roman temples

there are people who are rays of sunshine, cherry blossoms, vanilla candles and the colors of dusk.

there are people who are marble floors, roman temples, black ink and the smell of the earth after rain.

there are people who are star-gazing, holding your breath, little smiles, subtle touches and soft fabric.

who are you?

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The Valencia Cathedral we see nowadays was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, with additions and paintings from the Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical periods.

The Catholic cathedral was built on top of a mosque, which had been built on top of a Visigoth church, which had been built on top of a Roman temple.

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Temple of Zeus

Aizanoi, Turkey

2nd century CE

35 m × 53 m

The construction of the temple, which was the main religious sanctuary of the city, started in the last half of the 2nd century AD. The preserved inscriptions indicate that emperor Hadrian was responsible for its commission.

The temple stands on a many-stepped podium and was built of marble. It is surrounded by a peristasis in a pseudodipteral arrangement, originally with 15 Ionic columns on its long side and 8 on the short side. The podiom itself measures 33 X 37 meters. Nowadays, only the columns on the western and northern side are still standing.

The temple was dedicated to two deities. Zeus - the ruler of the Olympians - was worshipped in its aboveground section, and the underground part of the building was the place of Cybele cult. Stylistically, the part dedicated to Zeus was built in accordance with the Greek patterns and the underground section - with the Roman ones as the barrel vaults are clearly visible.

The battle scenes depicted on the walls of the building come from much later period. They were made by the Tatars and illustrate their lives and battles fought in the 13th century AD. Nearby the entrance to the temple grounds there is an enclosed area where some interesting fragments of temple decorations are collected. Opposite the temple there are the remains of a small bouleuterion, but its history remains unknown.

Temple of Bacchus in Baalbek in Lebanon. It is considered one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world. It is larger than the Parthenon in Greece, though much less famous.

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The Sanctuary of Isis in the Ancient Greek city of Dion which is located at the foot of Mount Olympus. A place of magic and wonderful vibes where nature and human intervention were meant to become one.

Photos: Vera Bousiou

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Capitoline of Sbeitla

Sbeitla, Tunisia

2nd century CE

70 m. X 67 m.


From left to right: Temple of Minerva is in the best condition, while the Temple of Jupiter next to it has almost all of its walls still standing. The Temple of Juno has fared worse, but there is plenty to help you imagine what it must have looked in pristine condition.
To the south of the forum is the Arch of Antionius Pius.


The southernmost of the three temples was dedicated to Minerva, which was the daughter of the two gods revered in the other two temples. She was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts and inventor of music.
Her temple appears as the most impressive of the three from the outside, and even the interior is in excellent condition.

The Temple of Jupiter stands in the middle, being the temple of the most important of all gods in the Roman pantheon. It is the largest temple, and deduced from its present, excellent condition, it was the object of first-class engineering.
It is noteworthy that the temple has no entrance by itself, it was entered by bridges across arches from either of the other two temples. 


The Temple of Juno is by far the least impressive of the three making up the Capitol. It is also the most ruined one.
Juno was the Queen of the gods, the wife of Jupiter and the mother of Minerva. The niche in the middle had a statue of the goddess, which has never been found.