The name says it all. Latin for Sacred Road, Via Sacra is the main street of ancient Rome lined with temples, and government buildings. Walking through today's ruins, one could only imagine how it was during the Roman times. It runs from the
Senators and their colleagues discussing politics or plotting murders, military heroes basking in glorious adoration, traders selling exotic wares from far-flung colonies of the empire, slaves being auctioned to highest bidders, and ordinary Romans going about their daily lives. Imagine...
This road through the Forum is a test of your walking skills. Walking down this road makes you wonder how half the Roman legions didn't have broken ankles. Be very careful, and only the brave or strong take strollers or push buggys through here.
pictured is the via sacra in the center of the roman forum. on the right is the temple of saturn, in the center is the basilica julia, the ruins of julius caesar's law courts, and to the left is the single column of phocas. the column of phocas was erected in 608 AD in honor of the byzantine emperor phocas.
The Sacred Way, the oldest street in Rome, ran through the Roman Forum from the Arch of Titus up to the Capitoline. Triumphal processions of victorious generals in horse-drawn chariots parading their prisoners and spoils of war, and followed by their soldiers, would pass along the street to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol, where they would make sacrifices.
This is the best way to get from the Colosseum to the Palatine and Roman Forum, it gives you a real sense of walking where the ancient Romans walked.
Regia (standing on the other side of the Via Sacra close to the main entrance), the rulers’ palace and the temple, was built precisely on the spot were Julius Caesar’s body was burnt after assassination. The remains of this construction remind that there was once emperors’ residence. Caesar lived on the spot (though in another building, of course!) since he was the religious head, too.
This ancient road - which name translates into English as ‘the Sacred Road’ - is an ideal way for you to get your brief overview of the Roman Forum, because the road crosses it, starting near Coliseum and covering the main sightseeing highlights: Curia, Arch of Titus, Temple of Romulus, Twin Temple of Roma and Venus, Lapis Niger, and many other interesting and important things.
This ancient view comprehends the Via Sacra, the oldest street in the city running roughly from the Temple of Saturn with its imposing columns to the Arch of Titus farther south (rightmost in the photo). Nearby pylons and fragments contain the earliest known writing in Latin anywhere in the world. The campanile of the 11th century church Santa Maria Nova looms in the distance, followed behind by the brooding Coliseum.
The course of Via Sacra (Sacred Way) was the route through the Forum that religious and triumphal processions took whilst making their way to the Capitol to give thanks at the Temple of Jupiter.