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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Must See in Rome - The Roman Forum

Roman Forum
Roman Forum (Photo credit: StefanoRomeTours)
By Eric Simon

It is said that Rome wasn't built in a day. The magnificent structures as well as the ruins speak volumes of its glorious history. It has the richest and the fullest history evidenced by anyone so far. It is colorful and the most appealing of all travel destinations. This is one place where the past and the present go hand in hand. Here you can try to follow the tourist's path or try and go off the track, if you are brave enough to. Either way, Rome is going to amaze and surprise you. This is one city which has plenty to offer, but its beauty has been blurred by the passing time.

Situated in a valley between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill, the Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) borders the oldest and the most important structures of ancient Rome. It includes the Regia, the former royal residence and the complex of Vestal Virgins. The Forum was originally the marketplace of the Romans. It was also the business district and the civic center. It was the political and the economical center of the Roman Empire.

The masses used to flock in here to attend meetings, listen to the speakers, attend the trials of the criminals and discuss crucial political matters or military campaigns. In short, the Forum was the heart and soul of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Forum was forgotten and used by cattle for pasture in the middle ages.

The wonderful architecture of the Roman Forum can be seen copied in various government structures. Originally the area of the Forum was a marsh, humid and covered with grass. Gradually with time, more buildings were constructed and the Forum became a natural center for a growing town.

Although much of the Forum has been destroyed and what remains are columns and stone blocks of some temples, the arch of Titus and arch of Septimius Severus still stand and fortunately are in good shape. The current image of the Forum was because of Julius Caesar, who made changes when he was the dictator and who constructed the Basilica Julia. The unfinished works of Caesar were completed by his successor, Augustus. The column of Focas was the last monument to be erected. The Forum suffered damage and destruction in republican times due to violence. The most incredible view of the Forum can be seen from the terraces of Campidoglio. The ruins of Basilics Emilia can be observed from here and you can also manage to get a glimpse of the unmistakable Coliseum.

In the present age, the Forum is subjected to archeological excavations, along with restorations and preservations. The excavation started in the 18th century but further excavations started in the 20th century. The Forum presently includes a number of temples and a statue of Julius Caesar. The major temples of the Forum include the temple of Saturn and the temple of Vesta. Certain areas of the Roman Forum cannot be visited, but the whole area enjoys the status of an archeological site which is open to all tourists.

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Article Source: [] Must See in Rome - The Roman Forum

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