Temple of Romulus in the Roman Forum

Located in the archaeological area of the Roman Forum, the Temple of Romulus stands between the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. Despite the name, we know for sure that the temple was not named after the legendary founder and first king of Rome, Romulus. There’s actually an ongoing debated among historians and archaeologists around the origin of the temple and who it was dedicated to.

Facade of the Temple of Romulus in the Roman Forum
Credits: image by @Roma_Wonder
Location: in the Roman Forum
Tickets: Free to visit from Via Dei Fori Imperiali / Tickets needed from the Roman Forum
Accessibility: Partially Accessible
Kid-friendly Attraction

Who was the temple dedicated to?

According to some sources, the Temple of Romulus was dedicated by the Emperor Maxentius to his son, Valerio Romolo, who died prematurely in 309 at the age of 4. More recent studies however have contradicted this view, stating that the Temple of Romulus is probably a temple of the Penates of Rome, or a temple dedicated to Jupiter, founded by Romulus himself on the ground where the Romans fought against the Sabines.

Structure of the temple of Romulus

Characterized by a peculiar circular shape and a concrete dome, the Temple of Romolus is entirely made by bricks. The round hall is flanked by two symmetrical apsidal halls, while the four little niches on the outside probably hosted decorative statues.

The entrance door is graced by two porphyry columns, a marble that in ancient times was considered as precious as gold, and that today is almost completely extinct. As for the bronze, green door, this is still the original one with a still perfectly functioning lock.