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“When in Rome do as the Romans do”, this single proverb is enough to prove the Roman’s rich influential civilization. This Italic civilization established the largest empires in the ancient world. Regarded as the successor of Greeks, the Romans also brought innovation in Science, Education system, politics, architecture and many other sectors. The ancient Romans were quite famous for is their architecture. They brought a lot of revolutionary ideas to architecture. In fact they are the inaugurator of modern buildings. So many ancient Roman monuments are still standing is evidence of how excellent Roman architecture really was.
10 Most Famous Ancient Roman Monuments:
10. Aqueduct of Segovia
The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the best-preserved Roman monuments left on the Iberian Peninsula. The monument was probably built around 50 AD. The ancient aqueduct carries water 16 km (10 miles) from the Frío River to Segovia. It was built of some 24,000 massive granite blocks without using mortar. The higher ground portion is 2,388 feet long and consists of 165 arches more than 30 feet high. It is Segovia one if the foremost symbol.
9. Pula Arena
The amphitheater in Pula is one of the best preserved ancient monuments in Croatia Built around the 1st century AD, it was the sixth largest surviving Roman arena. 26,000 spectators could seat here. Many stones were taken from the amphitheater to build houses and other structures around Pula in the 15th century. A variety of festivals and performances are still running in the amphitheater.
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8. Verona Arena
The Verona Arena is the third-largest surviving and one of the most famous Roman amphitheaters in Italy. During a devastating earthquake in 1117, the amphitheater’s outer ring of white and pink limestone was almost completely destroyed but the inner part is still splendidly well preserved. It was built in 30 AD and could house 30,000 spectators.
For many centuries, It has been used continuously to host games and shows. And it still can’t take rest. Roman times gladiator fight, middle Ages jousts and tournaments and present spectacular opera performances are performing here.
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7. Diocletian’s Palace
Built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in preparation for his retirement, Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most famous Roman monuments. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast. Diocletian left the imperial office on May 1, 305 AD weakened by illness. He was the first Roman emperor to voluntarily resign the position.
Diocletian’s Palace far exceeds local importance because of its degree of preservation. Although it is regarded as “Palace”, the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress. In practical half of the palace was housed military garrison. It holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean heritage as the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace.
6. Amphitheater of El Djem
After Rome’s Colosseum, the Roman amphitheater of El Djem in Tunisia is the second largest existing arena in the world. Thysdrus was the former name of El Djem in Roman time. It was the second most important towns in North Africa. Construct in the early 3rd century AD, the amphitheater is capable of housing 35,000 people.
The structure remained in a good state for a long time. But in the 17th century stones from the arena were used for building the nearby village of El Djem and transported to build the Great Mosque in Kairouan. It was used for shooting some of the scenes from the Oscar winning film Gladiator.
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5. Pont du Gard
The Pont du Gard is one of the most famous Roman monuments. It is an aqueduct bridge in the South of France. It was originally part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 km-long aqueduct built by the Romans to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nîmes. Some of The aqueduct’s stones weigh up to 6 tons.
They were precisely cut to fit perfectly together eliminating the need for mortar. The aqueduct was used as a conventional bridge to facilitate foot traffic across the river from the middle Ages to the 18th century. Because of its historical importance, it was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1985.
At the end of first century, the town Pompeii completely devastated by volcano Vesuvius eruption and subsequently preserved the city in its state from that horrific day. The best preserved structures in Pompeii are the amphitheater and two other theaters. It may be the oldest surviving Roman amphitheaters in the world.
It is interesting that the amphitheater was called a spectacula because the term amphitheatrum was not in use yet. About 20,000 spectators can sit in this amphitheater which is equal to the entire population of Pompeii. The Roman authorities banned any kind of game for 10 years when a violent riot broke out between fans from Pompeii and a rival town in 59 AD.
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Pantheon is one of the famous and best preserved Roman monuments. Built in 126 AD, the Pantheon served as a temple for all the Roman gods. Since the 7th century, the temple has served as a Roman Catholic Church. The Pantheon consists of a large circular portico with three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns. The circular portico opens into a rotunda which is topped with a concrete dome. The Pantheon’s dome is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
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Also called Heliopolis, Baalbek is a famous Roman archaeological site in northeastern Lebanon. The Romans built three temples here: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus over a period of two centuries. The temple of Jupiter was lined by 54 massive granite columns each of which were 21 meters tall. It is the largest temple in the Roman Empire. The Temple of Bacchus was built in 150 AD and definitely is the best preserved temple at the site.
Also known as the flavian amphitheater, The Colosseum is the largest and most famous amphitheater ever the Roman built. Construction work of the Colosseum was started by Roman emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty in 72 AD and was carried on by his son Titus. During the inaugural games of the amphitheater, over 9,000 wild animals were killed.
The Colosseum was capable of hosting about 50,000 spectators who could enter the building through more than 80 gates. Beside gladiatorial shows, The Colosseum was used to host as well as a variety of other events. Visitors were protected from the rain and heat of the sun by sails called the “velarium”, around the top of the attic. It has become an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.