Area Sacra Largo Argentina, Rome

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Largo di Torre Argentina

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  • Remains in Largo di Argentina.
    Remains in Largo di Argentina.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Remains in Largo di Argentina.
    Remains in Largo di Argentina.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Area Sacra Largo Argentina
    by goodfish
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    Great Caesar's Ghost!

    by goodfish Updated Feb 7, 2014

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    So I mentioned in my "Et Tu, Brute?" review that Julius Caesar wasn't polished off in the Forum? It happened here. Yep, Pompey's Curia - part of a huge theater - was the temporary hangout of the senate at the time, and was located directly behind the ruins of four temples in this square. This little piece of real estate was once part of a large cluster of villas, public buildings, circuses, arenas, baths and temples - including the original Pantheon - known as Campus Martinus: Field of Mars. It was originally a wheat field, pasture and military training ground outside of the Servian Wall that became part of the city around the turn of the 1st millennium, and later enclosed by the Aurelian Walls.

    The temples were uncovered in an urban renewal project in the 1920s, and some shoddy archeological work destroyed some of the clues as to their identities but they range in age from 3rd to 1st-century BC with restoration work occurring after a huge fire in 80 AD. Excavation is still in process and while you can't putter about the ruins, you can see them (free) from surrounding sidewalks, and there are signs in English to tell you what is known about each temple. Numeral 1 in the blue circle on the diagram in photo #5 marks the scene of Caesar's undoing. Oddly, the ruins have also become a shelter for about 250 homeless cats.

    The Curia? Boarded up after Julius' unfortunate demise and later converted to a latrine.

    More info:
    http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/beni-culturali/beni-archeologici/area-sacra-di-largo-argentina.html

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    Largo Argentina.

    by IreneMcKay Written Jan 5, 2013

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    Remains in Largo di Argentina.
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    Some ancient remains were unearthed at this site. You cannot enter them but can look across them. The remains are interesting and the site is also used as a cat sanctuary. The remains are part of an ancient temple and the Theatre of Pompey. Julis Caesar was murdered on the steps of this theatre.

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  • dtownkitty's Profile Photo

    TORRE ARGENTINACAT SANCTUARY FOR INJURED CATS

    by dtownkitty Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    MEOW

    This may not be the reason you travel to Rome but it's a fun place to visit esp. if you're an animal lover. On my third trip I made sure I got there. We must have spent an hour watching the cats. It's not exactly exciting but it is a good diversion from the hustle and bustle of the tourist attractions. Besides, I don't know of any other city that makes a special place for it's stray cats among ruins! Julius Ceasar was killed near here but the cats are the attraction.

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  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo

    If You Love Cats, Don't Miss This

    by ForestqueenNYC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Because I love animals and I miss mine who have long since been gone, when in Rome for any length of time, I will volunteer at the Roman Cat Sanctuary.

    http://www.romancats.de/romancats/index_eng.php
    This wonderful cat sanctuary in Rome is right across from the trolly stop at Torre Argentina where the ruins are. It is easily missed, however, because you have to go down some steps and into a sort of basement to get there. Don't give up. I did volunteer work there once a week while I lived in Rome.

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    Teatro Argentina

    by martin_nl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Teatro Argentina

    Many famous opera's had their premiere in this theatre, built in 1732 by the Sforza Cesarini family. The facade was placed a century later though. There are still performances in this beautiful building!

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  • Paisleypaul's Profile Photo

    Ancient Roman History : AD 1926

    by Paisleypaul Updated Jan 24, 2011

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    Area Sacro di Largo Argentina
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    This square consists of four temples unearthed by excavation works in the 1920s. The four temples date from the late fourth to the late second century BC . The square has been identified as the Porticus Minucia Venus, founded 107 BC as the last of the four temples was finished. It can be viewed from four sides, notably from Corso Vittorio Emanuelle I, just at Largo Argentina , i.e. where you jump the No.8 tram for Trastevere. You are looing down as you walk round perhaps five metres - this was of course street level in ancient Rome, which has been altered naturally over time and by the great fire. The area was destroyed by fire AD80 , a year before Pompeii (AD 79) - no small irony that one of the buildings to have been positively identified was the Statio Aquarum, or water board which would today be responsible for water supply and fire hydrants!

