Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Tadmur or Palmyra sprawls gorgeously over a 120 acre land. The whole site is dotted with numerous temples and sculptures. Its also famous for its grand colonnade that was built by the ancient Romans. Palmyra has been a cradle which has seen many civilizations grow and flourish. Among the best preserved buildings here are the Temple of Bel and a beautifully constructed arch. Most tourists flock here to see the ancient Roman colonnade that is still intact, but of course with its Corinthian columns missing. Originally there were 1500 of them.
Julius Caesar started with the construction of Curia Julia in 44 BC but couldn’t live to see it as he was assassinated. The construction was then taken over by Augustus Caesar who got the monument finished in 29 BC. Curia Julia was the third senate house of ancient Rome and has seen many restoration projects from time to time. However, visitors today can only see and enjoy the work done by Emperor Diocletian who took upon the charge to reconstruct the building from 284-305 BC. But, the building is not preserved in whole. Only remnants of this gorgeous building remain today.
In the city of Arles is located the magnificent Roman Arena that is still standing intact though it was built many centuries ago in 1st century BC. The arena appears majestic and can comfortably seat almost 20,000 spectators at one given time. This is quite like a modern day stadium that the Romans used for watching bloody bull fights. It is a very popular tourist site visited in large numbers. Visitors come here to enjoy viewing its oval arena that’s surrounded by arcades, galleries and terraces. In all there are 120 arches and the facade was inspired by the grand Colosseum in Rome. There is also a drainage system as well as staircases for the crowd to exit easily. The arena apart from hosting bull fights was also the venue for hosting gladiator fights and hunting scenes.
Roman buildings have a unique elegance and class that sets them apart from other structures. When we talk about such Roman structures that are still intact, Pompeii has to find mention for it houses the ruins in the best possible state. It happened on 24th August, 79 AD that the volcanic mountain Vesuvius erupted, sending streams of lava, soil and ash to the city of Pompeii, killing all the inhabitants. On that fateful day, most of the buildings and people got engraved in ash permanently and have been in this condition ever since. One can see the preserved paintings, houses, galleries here.
Baalbek is most famous for its ancient Roman temples dedicated to gods Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus. Baalbek is also called Heliopolis and attracts large chunk of travelers every year that flock to this Lebanese city for experiencing the beauty of these ancient Roman temples. The Romans built three temples, starting from 1st century BC till 3rd century BC. Of the three temples, the Temple of Jupiter is the largest and features granite columns, totaling to 6. Each of these columns is 70 feet tall. These gigantic columns are the remnants of the 54 that were originally built. Out of the three temples, the Temple of Bacchus is still intact and looks spectacular.
The above listed Roman buildings are all magnificent structures that are reminiscent of the bygone mighty Roman empire that contributed immensely to architecture. Some of their old glory might have been lost, but one can still feast their eyes on the ruins that are standing erect even today.