The Eternal City – Rome 2 – Palatine Hill & the Forum

The morning was gray and drizzly when we set out for the Palatine Hill, one of the “Seven Hills of Rome”.  To the west, the hill overlooked the ancient Circus Maximus, a chariot racing stadium.  Today the Circus Maximus is a park.

DSC05037 -8 WC Circus maximus and Palatine

The ruins on the Palatine Hill are pretty impressive.

DSC05036 C Palatine Hill

This is a picture from Wikipedia showing ancient Rome in the Imperial Era,  27 BC – 476 AD.  Palatine Hill is the area between the Circus and the Coliseum.  To the left of the Coliseum you can see the beginning of the Forum, sort of “down-town” ancient Rome.

Palatine Hill was the high rent district of ancient Rome.  In fact Palatine is where the word “palace” comes from.

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DSC05047 C  The Hill is a wonder to wander around.

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The Flavian Palace had a Stadium Garden enclosed by porticos.  It may have looked like this!

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Archeologists don’t believe it was a stadium for sports because of the large number of statues (some now in the museum) found here along with the ruins of fountains.

DSC05061 C Palatine Hill Museum DSC05063 C

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The sun came out and we were treated to this great view of St Peter’s dome.

DSC05084 C St Peters

And a rainbow!

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The east side of Palatine Hill overlooks the Forum.

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The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine is the large building in the middle of this photo.  Before Christianity, Basilicas were used as courthouses, council chambers and meeting halls by Imperial Rome.  This one was an awe inspiring government building.  After the Fall of Rome, the emerging Christian congregations adopted these large buildings as church sites for their bishops.  They copied this design as they built new churches across the western world.  What remains of this building is just one of the side aisles.  The central nave would have been larger with the arched aisles on either side.  It was massive!  Do you see those little people in front of the ruins of the aisle?   

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DSC05095 C Basilica of Constantine

There was a nice view of the Coliseum from Palatine Hill too.

DSC05109 C Colosseum

We walked down from Palatine Hill into the Forum.  The Forum, a rectangular area several city blocks large, is a jumble of ruins and archeological digs. The forum/plaza began as a market place and grew to include government buildings and temples. At the south end is the Arch of Titus.

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The Basilica

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DSC05145 C Temple of Vesta DSC05136 C

Temple of Vesta (Vestal virgins)

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The Arch of Titus and the Temple of Vesta

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Looking back at the Titus Arch again.

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At the north end of the Forum is the Arch of Severus and the Curia (Senate House). There is a small museum in the Curia.

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DSC05168 C inside the Curia   DSC05173 C

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The Arch of Septimius Severus

DSC05143 C Arch of Septimius Severus

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DSC05181 C   The Temple of Saturn

This is my favorite picture of the Forum, the Temple of Vesta with the Palatine Hill behind it.  The light was just right.   Imagine all the brick covered with white marble.  It must have been dazzling…

DSC05182 C Temple of Vesta

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We walked back to the Coliseum and the Arch of Constantine for pictures.  It was too late to go in.  We’d been here before so we were content to peek through the gates.

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DSC05205 C DSC05212 C into the Coloseum

DSC05204 C Arch of Constantine

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There are stone maps along the outside wall of the Basilica. The last one shows the incredible extent of Roman rule before the sun set on the Roman Empire.

DSC05150 C2  “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.”

That decree from this place in Rome started a family on a journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem….

Merry Christmas to my WordPress friends and followers.

About graciamc

Gracia's Travels is a photo blog. I always take too many pictures on trips so I justify my compulsion with this blog! The blog is mostly photos - they tell the best part of the story. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my photos.
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4 Responses to The Eternal City – Rome 2 – Palatine Hill & the Forum

  1. This is really cool! Thank you for sharing. You mentioned you had gone there before. What made you want to come back again?

    • graciamc says:

      We were in Rome quite a few years ago for just 3 days and hit the high points. This trip we stayed for a week and were able to take our time. It was a luxury to have a whole morning to wander around Palatine Hill which we did not get to see on our first visit.

  2. gooddayrome says:

    This has to be the best photo essay of the Palatino/Foro Romano area that I have ever seen. Wonderful job! Buon Natalie to you and Will!

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