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Area Sacra dell'Argentina

    by aukahkay Written Oct 9, 2009

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    Area Sacra dell'Argentina

    Inadvertently unearthed during an excavation project ordered by Benito Mussolini, the fascinating Area Sacra dell’Argentina is one of the best sites to see the remains of Roman architecture from the Republican era.
    The four temples of the Area Sacra dell’Argentina date from the 4th to 2nd centuries B.C. The remains we see now are the result of renovations by emperor Domitianus.

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Area Sacra

    by MM212 Updated Apr 12, 2009

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    Temple A in the foreground
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    Discovered by chance in 1926 during a construction project, the Area Sacra is an archeological site containing the remains of four Ancient Roman temples. It is located in Largo di Torre Argentina, now a large square in central Rome, named after the mediaeval tower (Torre Argentina) in the square. Because archeologists are still uncertain to whom the four temples were dedicated, they have designated them with the letters A to D. Although entry into the area is restricted, a walk along the outside railing provides excellent views of the imprint of the temples and some of the standing columns. Roman cats, however, seem to have full access to the site and many have taken refuge among the ruins (see attached photos).

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  • Mmasarech's Profile Photo

    A Cat Sanctuary in the Middle of Rome

    by Mmasarech Written Feb 21, 2009
    Sunning on the steps
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    This is a great place to check out if you're traveling with kids or just like cats. The cats wander and sun themselves among the ruins. A dedicated group of volunteers take care of them and place many in homes. A few brave cats venture out to the steps to say hi.

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    Roman Temples and Pompey's Theatre remains

    by monica71 Written Jan 27, 2009

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    Largo di Torre Argentina
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    Largo di Torre Argentina is another place you should not miss while visiting Rome. It is a very short and pleasant walk (5 min) from The Pantheon.

    You will see the ruins of 4 temples: A, B, C, D. This is how all the audio guides refer to them in order to make it easy for you to identify the ruins. Temple A was built in the 3rd century BC. Temple B, a circular temple with six columns remaining, was built in 101 BC. Temple C is dating back to 4th or 3rd century BC. Some people say that this temple was devoted devoted to Feronia, the goddess of fertility. Temple D dates back to 2nd century BC.

    Look for the remains of some brick walls. This was the exit to Pompey's Theater and the Baths complex, which the Roman Senate was using in the 1st century BC to hold their meetings while the main Senate house in the Forum was being rebuilt.

    The area today is the shelter of 250 cats. Volunteers take care of them and open up the site for visiting every day around 4:30pm (4:00pm in the summer). The entrance is free, but they ask you for donations, so they can keep the shelter running. You can also adopt a cat if you want.
    It was pouring when we were there and it was very cold. This was one of the last sights we planned visiting during particular day and we were soaked to the bones. We spent few minutes here, listening to the audio guide we had with us, but we did not wait for the volunteers to show up and open the sight. I can just imagine how great this experience would have been in a nice weather!

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  • Cat lovers Rome

    by helenmellor Written Feb 22, 2008

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    Largo del Torre Argentina
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    If you are a cat lover, head for the Largo del Torre Argentina to visit the cat sanctuary amongst the ruins of the place where Julius Caesar was assassinated, known as the Area Sacra. There are over 200 very happy cats roaming around in what must be cat paradise, right in the centre of Rome! You can visit the sanctuary's shop and infirmary (between 12 noon to 6pm I think) which is manned by the lady volunteers and lots of feline helpers and there is a guided tour of the ruins at 4pm most days (we didn't manage that, but would go back another time).

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    The exact place where Ceasar died

    by WanderingFinn Updated Dec 7, 2007

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    This is the spot where Ceasar was killed
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    An interesting place: to see exactly the place/spot to where Julius Ceasar (100 B.C. - 44 B.C.) was killed! It was almost an unrealistic feeling; Ceasar was so well-known all over the world and still is. It was just amazing to stand there and start imagining...

