing that the temple is still standing today, reflecting its majestic aura to the visitors. People can come to visit the area and witness the grandeur aura from the ancient time.
Among the other famous Roman’s buildings, this one was originally built as a tomb. The building was built during the era of Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus who was the governor of Ephesus City. The beginning of the construction started after Celsus’ passing, monitored by his son, Gelius Julius Aquila. Besides being built as a monumental tomb (with amazing pieces and elements of Roman architecture), the building was also used for important documents reposition. When it was used as the library, it was able to accommodate 12,000 scrolls.
The interior was beautifully carved. Not only the interior side was amazing and beautiful, but the exterior side was also amazing and mesmerizing. Because of this factor, this library has become one of the most grandeur and beautiful buildings set up during Roman Empire. The architecture style is similar to the one made popular during the time of Emperor Hadrian ruling. There were 9 stepped podiums supporting the whole structure – the podium itself was 21 meters long. Unfortunately, just like the remaining of ancient construction, the library didn’t last – at least, not the whole construction. You can still see the surviving remains. You can still witness the amazing relief carvings and decorations – and simply imagine how it would have looked like during the ancient period.
It means ‘Bridge of Gard’ which is basically an aqueducts built by the ancient Roman Empire. This aqueduct was construction and located in southern France, construction in the middle year of 1st century CE. The greatest thing about this aqueduct is that it was built without any mortar or whatsoever. The amazing Roman engineers managed to build this masterpiece by filling up together big blocks of cut stones that are precisely fitting each other. This is an amazing concept, even up to today’s modern era so you can imagine how grandeur and genius the plan was in the ancient era. The fact that they had this technology to construct 3-storey construction is just amazing.
The stone blocks weighed around 6 tons with 360 meters at the highest point. Pont du Gard played an important role in the ancient construction, considering that it covered 50 kilometers long. This engineering success was marvelous in terms of functions because it enabled water supply to Nimes city. In the end, the engineers were able to deliver outstanding outcome in contemporary hydraulics and engineering. And then, from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, people used Pont du Gard as a regular bridge.
Another majestic aqueduct is located in Iberian Peninsula, known as Segovia Aqueduct. It’s a good thing that this construction is still in a pretty good shape, existing to today’s modern era. As one of the famous Roman’s buildings and also best preserved architectural construction from the ancient days, the aqueduct held an important role. Constructed around 50 CE, this aqueduct was designed to channel drinking water from the original source at Frio River to Segovia city. It was out of expectation during the completion, because it covered 16 kilometers of stretch and constructed with 24,000 huge granite blocks.
Similar to Pond du Gard, the engineers constructed the aqueduct without any mortar. With a total 165 arches – each of which was 9 meters high – this construction has become an iconic symbol of Segovia. And it has lasted for centuried. After so many years of neglect and use, the aqueduct was reconstructed again in the 15th and 16th century. And then, some important and urgent conservation projects were done in the 1970s and also 1990s. Those actions was done tto preserve the glory and also monumental construction.
Is there any ancient temple from ancient Roman time that is still absolutely intact and in good condition? You may want to check on Maison Carrée, the only preserved construction surviving the era. This temple was constructed in 16 BC in Nimes City, so you can imagine how old it has been. The whole building stands 15 meters in height and a total 26 meters in length. Marcus Vipanius Agrippa, a Roman General, built this temple as a reminder of his young two sons dying early. When the Roman Empire fell and Christian society was rising up during the 4th century, this temple was turned into a church.
Because of this action, the temple avoided destruction and neglect – unlike what happened to other famous Roman’s buildings, landmarks, and monuments. The temple has been used for many functions and purposes since then – including a stable, a town hall, a storehouse, and a museum (which is now happening).
As the name suggests, Diocletian, a Roman Emperor, built this building for his retirement abode. He was the first emperor who retired from his power and position voluntarily. His reason was his health problem. He retired on May the 1st 305, and then spending his life in this majestic but quiet palace.
The palace stretches east to west over 215 meters of area. With 26 meters of height walls, the palace is definitely huge and vast. During the time of construction, the Roman civilization and community was undergoing classical to medieval transition so the palace’s architects were able to include different construction styles, including the ones from before era. During the Middle Ages, Christians transformed and used it as a cathedral, which helps to preserve the structural integrity. Nowadays, this palace is one of the well-known world heritage sites as well as one of the famous Roman’s buildings for its archeological appeal in Croatia.
When this amphitheatre was built, the city was more popular as the Nemausus. Augustus began colonizing this Nemausus city in 20 BC and then constructed it with the similar design and structure like the Roman state. The city had several great buildings and constructions, a majestic and grandeur theater right on the center of the city, and also a surrounding wall that covers the land of 200 hectares in dimension. At that time, this spot was more popular as Nimes Arena. It had 24,000 seats, which makes it one of the largest constructions and also amphitheatre in Gaul. The theatre was super big and spacious that a small fortified construction palace could be built inside it during Middle Ages. In 1863, the area was transformed and changed into a huge modern bullring – which is still in use (for the bullfights) up to now.
Who doesn’t know Pantheon, the majestic building from the ancient Roman era? It is different from the other contemporary (Roman) temples. The regular Roman temples would be constructed to honor and dedicate to a particular deity. The Pantheon, on the other hand, was built to honor all Roman gods. The construction process completed in 125 CE, during the time of Hadrian ruling.
The temple has this big circular portico opening up to a rotunda, which is covered by a dome. It is considered one of the most beautiful and majestic domes that significantly improves the dimension of the temple. With its sheer scale and size, the temple is a true proof of ancient engineer and architects’ skills and mastery. The temple has survived 2000 years of existence. And the fact that is still stands tall and proud after all the natural disasters and corrosion is just amazing. You can imagine the quality construction and building quality.
This is one of the most famous Roman’s buildings still exists in this modern world. This amphitheatre was named Colosseum, covering 523 by 620 feet of land and area. Because of its dimension, it was considered the biggest amphitheatre in its era. The construction began during the time of Emperor Vespasian reign, in 72 CE. The completion took place in 80 CE, during the reign of Titus, who was Vespasian’s son. This amphitheatre was able to accommodate 50,000 spectators which were a huge numbers at that time.
The great thing about the construction is the design. With the consideration that it was going to be used for a lot of people, it has 80 entrances for easy in and out. The opening ceremony, which was grandeur and big, was taking place for 100 days. During the celebration, 2,000 gladiators and 5,000 animals were fighting to their deaths. It may seem cruel and brutal now but it was the culture back then.
If you have to compare Egypt, Greece, and Roman architectures, they are quite different. Each of them has their own signature style and unique appeal. They also had their own functions and appeal. Thanks to discoveries of arches, concrete, and new ideas, Roman engineers were able to take the architectural and construction aspect to a different higher level. You can see the evidence of famous Roman’s buildings, such as Pantheon or Colosseum, and imagine their majestic form in the ancient days.
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