In terms of sheer splendour, it’s hard to find more impressive historic buildings than surviving Roman Temples.
Standing in some cases for as much as two thousand years, the best preserved Roman temples remain much as they would have been at the height of Ancient Rome – so unlike many other Roman sites, little imagination is required and you can truly feel as though you are walking in the footsteps of the Romans.
Unlike most religious places today, the Romans didn’t actually worship in their temples, but used them as the centre for outdoor gatherings and grand processions. However, this didn’t mean the buildings were diminished in value, quite the contrary, for the Romans spent fortunes building these magnificent structures and lavished them with ornate decorations and gifts. From wealthy private citizens to victorious generals and the Emperors themselves, building a temple to the gods was seen as a righteous duty and a symbol of status, wealth and power.
Check out our list of Roman Temples below and discover some amazing places to visit on your travels.
Home to the largest Roman temple ever built, Baalbek contains not just the remains of the Temple of Jupiter but also the far better preserved and simply magnificent Temple of Bacchus. Probably the most impressive entry on our list of Roman temples.
Baalbek is a hugely impressive Roman site in Lebanon which is home to the largest Roman temple ever built, as well as a range of other magnificent ancient structures. Initially a Phoenician settlement dedicated to the worship of the deity of the sun, Baal, the city was known as Heliopolis (City... Read More
One of the best preserved Roman temples in the world, the Maison Carree in Nimes largely survived due to its conversion to a church in the fourth century. Simply stunning, it is as close as you’d ever get to the temples which the Romans would have used.
La Maison Carrée, or Square House, in Nîmes is a staggeringly well preserved Roman temple, and one of the best-preserved examples of a Roman building anywhere in the world – for fans of Ancient Rome, La Maison Carrée is simply a must-see site. Originally built in 16BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa... Read More
The most famous Roman temple in the world and one of the very best preserved, the Pantheon in Rome was built during the reign of Hadrian in 125AD. Its vast concrete dome is a monumental engineering feat and remained the largest dome in the world until the 15th century. A must-visit site for those seeking Roman history.
The Pantheon in Rome is one of the most famous and well-preserved ancient buildings in the world. Originally built by Marcus Agrippa in 25BC, the Pantheon served as a temple to the many gods of Rome. The original Pantheon was destroyed by the great fire of 80AD and the structure which... Read More
Though dedicated to the eastern deity of Bel, the temple at Palmyra is very much Roman in its architecture and style. This amazing site is one of the very best surviving Roman temples.
Along with many other historical sites in the region, the ancient site of Palmyra is reported to have been heavily damaged in the current conflicts. This page remains as it was originally created in 2011 and will stand as a live-archived article until it is again possible to assess the... Read More
One of the best surviving examples of a Roman temple anywhere in the world, the Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne, France, is an extremely well-preserved ancient site and definitely one to see.
The Temple of Augustus and Livia (Temple d'Auguste et de Livie) is a very well preserved Roman temple in Vienne. Whilst probably first built sometime between 20BC and 10BC, several aspects of the Temple of Augustus and Livia date to the first century AD. Yet, the main reason for... Read More
Though in fact a reconstruction built from the original remains, the Garni Temple in Armenia is a beautiful site in a picturesque mountain setting and is definitely worth the effort to visit.
The Garni Temple is an impressive looking Greco-Roman temple complex probably built in the 1st century AD by King Tiridates I of Armenia with the support of the Roman Emperor Nero. Likely dedicated to the ancient deity Mithras, today the Garni Temple lies about 30km to the East of Yerevan and... Read More
The Temples of the Forum Boarium in Rome date back to the second century BC and are considered to be the best-preserved temples of the Republican era. Comprised of two temples, the Temple of Hercules Victor and the Temple of Portunus, they are fascinating to explore.
The Temples of the Forum Boarium are two of the best preserved Roman temples to have survived from the Republican era. Comprised of two temples, the Temple of Hercules Victor and the Temple of Portunus, the Temples of the Forum Boarium date back to approximately the second century BC. The Temple of... Read More
An extremely good example of a Roman temple can be found in Djemila, Algeria, with the Temple of Venus Genetrix. This unrestored ruin still has its original walls and columns intact and offers a rare glimpse into the original Roman architecture.
Djemila in Algeria is an archaeological site housing the ruins of a UNESCO-inscribed Ancient Roman settlement. Founded under the name Cuicil, it is thought that Djemila was first established between 96 and 98 AD under the Emperor Nerva and occupied until the fifth or sixth century. Constructed amidst mountainous terrain, Djemila... Read More
Visually among the most impressive Roman temples in the world, the forum temples at Sbeitla in Tunisia are reasonably well preserved and sit lined-up one alongside the next, making for a picture perfect ancient site.
