Tempio dei Dioscuri (Temple of Castor and Pollux), Rome

Tempio dei Dioscuri (Temple of Castor and Pollux), Rome

The Temple of Castor and Pollux, also known as the Temple of the Dioscuri was dedicated to the twin brothers Castor and Pollux, who were regarded as the patrons of horsemanship, boxing, and military prowess. The temple's construction dates back to the 5th century BCE, and it stands as a remarkable testament to the architectural achievements of ancient Rome.

The temple's origins are rooted in Roman mythology. According to legend, during the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BCE, Castor and Pollux appeared on horseback to aid the Roman army. After the victory, the temple was built in their honor as a symbol of gratitude and to commemorate their divine intervention.

The Temple of Castor and Pollux underwent several phases of construction and renovation over the centuries. The initial temple was built by the Roman statesman Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis in 484 BCE. However, it was destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt in 117 BCE during the reign of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus.

The temple's design followed the classic Roman architectural style. It featured a hexastyle (six-column) Corinthian façade, with each column standing on a high podium. The podium itself had a marble staircase leading up to the entrance, which faced the Forum Romanum.

The interior of the temple consisted of a single cella, or inner chamber, which housed statues of Castor and Pollux. These bronze statues were originally commissioned by the famous sculptor Praxiteles and were highly revered by the Romans. Unfortunately, the original statues have not survived, and the ones seen today are replicas.

Despite the temple's historical and architectural significance, only a few remains of the original structure have survived. The three surviving columns, which were once part of the façade, stand as impressive remnants that provide a glimpse into the temple's former grandeur. These columns were restored in the 19th century, giving visitors today an idea of the temple's original appearance.

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Tempio dei Dioscuri (Temple of Castor and Pollux) on Map

Sight Name: Tempio dei Dioscuri (Temple of Castor and Pollux)
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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