Roman temples, while related to the Greek temple form in general design and use of the orders, represent a separate category of temple form.
For example: Romans temples were built on an elevated plateau with a front staircase while the Greek temples were on a on a a base of three steps (a stylobate).
The Romans also added two new orders to Roman temple architecture: the Tuscan and Composite orders.
An overview of the most amazing ancient Roman temples that can found during a ancient Roman tour around the Mediterranean.
Baalbek, also called Heliopolis, is a spectacular archaeological site in northeastern Lebanon. From the 1st century BC and over a period of two centuries, the Romans built three temples here: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus.
Created to be the largest temple in the Roman empire, the temple of Jupiter was lined by 54 massive granite columns each each of which were 21 meters (70 feet) tall.
Only 6 of these titanic columns remain standing but even they are incredibly impressive. The best preserved temple at the site is the Temple of Bacchus built in 150 AD.
The ancient Roman temple was dedicated to Bacchus, also known as Dionysus, the Roman god of wine. Today, it is one of the top tourist attractions of a Roman tour in Libanon.
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Situated in an oasis 130 miles north of Damascus, Palmyra is one of Syria’s most popular tourist attraction and is on the standard Roman tour destinations around the country.
For centuries Palmyra was an important and wealthy city located along the caravan routes linking Persia with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria.
There is much to see at the site today for tourists, including the huge Temple of Bel, the monumental arch and the colonnade that once consisted of 1,500 Corinthian columns.
3. Maison Carree
Maison Carrée, located in Nimes, France, was built in 16 BC by the Roman General Marcus Vipanius Agrippa, and was dedicated to his two sons who both died young. It is one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world.
The Maison Carrée owes its exceptional state of preservation to the fact that it was transformed to a Christan church in the 4th century, saving it from destruction. It has also been a town hall, a stable, a storehouse, and finally a museum.
4. Sbeitla Forum Temples
Sbeitla (or Sufetula) is a fairly well preserved Roman city in the mid west of Tunisia. The city contains a vast almost square forum paved with stone slabs and surrounded by a wall.
The forum has a gateway on one side and three Roman temples on the opposite side. Instead of constructing only one temple dedicated to the three most important Roman gods, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, the inhabitants of Sbeitla built separate temples for each one.
A similar arrangement is only found at Baelo Claudia, in Spain.
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One of the best preserved Roman buildings, The Pantheon in Rome was built in 126 AD as a temple for all the Roman gods. The temple has served as a Roman Catholic Church since the 7th.
The Pantheon consists of a large circular portico with three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns. The portico opens into a rotunda which is topped with a concrete dome with a central opening: the oculus.
A great time to visit the Pantheon during a Roman tour is when it’s raining in Rome and you can see the rain pouring into the building through the oculus.