Roman architecture took up right where the ancient Greek builders left after the Greek empire had declined. But the Romans did not emphasize the practicality of their building structures much better than their counterparts. This was a significant difference from contemporary approaches, which often focused on the exterior architecture and aesthetic appeal of a building.
Before them, the Greeks, Persians, and Egyptians made many monumental architectural objects, but only on the exterior their magnificence. The Roman constructors could now create majestic buildings with interiors that were historically considered difficult or impractical by discovering the concretes, arches, and other engineering marvels of the ancient Roman period.
Here’s a list of the ten most glorious ancient Romans buildings, reflecting the Romans’ ingenuity of architecture:
10. Arch of Septimius Severus
|Location:||Regio VIII Forum Romanum|
|Built by/for:||Septimius Severus|
|Type of Structure:||Triumphal arch|
This majestic arch was built in 203 AD in memory of Roman victories over the Parthians, who had never been over in the late years of the second century. Rome was successfully suppressed by a raging civil war between its neighboring states under Septimius Severus’ command. But the icing on the cake arrived as he waged war on the Parthian Empire suddenly and knelt the Parthians.
Initially, the Roman Republic was re-established in bronze gold as a tribute to Septimius and his two sons Caracalla and Geta. It was a rare monument of victory in contemporary Rome according to all criteria. It was a lasting reminder of the once dazzling Roman Republic even now, amid some severe damages.
9. Temples of Baalbek
|Built-in:||Late 2nd or Early 3rd Century|
|Built by/for:||Antoninus Pius|
|Type of Structure:||Roman Temple|
Baalbek is one of the most impressive wonders of the old world, a huge draw, and a fascinating historic site in today’s Lebanon. It was also one of the Roman temples constructed in the ancient Roman period, one of the most prominent and well preserved. The first temples of Baalbek were built in the first century before Christ. The Romans built three more in the next two decades, each dedicating themselves respectively to the Gods of Jupiter, Bacchus, and Venus.
The biggest temple was the Temple of Jupiter, each about 70 meters (21 feet) high with 54 wide granite columns. While today only six of these columns remain, their majestic dimension is sufficient to display the glory of the temples of Baalbek.
8. Library of Celsus
|Built by/for:||Gaius Julius Aquila|
|Type of Structure:||Library of Ancient Roman’s Empire|
The Library of Celsus was named after the well-known former governor of the town of Ephesus, and indeed a monumental tomb devoted to the Polemaeanus Gaius Celsus. This incredible piece of Roman architecture was designed by Galius Julius Aquile, the son of Celsus. The Bibliography Celsus was also a common archive for key records, containing 12,000 scrolls at the height of its use.
It had wonderfully sculptured interiors and similarly fascinating structures, making it one of the Ancient Roman Empire’s most elegant buildings. The library’s architecture usually reminds you of the common architectural style under Emperor Hadrian’s reign. A 9-step podium, 69 feet (21 meters) high, supports the entire frame.
7. Pont du Gard
|Location:||Vers-Pont-du-Gaard, Gard, France|
|Built-in:||c. 40-60 AD|
|Built by/for:||Roman colony of Nemausus|
|Type of Structure:||Roman Aqueduct Bridge|
One of the only aqueducts remaining in the Romance is the Pont du Gard, simply the Gard bridge. It was founded in the middle of the first century AD in today’s South of France. This aqueduct was designed with no mortar. Roman architects made the three-story marvel by putting together huge pieces of stone, specifically cut them in angles.
In an aqueduct that was 31 km long, the Pont du Gard was a key construction. To make the whole aqueduct usable since it supplied water to The city of Nimes, the performance of the architects’ wonder was important. Finally, a remarkable achievement in contemporary engineering and hydraulics was drawn from Roman engineers.
6. Aqueduct of Segovia
|Location:||Province of Segovia, Castile and Leon, Spain|
|Built-in:||Mid-first Century BC|
|Type of Structure:||Roman Aqueduct|
Located on the Iberian Peninsula, the Segovia Aqueduct still preserves its structural completeness, rendering it one of the best-conserved buildings in ancient Rome. It was designed about 50 AD to promote the water flow from the Frio to Segovia District. It was an unparalleled, 16-kilometer long building constructed of approximately 24,000 giant granite blocks.
