12 Ancient Roman Monuments

Roman Theatre of Meridaroman_theatre_of_meridaAccording to an inscription, the Roman Theatre of Merida was built in 16 BC by order of Agrippa, a general and friend of emperor Augustus. The ancient theatre could house up to 6000 spectators. In later centuries the theater underwent several restorations which introduced new architectonic elements and decorations. The structure was restored to the current state in the 1960s-1970s.

Arch of Caracalla at Djemila

arch_of_caracalla_at_djemilaThe Arch of Caracalla was built in 216 AD in honor of Emperor Caracalla and his parents Julia Domna and Severe Septime. The arch was dismantled by the Duc d’Orleans in 1839, ready to be shipped to Paris, but when the duke died 3 years later the project was abandoned. The arch was reconstructed in 1922.

Les Ferreres Aqueduct

2244612961_c95747604d_zLes Ferreres Aqueduct (also known as Pont del Diable meaning Devil’s Bridge) was built to take water from the Francoli water 15 kilometers (9 miles) south to the city of Tarragona. It probably dates from the time of Augustus, the first ruler of the Roman Empire. The aqueduct has a maximum height of 27 meter and a length of 249 meter. It was composed by 25 upper arches and 11 lower arches.

Arch of Septimius Severus

Arch of Septimus SeverusLucius Septimius Severus was a Roman Emperor born in Leptis Magna who reigned 193 until his death in 211. The citizens of Leptis probably started the construction immediately after their fellow citizen had become emperor. The central scene on the arch shows the emperor shaking hands with his sons, Caracalla and Geta. Caracalla is shown as a tall young man and this offers a clue for the moment of completion of the arch, probably in the early 200’s.

Arch of Titus

Arch of TitusArch of Titus in Rome was constructed in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ victory in the Sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Arch of Titus has provided the general model for many of the triumphal arches erected since the 16th century including the Arc de Triomphe.

Dougga Capitol

Dougga CapitolDougga is sometimes called “the best-preserved Roman small town in North Africa”. Amongst the most famous Roman monuments at the site are a Punic-Libyan mausoleum, the theatre and the capitol. The capitol is a Roman temple from the 2nd century CE, principally dedicated to the three most important Roman gods: Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.

Theatre of Sabratha

Theatre of SabrathaSabratha’s was established around 500 BC as a Phoenician trading-post and reched its peak under Roman rules as a coastal outlet for the products of the African hinterland. The Theatre of Sabratha was built in the 2n century AD. The Roman structure appears largely intact owing to its reconstruction by Italian archaeologists in the 1930s. The theatre had 25 entrances and could seat approximately 5000 spectators.

Garni Temple

3357471114_448c3b321d_zDedicated to Helios, the Roman god of the sun, the Garni temple was built by the Armenian King Trdates I in the 1st century AD. The construction was probably funded with money the king received from the Roman Emperor Nero in exchange for military support against the Parthian empire. Unlike other Greco-Roman temples, it is made of basalt. In 1679 an earthquake completely destroyed the ancient Roman temple and it lay in ruins until its reconstruction in the 1970s.

Arch of Constantine

3657298870_8e718c5580_zSituated next to the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine was erected in 315 AD to commemorate Emperor Constantine I’s victory over Emperor Maxentius. The battle marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity. According to chroniclers, Constantine had a vision that God promised victory if his army daubed the sign of the cross on their shields.


BosraBosra was conquered by the Romans in 106 AD who made it the capital of their Arabia province. The theatre of Bosra was built in the 2nd century AD and could seat up to 15,000 people. Because a fortress was built around the theatre by the Ayyubids it is now one of the best preserved Roman theatres in the world.


PalmyraFor centuries Palmyra was an important and wealthy city located along the caravan routes linking Persia with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria. There is much to see at the site today, including the huge Temple of Bel, the monumental arch and the colonnade that once consisted of 1,500 Corinthian columns.

Diocletian’s Palace

4349088_731af7c7d2_zDiocletian’s Palace lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast and was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in preparation for his retirement. Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on May 1, 305, and became the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate the position. He lived out his retirement in his palace tending to his vegetable gardens. His palace went on to become the core of the modern day city of Split. As the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean heritage.

Source: Touropia

Photos:Tom,UriartedeIzpikua,Moody75,Beggs,Bitxi,Sebasti,Inna Zyu,StormCrypt,CharlesFred,ATraverns,AdamBaker/Flickr

"Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too" -Marcus Aurelius-


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