Sbeitla in Tunisia was once a flourishing ancient city, the spectacular remains of which are among the best Roman ruins in the world. This startling site, also at times known as Sufetula, thrived as a Roman settlement from the 1st century AD before becoming a Christian centre, a Byzantine city and... Read More
A lesser known entry on our Roman temples list, the great Temple of Zeus at Aizanoi is a very good example of Roman temple architecture and much remains of the original second century AD structure.
Aizanoi is a Turkish archaeological site housing mostly Roman remains from this ancient city’s peak in the second and third centuries AD. Amongst its ruins, Aizanoi has five ancient and still used bridges, two Turkish-style baths, column-lined promenades, a stadium, a gymnasium, a theatre and its great Temple of Zeus.... Read More
The Area Sacra di Largo Argentina in Rome contains the ruins of four Republican-era ancient Roman temples.
Area Sacra di Largo Argentina is a small, but fascinating archaeological site in Rome. In the course of building works carried out in the 1920’s, four Roman Republican-era temples were found in the square of Largo di Torre Argentina. The remains of the four temples of Area Sacra di Largo Argentina,... Read More
The Atrium Vestae in the Roman Forum, also known as the 'House of the Vestal Virgins', was a Roman palace which originally formed part of the Temple of Vesta and served as the home of the priestesses. Today, as with much of the Forum, little remains except for a few statues displayed in the courtyard.
The Atrium Vestae or 'House of the Vestal Virgins' in the Roman Forum was a fifty-room palace in Ancient Rome. Originally part of the Temple of Vesta, the Atrium Vestae served as the home of the priestesses of the g-dess of the hearth, Vesta. These holy women were known as... Read More
A lesser known example for our list of Roman temples, the Basilica of Sant Angelo is an 11th century church partially made up of the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to Diana Tifatina.
The Basilica of Sant Angelo in Formis is an eleventh century Benedictine church constructed on the former site of a Roman temple dedicated to Diana Tifatina. In fact, the remains of this Roman temple are incorporated into the Basilica of Sant Angelo in Formis, including its Doric columns and floor,... Read More
Cumae Archaeological Park in Pozzuoli houses a series of ancient ruins among which can be found the temples of Jupiter and Apollo
Cumae Archaeological Park in Pozzuoli houses a series of ancient ruins and artefacts and is thought to have been inhabited as far back as the Iron Age. Cumae itself was a settlement established by Greek colonists in the eighth century BC. Sacked by the Oscans in the fifth century BC and... Read More
The remains of Diocletian’s Palace are intricately interwoven with the modern city of Split, which grew up around it. Among the best of the original Roman remains is the amazing Temple of Jupiter, which still retains much of its original grandeur.
Diocletian’s Palace in Croatia is remarkable in that this Ancient Roman emperor’s home evolved over the years to become an entire town, known as Split. Diocletian was a Dalmatian-born soldier who reigned as emperor from November 248 AD to May 305 AD. He is considered a great reformer, having restructured the... Read More
Dougga boasts a series of impressive Roman ruins including the impressive Temple of Jupiter and the temples of Juno Caelestis and Saturn.
Dougga (Thugga) in Tunisia is the location of the extremely well-preserved ruins of an ancient site inhabited by a series of cultures, notably the Numidians, the Punics, the ancient Greeks and the Romans. Dougga boasts a series of impressive ruins amidst its seventy hectares, including a 3,500-seater theatre, an amphitheatre, temples... Read More
Once known for the famous Greek Temple of Artemis, it is in fact the second century AD Roman Temple of Hadrian which has survived the centuries better.
Ephesus or "Efes" was a vibrant classical city, now bordering modern day Selçuk in Turkey and representing some of the best preserved Greek and Roman ruins in the Mediterranean. Thought to have been founded in the 10th century BC by an Athenian prince named Androklos, Ephesus grew into a thriving city... Read More
Though not the best example of a Roman temple to have survived, the Temple of Artemis at Jerash still contains much of its existing structure, including several standing columns.
Jerash or Jarash, is one of the world’s best preserved ancient Roman sites. Once known as Gerasa, Jerash is believed to have been inhabited since the Neolithic Era. However, it is the impressive Roman city built in Jerash which has left its greatest mark on the area, becoming Jordan’s second... Read More
Rome’s ancient port city contains a wealth of remains, among which is the second century AD Capitolium - dedicated to Minerva, Jupiter and Juno - as well as the Round Temple.