Like the Gard Bridge, the whole construction was constructed by Roman engineers without any mortar. This architectural phenomenon has long been the emblem of Segovia, with 165 arches all over 9 meters high. In the 15th and 16th centuries, after years of usage and structural neglect, the aqueduct had to go through an extensive rebuilding era.
5. Maison Carree
|Built-in:||C.A. 2 AD|
|Built by/for:||Thomas Jefferson|
|Type of Structure:||Roman Temple|
The only temple alive in ancient Rome today is Maison Carree, which has been fully preserved. This Roman engineering wonder was built in Nimes around 16 BC. Maison Carree is an architectural masterpiece, 49 feet high and 85 feet long. It was made in memory of Roman General Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa’s two young children.
With the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire on the horizon, the fourth century transformed into a Christian monastery, the house of Carrée was freshly bought. It avoided the neglect and ruin of many other Roman temples and landmarks in this magnificent temple. It has been used for different uses, including a town hall, stable, and warehouse. It’s a museum right now.
4. Diocletian’s Palace
|Built-in:||4th Century AD|
|Built by/for:||Roman Emperor Diocletian|
|Type of Structure:||Cultural Palace|
This beautiful building was constructed in preparation for his retirement by the legendary Roman Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to resign willingly and refer to deteriorating health problems. He lived a happy life in this glorious palace after his retirement on May 1, AD 305. The palace extends from east to west some 705 feet (215 meters), and its walls reach a height of about 26 meters.
In a period of transformation between the classical and medieval Roman civilizations, the architects could integrate various constructive forms, which they had used over the years. It also encouraged Christians to use the palace as a cathedral in the medieval era, maintaining its structural integrity. Diocletian’s Mansion is now one of Croatia’s most popular archaeological attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
3. Roman Amphitheater
|Built by/for:||Ancient Romans|
|Type of Structure:||Ancient Roman Theatre|
The name knew the city of Nimes of Nemausus when this famous theater was founded. Augustus began populating the city around 20 BC and giving it a structure similar to the typical Roman state. It had many beautiful rooms, a surrounding wall, over 200 hectares of territory, and a magnificent theatre.
This incredibly huge theatre, better known as the Arena of Nimes, had about 24,000 seats and is essentially one of the largest Gaulish amphitheaters. It was so large that a small fortress-palace was constructed within it during the Middle Ages. The arena was later transformed into a massive bullring sometime around 1863. It also serves as the venue for annual bullfights.
|Location:||Regio IX Circus Flaminius|
|Built by/for:||Trajan, Hadrian|
|Type of Structure:||Roman Temple|
The Pantheon is the most intact architectural wonder from the Roman period. Unlike many other contemporary Roman temples, the Panthéon was a temple for Roman gods, which almost all devote themselves to specific Roman deities. In 125 AD, under Hadrian’sHadrian’s regime, the building of this temple was finished.
There is a broad circular portico opening to a roundabout in the Pantheon. A majestic dome is on the rotunda, adding to its greatness a whole new dimension. The size of this dome is enduring proof of the talents of ancient Romans and architects. The fact that this amazing sculpture item remains worth 2,000 years of erosion and natural disasters to this day speaks volumes because of its construction efficiency.
1. Roman Colosseum
|Location:||Regio III Isis et Serapis, Rome, Italy|
|Built by/for:||Vespasian, Titus|
|Type of Structure:||Amphitheater|
Established in Old Rome in 189 by 159 meters, the renowned Amphitheatre, the Colosseum, was the biggest theater of its day. During the sovereignty of Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, the Colosseum began building the largest and most famous ancient Roman monument. When his son Titus finished it in 80 AD, a theater with a capacity of over 50,000 was prepared for operation never seen before.
It can host so many viewers that 80 main entrances have been built. Its opening custom – the grandest of all spectacles – lasted for about 100 days. In that time, about 5,000 animals and 2,000 gladiators struggled to their deaths in an unprecedented extravaganza of gladiatorial and bestiary battles.
Ancient Roman architecture, in many respects, is somewhat distinct from ancient Greece and Egyptian houses and temples. Roman architecture was majestic in its size and splendor, but it was much more functional in contrast with previous architectural styles. The Ancient Romans were able to push their architecture to greater heights with the invention of Roman concrete, arches, and other ingenious engineering concepts. We must only look at temples such as the Coliseum, the Pantheon, and the spectacular aqueducts, which have lasted for several thousands of years, to see how well these buildings have been constructed.