    Nowadays there is a "nursery" for homeless cats of Rome. There is even a small office where one can visit to take a brochure, donate some coins or join the unity of Friends of Roman Cats (main office located in California, U.S.)

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  • Lacristina's Profile Photo

    Largo Argentina - Cats, Temples, Julius Caesar

    by Lacristina Updated Mar 29, 2007

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    A cat at home in the sanctuary at Largo Argentina

    Until the 1920s, the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina was undiscovered. Now, an entire square is open to us, several meters below the current ground level - the ruins of four temples are exposed and have become home to the city's largest cat sanctuary. Explanatory signage is available on all sides of the site in Italian and English.

    We have Mussolini to thank for preserving this site. Really. If not for him, new buildings (which he was originally planning) would have been erected on the site when it was first excavated. But Mussolini was trying to align himself with Imperial Rome (specifically, Augustus) and so insisted on preserving the site when it was discovered, It turns out that the temples were all pre-Imperial, dating from the 4th to the 2nd century BC, when Rome was, more or less, a Republic. Thus, these temples are among the oldest in Rome. There are also the remains of an ancient public latrine.

    While not much is known about these temples (hence they are labeled merely A, B C and D), they were located next to the Teatro Pompei (Pompey's Theater). Pompey was a Roman general and Julius Caesar's primary political opponent. He built the theater, partly to enhance his standing among the public. Because there were restrictions on the building of public theaters, Pompei combined the theater with a temple. The complex included covered loggias and gardens which extended to very near the Largo Argentina temples.

    Ironically, Julius Caesar was murdered in his rival's monumental complex, quite near Largo Argentina, (not in the Roman Forum as is often assumed.) The Curia, in the Roman Forum, where the Senate usually met, was under reconstruction after a fire.

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  • BorneoGrrl's Profile Photo

    Largo di Torre Argentina, Cat Sanctuary

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Dec 10, 2006

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    Trying to feed a local resident at Largo Argentina
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    Largo di Torre Argentina is a square in Rome that hosts four Republican Roman temples, and the remains of Pompey's Theater. It has nothing to do with the South American country but actually comes from a city previously known as Argentoratum. Everytime I walk past this square, I'll stop to look at the many breeds of homeless cats that lounge and cavort about the ruins. This area is also the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter for homeless cats (of which Rome has many).

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  • jungles's Profile Photo

    Largo di Torre Argentina

    by jungles Updated Jun 11, 2006

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    Ruins of Largo Argentina

    This archeological site in Rome is relatively unknown to most visitors, and yet it has great historical importance, it's centrally located and easy to find, and it's free! Right in the centre of this busy transport hub you can see the remains of four ancient temples that date back to the Republican era, prior to the Roman Empire. The oldest one was built in the 3rd or possibly 4th century B.C. There is still some debate about the exact identification of the temples, and for now they are simply called Temples A, B, C, and, you guessed it, D.

    Also visible is the remains of the portico of the Theatre of Pompey, which is actually where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Thanks to Shakespeare, most people think Caesar was killed in the Senate building (the Curia) in the Roman Forum, but the Curia had burned down several years prior, and the Senate was temporarily meeting in the theatre until reconstruction was complete. What's left of the portico is on the west side of the excavated area on Via Arenula. Interestingly, the remains of the theatre itself were used as foundations for later buildings, which is evident because the modern street now curves in a semi-circle, imitating the shape of the theatre. To find this street, head south down Via Arenula, then take the first right (Vicolo de' Chiodaroli). From here you can pass through a small archway to reach Campo de' Fiori.

    Largo Argentina is also famous for its cat sanctuary. Cats have been revered in Rome for centuries, possibly starting with Cleopatra's visit here 2,000+ years ago. Volunteer doctors spay and neuter them, and other volunteers help out by feeding the cats (here and around other ruins such as the Forum) or by offering guided tours of the ruins in exchange for a donation to the cat sanctuary. You will see many cats lounging around the ruins here. Check out the website for more information on the sanctuary and on how to volunteer or adopt a cat.

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