Imperial Forums

Imperial Forums

The center of city life

The Imperial Forums were an important center for religion and politics in Rome. Here the political discussions were held and justice was administered. The Imperial Forums are a series of public squares surrounded by majestic buildings that were constructed between 46 BC and 113 AD. For many decades the forums were the center of city life. Several emperors added their own forum not just for practical reasons but also to make themselves appear in a more favorable light.

Here are some of the most famous of them.

  1. Via dei Fori Imperiali. In the 1930s the Italian dictator Mussolini decided to build the Via dei Fori Imperiali, a large triumphal road connecting the colosseum with Piazza Venezia. The road runs straight through the Imperial Forums and a large part of this highly valuable area is now covered with asphalt. There are two visible parts of the Imperial Forums are left, each on either side of the wide road.
  2. Forum of Caesar. This is the first of the Imperial Forums which was built as an extension of the Roman Forum. It meant to celebrate the Caesar’s power the forum also contained a temple to the goddess Venus. A statue of Caesar himself was placed in front of the temple.
  3. Forum of Augustus. It is said to have been constructed to avenge the death of Caesar. The forum was rectangular in shape with very high walls. Most of the decorations pertained to the god Mars.
  4. Forum of Nerva. Built by Domitian, the forum served to connect the other two forums together as well as the Temple of Peace. It was supposed to be dedicated to Minerva – protector of the emperor, but after Domitian’s assassination his successor named Nerva dedicated it to himself.
  5. Forum of Peace. The forum consisted of a large open space surrounded by colonnades. On one side, opposite the entrance, stood the Temple of Peace. The temple was built to celebrate the conquest of Jerusalem.
  6. Forum of Trajan. This is the largest and greatest of the Imperial Forums built after the conquest of Dacia. It consisted of several parts: a public square, a large temple, two libraries and the immense Basilica Ulpia.


Location: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome

Nearby sights: Forum of Trajan, Trajan’s Markets, Trajan’s Column

How to get there: Subway: Colosseo (B)

Nearby hotels: Nerva Boutique Hotel, Easydomus Ibernesi, Traiano Hotel

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