For around 1,500 years, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum located beneath the Hill were the very centre of Rome, and the very centre of one of the most powerful empires of ancient times (>>>). If you look from the Palatine Hill, you will see the famous Roman Colosseum located at the right hand side of the Roman Forum.
Looking from the Palatine hill you can also see remains of other Roman fora, besides the Roman Forum (Forum of Trajan – with some buildings still well preserved, Forum of Augustus and Forum of Nerva). They are however cut by one of the main modern Roman streets Via dei Fori Imperiali, constructed by the order of Benito Mussolini in the first half of the XX century.
The Palatine Hill was the place of living for the emperor and some other aristocratic families (referred to as patrician families). The Roman Forum was the centre of Roman government and administration.
The ruins of the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum are today a ring fenced tourist attraction. You cannot say, that the buildings are well preserved. In fact they are not. Only some are. So on spot, it is difficult to imagine the greatness of this place. But still, it is worth while to at least once visit this place – just to take a walk through the very center of the ancient Europe. There are a couple of entrances to the place. Starting at the Colosseum (standing back to the Via dei Fori Imperiali with the Colosseum to your left) you can either turn right directly to the Roman Forum, or you can go straight alongside the fence till you reach a gate to the Palatine Hill. You will have to climb a bit to reach the ruins of its palaces. Crossing the hill you will finally get to its edge, which is in fact a terrace from which you can take a look at the whole Roman Forum. Later you can take stairs down, till you get down to the Forum. The whole route will take you 2-3 hours of slow walk.
Below some photo impressions.
The ruins of the Flavian Palace, with its own stadium (referred to as the Palatine stadium) that in fact was a hippodrome, where horses were exercised. It is probably the best preserved spot on the Palatine Hill.
The Palatine Hill seen from the Roman Forum.
The Roman Forum, inside or seen from above.
Travelling Europe and North Africa, from time to time we can see some more or less preserved ruins of a Roman city or single Roman buildings. I had a chance of visiting at least three other places with ruins of a Roman city: the ancient Pompeii (Italy), quite well preserved as it was covered with the volcanic dust, a couple of smaller ruin complexes in the Southern part of Cyprus, as well as the very impressive ruins of the ancient Leptis Magna and Sabratha in Northern Africa (at present in Libya), preserved by the desert sands. (I do sincerely hope, that the wars and turmoil currently taking place in that region did not touched the latter.) With the development of information technologies it is however possible to reflect the greatness of the ancient architecture and ancient cities. I remember seeing the first time the IT simulations of the Roman Forum in the Gladiator movie. It was just impressive. Maybe in future it will be possible to walk inside a 3D simulation.
Still of Roman Forum.
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