Tempio di Vesta (Temple of Vesta), Rome

Tempio di Vesta (Temple of Vesta), Rome

The Temple of Vesta is an ancient structureю. Situated in the Roman Forum near the Regia and the House of the Vestal Virgins, the temple served as a sacred sanctuary for the goddess Vesta. At the heart of the temple resided Vesta's holy fire, which symbolized the safety and prosperity of Rome.

The Temple of Vesta possesses a circular footprint, perhaps inspired by the architectural style of early Roman homes, as the worship of Vesta initially took place in private residences. The current ruined state of the temple showcases elements of Greek architecture, including Corinthian columns and marble. Within the temple, the sacred hearth was situated in a central chamber known as the cella. The surviving remnants indicate the presence of twenty Corinthian columns, constructed on a podium with a diameter of fifteen meters. The roof likely featured a vent at its apex to allow smoke to escape.

The origins of the Temple of Vesta can be traced back to Numa Pompilius, Rome's second king. Numa Pompilius also oversaw the construction of the original Regia, which served as the king's house, and the House of the Vestal Virgins. Additionally, he established the priestly order of Vestal Virgins. Initially, there were only two Vestals, but by the end of the Roman Republic, the number had increased to six.

Vesta was revered as the goddess of Rome's hearths, and the Romans believed that the perpetuity of her sacred fire was intricately tied to the well-being of the city. The extinguishing of the flame was seen as an omen of imminent disaster for Rome.

While commonly referred to as a temple in modern times, the Temple of Vesta was not determined to be such through the traditional Roman practice of augury. Consequently, it was recognized as a shrine rather than a temple.

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Tempio di Vesta (Temple of Vesta) on Map

Sight Name: Tempio di Vesta (Temple of Vesta)
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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Palatine Hill Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

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