ROME — After 26 years of restoration work, the Temple of Venus in the Roman Forum is set to reopen tomorrow. A monumental temple will be returned to the city of Rome.

The space between the Basilica of Maxentius and the Valley of the Colosseum is taken up with the remains of the great temple of the two goddesses Venus and Roma. This was built according to the wishes of the Emperor Hadrian on the entrance hall of the Domus Aurea, Nero’s Golden House.

The whole project was conceived by the Emperor on the model of Greek temples and it emphasizes how greatly he was inspired by the Greeks in creating his own image as sovereign ruler. The temple was constructed with a separate “cella” for each goddess. The revival of the worship of Venus, the mother of Aeneas and of the Julian family, and the inauguration of the cult of the goddess Roma Eterna were fundamental aspects of Hadrian’s political and religious policies. Hadrian’s power was founded on the worship of Rome and of the Emperor himself.

In the past the abandonment of the building and the subsequent looting of the facilities beginning in the VII century, when Emperor Heraclius grants to Pope Honorius (625-638) tiles on the roof of the brass to use them to St. Peter. Today it’s possible visit the Temple of Venus again.

About The Author

Blast correspondent Luna Moltedo is an Italian art expert and journalist based in Rome

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