Roman Forum - Temple of Venus and Roma, Rome
Only few columns are still standing today, but use your imagination to "see" the whole temple and your mind will be blown away!
The temple was built and designed by Hadrian on the plateau at the top of the Velia. It faces the Roman Forum in one direction and the Colosseum in the other. The two goddesses honored in the temple were Venus and Roma. The part of the temple dedicated to Roma faced the Roman Forum and the part sacred to Venus faced the amphitheater.
The temple was one of the emperor Constantine favorite sights.
The largest temple in ancient Rome, the Temple of Venus and Roma, now lies in ruins. It was originally built in the 2nd century AD by Emperor Hadrian and restored after a fire in the 4th century by Emperor Maxentius. Only a section of the wall of the cella (interior sanctuary) with its vaulted ceiling remains, as well as many re-erected columns from the exterior structure.
This is actually two temples set back to back, one dedicated to the goddess Venus (goddess of love) and the other to the goddess Roma (Eternal Rome). The statue of Roma looked out over the Roman Forum, while that of Venus looked towards the Colosseum. Together they made up the largest temple in ancient Rome. Another layer of symbolism is that since Venus is the goddes of love (amor in Latin), and Amor spelled backwards is Roma, this is another way in which the two temples mirrored each other. It is said that the small rooms visible in the foundations of the temple of Venus were used by the prostitutes working the Colosseum, who brought their clients down to the nearby Temple of Love.
The temple was designed by the Emperor Hadrian but criticised by his brilliant lead architect Apollodorus, who was banished and executed shortly afterwards. Not too much of it is left apart from the foundations and some columns along the side, which are visible on your right as you walk up the Via Sacra to enter the Forum.
The Temple of Venus andRome is unusual in the sense that it was designed by none other than... the Roman Emperor Hadrian (a multi-talented guy, by the looks of it!).
The picture here is a recostruction of what the Temple looked like in its better days.
The most important temple of Rome was designed by Hadrian. The temple, surrounded by a colonnaded portico, had two cells facing in opposite direction. Both of the cells housed the cult statues of Rome (facing the Forum on the westside) and Venus (on the other side facing the Colosseum).
On the picture you can see the Temple from the side of the Colosseum, so that is where Venus used to be placed. You can see how big the Temple used to be if you look at the columns on the left and right. That used to be the right and left side of the temple!