Ancient Rome

On the Roman Forum, the Curia was the meeting place of the Roman Senate. According to tradition, it was originally built by Tullo Ostilio, the third of Rome's seven kings, and later rebuilt by Silla around 80 BC. Julius Caesar moved it to its current location where it was subsequently modified by Augustus, Domitian and Diocletian, before being converted into a church in the Middle Ages. The brick barn-like construction you see today is a 1937 reconstruction of Diocletian's building.

The bronze doors are copies – the originals were used by Borromini for the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ancient Rome attractions

1. Lapis Niger

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Hidden by scaffolding on the Roman Forum, the Lapis Niger ('Black Stone' in Latin) is a large slab of black marble that covered an underground area said…

2. Arco di Settimio Severo

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Dedicated to the eponymous emperor and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, the 23m-high Arco di Settimio Severo was built in the Roman Forum in AD 203 to…

3. Piazza del Foro

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This was originally the main square and meeting place on the Roman Forum. Its main feature is the free-standing Colonna di Foca.

4. Colonna di Foca

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The Colonna di Foca marks the centre of Piazza del Foro, the Roman Forum's principal square. The last monument erected on the forum, it was built in…

5. Rostri

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An elaborate podium overlooking what was the main square on the Roman Forum, this is where Shakespeare had Mark Antony make his famous 'Friends, Romans,…

6. Carcere Mamertino

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Hidden beneath the 16th-century Chiesa di San Giuseppe dei Falegnami, the Mamertine Prison was ancient Rome's maximum-security jail. St Peter did time…

7. Basilica Fulvia Aemilia

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A series of column stubs and littered masonry near the entrance to the Roman Forum on Largo della Salara Vecchia are all that remain of the Basilica…

8. Via Sacra

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The cobbled Via Sacra, the main road through the Roman Forum, traverses the site, running from the Capitoline Hill to the Arco di Tito at the forum's…