10 Famous Ancient Roman Architecture Designs

Roman architects are considered as one of the best and talented architects in the world who taught the world many cool engineering tricks. They used the classical architecture methods where the whole building is based on the columns. In the ancient time, they invent many tricks to build dome, concrete roads, heated floors, aqueduct and pontoon bridges. Their most secular buildings are the amphitheaters and all of them were built thousand years back. Most of their architectural technology and designs are still used today in modern building designs. The following list has 10 famous ancient roman architecture designs which inspired many other architectural designs.

10. Forum of Caesar

Forum of CaesarPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Forum of Caesar is a place for assembly and meeting built by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. Its construction began in 54 BC and it was originally considered as an expansion of the Forum Romanum. This place has some popular collection of paintings and statues including Cleopatra VII and Medea. Caesar placed his favorite horse statue inside this building and after his assassination, a statue of Caesar riding this horse was also added in the forum. Recently in 2006, a team of archaeologists found an unearthed tomb dating back to the 10th century.

9. Pyramid of Cestius

Pyramid of CestiusPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Pyramid of Cestius is an ancient pyramid built in 12 BC in Rome. It is made up of concrete, bricks and covered with white marble. It is not as high as the Great Pyramid of Gaza but it is 29.6 meters square at the base and 37 meters high. After the construction, all the exit gates were sealed and no one can access to the interior. When it was discovered in 1660, all the interior walls were found with ancient paintings. After a long time, it stood as it was in 12 BC, thus it is now regarded as one of the best preserved ancient building in Rome.

8. Baalbek

BaalbekPhoto credit: Wikimedia

Baalbek is a town located in the Valley of Lebanon, full of archaeological sites. This site was one of the biggest sanctuaries in the Roman Empire and also contains some of the best preserved Roman artifacts. The history of this place dates back to 9000 years ago. The Romans built three temples here, Bacchus, Venus and Jupiter. It contains the largest temple in the Roman Empire which was built with 54 columns of 21 meters high and now only 6 columns remain standing. UNESCO called it a world heritage site in 1984 and reported it as one of the finest examples of ancient Roman architecture.

7. Merida Roman Theater

Merida Roman TheaterPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Roman theater of Merida is an ancient open theater, located in the Roman city of Emerita Augusta and now it comes in Spain. It was constructed between 16 and 15 BC. It is one of the largest and archaeological sites in Spain and this theater has been renovated numerous times since construction. Its diameter is 86 meters and it has a maximum capacity of around 6000 people. This site was recovered in the late 19th century and now it becomes the most visited monument sites in the city. The theater has been used for the national festival of theater of Merida.

6. Pont du Gard

Pont du GardPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Pont du Gard is a bridge on the Gardon River which is based on the ancient Roman aqueduct bridge designs. It was constructed between 40-60 AD to cross the river. The bridge has been built on three levels and the lower row is 142 meters in length, the middle row is 242 meters long and the upper row is 275 meters long and the pillar’s width is 6.4 meters. The whole bridge contains more than 50,000 tons of limestone and some of them weighs up to 6 tons. The site has been a great tourist attraction for last many years and now only pedestrians are allowed to roam on the bridge.

5. Verona Arena

Verona ArenaPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Verona Arena is the world’s third largest amphitheater and one of the best preserved structures of its kind. It was built in 30 AD in Piazza Bra in Verona. In the 1117 earthquake, it was almost completely destroyed and also renovated several times. This amphitheater could host more than 30,000 people in the ancient times. It is still in use and worldwide popular for large scale opera performance. This amphitheater has been used several times for opera performances.

4. Tower of Hercules

Tower of HerculesPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Tower of Hercules is an ancient lighthouse, located in the North-Western of Spain. It is expected that, it was built in the 2nd century. In the early days, it was popular as the “Farum Brigantium” which means the Lighthouse of Alexandria. It is only 55 meters in height and the North Atlantic coast can be seen from the top of it. It is almost 1900 years old and the oldest Roman lighthouse which is still in use today.

3. Mausoleum of Hadrian

Mausoleum of HadrianPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Mausoleum of Hadrian is also known as Castel Sant’Angelo. It was initially built as a mausoleum between 123-139 AD and later used by the popes as a castle. It is a cylindrical shaped building and was once the tallest building in Rome. After Hadrian’s death in 138 AD, his ashes were placed in the building along with his wife and his son. This ancient building has a long history and now this building is used as a museum and name it, Museo Naziionale di Castel Sant’Angelo.

2. Pantheon

PantheonPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The Pantheon was first built by Marcus Agrippa during the era of 27 BC to 14 AD. In 126 AD, it was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian. The building is circular and its inner circle diameter is 43.3 meters. Almost after 2000 years, it is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is one of the best preserved Roman ancient buildings which is in use throughout the history. Since the 7th century, it has been used as a Roman Catholic church.

1. Colosseum

Colosseum - Ancient Roman ArchitecturePhoto credit: Wikimedia

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The Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, is the largest amphitheater in the world. It was built between 70-80 AD. It was built for the public speech, executions, dramas and gladiatorial competitions and it could hold up to 80,000 people. It is regarded as one of the finest work of the ancient Roman architecture and engineering. It was included in the competition of the 2007 New Seven Wonders of the World, organized by New Open World Corporation. Now it is a major tourist attraction in Rome.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received M.tech degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at varunkmr09@gmail.com. 

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