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  • An excursion to ancient Rome

    There are many beautiful tours to take and even more ancient monuments to admire. As ancient philosophers used to say, "All roads lead to Rome". But among these roads there are a few, where ages ago not only famous Romans, but also many kings of the then world left their footprints. It's difficult to imagine a trip to Rome without visiting the Capitoline Hill or the Imperial Fora or the Coliseum or The Roman Forum or the Palatino Hill, the distinctive places of the Eternal City, where the spirit of the ancients wafts even nowadays.

    The Coliseum

    We start our trip at the foot of the church and palace of St. John Lateran and make our way towards the old part of Rome. Walking down the Via San Giov In Laterano on the left side we can see the biggest and the most magnificent building built in the times, when emperors ruled, the Coliseum. This huge amphitheatre has always made a great impression on tourists. Its construction was started in 72 AD by Vespasian and was finished by his son - Titus. The Flavian Amphitheatre witnessed both the glory and the fall of Rome. For hundreds of years it was the place, where gladiators fought to the satisfaction of bloodthirsty spectators, then it was the source of stone for rebuilding ruined Rome. In the middle ages it was a strongold of the Italian Frangipani house and then it was left to itself until 18th century, when the pope Benedict XIV made this site sacred and held Stations of the Cross in its underground. This custom lasted to our times. In its greatest days, the Coliseum was the monument of Romes' power. But even now it makes the Romans proud.

    The Imperial Fora

    Going down the Via San Giov In Laterano we can enter the well-known Via Fori Imperiali, which leads us to the place, where Caesars celebrated their victories and imporant political events buling smaller forums on the huge square of the Imperial Fora to revere their gods and to make their deeds remembered. Trajan Forum is one of the most famous - Trajan wanted to celebrate his war victory by building a forum, which would be the biggest and the richest one. It was built by Apollodorow di Damasco. The new Forum became the most admirable place in the city. There were two libraries on it and a pillar dedicated to Trajan and a basilica and a temple and a statue of Trajan on his horse and a triumphal arch. Passing by the Trajan Forum we will see Julius Ceasar Forum and August Forum and Nerva Forum, which are in a pretty good shape.

    The Capitoline Hill

    Just next to the Imperial Fora, on the left side of the square there's one of the most beautiful antiquities of the ancient times - the Capitoline Hill. There were many legends about the Capitoline hill in the past. They were about its great splendour. The Capitoline at its best was a fort, where some public building were built after some time. That's where the most important Roman temple with golden doors was built - the temple of Jupiter and Juno and Minerva. It was rebuilt in the 16th and 17th century, when people wanted to build an edifice for the secular government. Its project was made by Michelangelo. Climbing the stairs designed by Michelangelo we slowly reach the top of the hill. Opposite the entrance there is a great view on the Capitol Square with the famous statue of Marcus Aurelius. The emperor - philosopher is here to greet us, tourists. He rules the Capitol and Forum - he's the right representative of ceasars. The statue stood for a long time on the balcony of the Vera's, Aurelius's ancestor, house, from where it was transported in 1538 by Michelangelo. The statue was golden and people believed that the world would end, when the horse would become golden again. In the depth of the square and on the left a Tabularium Senator's Palace was built on ancient ruins with a fountain in the middle. The fountain is decorated with three statues - Triumphant Rome with Tiber and Nile on both sides. The palace was the official receiver's house. During the Constantin's revolt on the top of the Capitol, in its middle, there was a cross, which meant that Ceasar is now a Christian. Then the cross was put on the clock tower built in 1579 by Martin Longhi, which is in front of us, and it was at that place until the second half of 18th century. It was returned to its place on 4th November 1924. Tabularium, on which the Senator's Palace was built, was built by Lutacius Catulus in 78 AD. From the Tabulatorium we can see a beautiful panorama of the most famous and wonderful place in ancient Rome: marvellous temples and triumphant arches and statues of many kinds. The Capitol Hill is not only beautiful architecture of buildings. We can also admire building's interior, the biggest and greatest ancient monuments all in one place. The Building we're inside now is the Capitol Museum, where there's a giant collection of ancient marble. For example, there is the well-known statue Marforia and the statue of Dying Fallusa and the famous couple Amor and Psyche and a copy of resting Satyra and many other images of famous people like Claudius Marcellus or Homer or Socrates.

    Going further we arrive to the Conserver's Palace and Pinacoteca Capitolina. The palace is full of artistic treasures. Among them there are: Quaspin's statue from the prefidaic era and it is in best shape of all pieces of arts from that times, the She-wolf, which is a symbol of the Eternal City. However the Pinacoteca Capitolina stores smaller artworks: ROMOLUS AND REMUS by Rubens, and Cleopatra and August by Guercin.

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    The Roman Forum

    (66kB) Ruins of Roman Forum nowadays.

    Ruins of Roman Forum nowadays

    On the right side of the Capitoline Hill lies the oldest part of Rome. We enter it to see the sights in the part of Eternal City, which made most of the Romans proud during the best times of the Empire - The Roman Forum. The Roman Forum is a complex of ancient monuments, which are between the Catpitoline Hill and Fori Imperiali and the Coliseum and the Palatino Hill. The Roman Forum was a square, where all political and social events took place in the times of Roman Republic. When Ceasars ruled the Forum was expanded; the temples of Divine Julis and Venus and Vespasian and Antonin and Faustine and the triumphant arch of August were built. In the middle ages the Forum Romanum was destroyed. The excavations began in 1803 and from 1898 they were carried out systematically. Nowadays, Forum Romanum doesn't look as magnificent as in the times of the Empire. It has retained only scraps of its past glory. But we can still admire its ruins.

    The Palatino Hill

    And now we our approaching to the final stage of our trip, a place west from the Forum lying in the old part of Rome - The Palatino Hill, which was the first nucleus of city life in Rome. From this hill we can admire the panorama, in which we can find places, which played an important part in the history of Rome and which we have visited today. In the times of Roman republic patrician families lived on it. When August ruled, the residence on which was the first nucleus of city life in Rome was renamed as the Imperial Residence. Later, palaces of Titus and Caligula and Flaviuses and Septimius Severus were built there. The Palatino Hill was the cradle of Rome. Here, according to the legend, Romolus established the borders of the city. The hill was the abode of Ceasars and no one until Septimius Severus left it. Only Nero tried to build his Domus Aurea elsewhere, but it was never finished and no one ever lived in it. The Palatino Hill is the only place, where Ceasars lived. The Capitoline Hill and Imperial Fora and the Coliseum and The Roman Forum and the Palatino Hill - today, the cradle of ancient Rome, thanks to excavation works can be admired again and attract attention with ruins, which turn our imagination on. From these places magnificent views spread on the panorama of the Eternal City.

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     2014-10-05


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