Ostia Antica is an extraordinary Roman site that contains the ruins of the ancient port town that served as the gateway to Rome. Just half an hour from central Rome by train, Ostia Antica has all the inspiration of Pompeii without the throngs of tourists. In fact, if you want to... Read More
Standing on the acropolis of this Greek and Roman city, the Roman Temple of Trajan at Pergamum, which was built around the second century AD. Quite a bit of this structure remains including several standing columns.
Pergamum, which is also spelt Pergamon, is a famous archaeological site in Turkey which developed under the Attalid dynasty following the death of Alexander the Great. When Alexander died, one of his generals, Lysimachus, took control of the region. When Lysimachus died in 281BC, Pergamum and the surrounding area fell... Read More
Another example of an extremely well preserved Roman temple is that of Antoninus and Faustina. Constructed in 141 AD it was dedicated to the deified emperor and his wife. Later incorporated into a church, it is one of the best preserved structures in the Roman Forum.
Initially constructed in 141 AD, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina was built by Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius in honour of his wife, Faustina. It is one of the best preserved structures in the Roman Forum. Faustina was deified following her death and the temple – then just the Temple... Read More
The Temple of Augustus is a 1st century AD ancient Roman temple ruin hidden in Barcelona’s back streets. Little remains of this once-important site apart from four main columns, hidden away within a medieval courtyard.
The Temple of Augustus is a poorly preserved first century AD Roman ruin hidden in Barcelona’s back streets. Built in honour of the Emperor Augustus in the first century AD, all that remains of this temple are four main columns, hidden away within the medieval quarter in the courtyard of the... Read More
The Temple of Caesar was an ancient temple built in honour of Julius Caesar. Once among the most famous Roman temples, today little remains except for its altar, which can be seen within the Roman Forum.
The Temple of Caesar (Tempio del Divo Giuli), the remains of which can be seen in the Roman Forum, was dedicated to the Roman Dictator Julius Caesar (100BC - 44BC). Caesar, who was murdered by the senators Cassius, Brutus and their supporters on 15 March 44BC, was cremated. Following his death,... Read More
One of the oldest temples in Rome, the Temple of Castor and Pollux was first constructed in the fifth century BC and was said to celebrate the Roman victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus. A few remains of the second incarnation of this temple, rebuilt by Emperor Tiberius, can still be seen in the Forum.
The Temple of Castor and Pollux (Templum Castoris) was an ancient Roman temple in Rome’s Forum. First constructed in the fifth century BC, the Temple of Castor and Pollux was then rebuilt in the early first century AD. The Temple of Castor and Pollux was dedicated to Helen of Troy’s twin... Read More
A Roman temple located in Rome’s Forum, the Temple of Concord was dedicated to Concordia, the goddess of harmony, and at times was used to hold meetings of the senate. Today little of this temple remains.
The Temple of Concord (Tempio della Concordia) was an ancient Roman temple dedicated to Concordia, the godess of harmony. It is unclear when the Temple of Concord was first constructed. Roman statesman Marcus Furius Camillus vowed to build it in 367 BC, although there is little evidence as to whether he... Read More
An extremely good example of Roman temple architecture, the Temple of Diana in the Spanish city of Merida is very well preserved and a great ancient site to visit.
The Temple of Diana (Templo de Diana) in Merida was a sacred site constructed by the Romans in the early first century AD, after the conquest of the area by the Emperor Augustus. Roman Merida, known as Emerita Augusta, became an important centre of Roman power in the region. Originally formed... Read More
The Temple of Diana in Nimes is a Roman site whose ultimate purpose remains a mystery. Yet, whatever its original function, this stunning site boasts well-preserved vaulted ceilings, grand archways and enticing passageways.
The Temple of Diana (Temple de Diane) is a Roman site in Nimes whose ultimate purpose remains a mystery, as does the origin of its name. Believed by some to have been originally built sometime during the reign of Augustus - others say in the 2nd century - it has... Read More
Though originally a Greek temple, the construction of the Temple of Olympian Zeus took so long it was in fact the Roman Emperor Hadrian who completed it. Little remains apart from a handful of – albeit impressive - surviving columns.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympeion is one of the biggest - if not actually the biggest - ancient temples in Greece. Vast and impressive, the Temple of Olympian Zeus was begun by Peisistratus the Young in the sixth century BC but various events and circumstances meant... Read More
The Temple of Saturn in the Roman forum was once one of the most important temples of Ancient Rome and contained the Empire’s treasury. Largely destroyed in the fifteenth century, all that remains are a handful of its Ionic columns.
The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum was a sacred ancient Roman temple dedicated to Saturn, the god of seed-sowing. One of the oldest of the Roman Forum structures, the Temple of Saturn was originally built sometime between 501 BC and 497 BC and reconstructed in the fourth century BC.... Read More
The Temple of Venus and Rome, part of the Roman Forum, was built by the Emperors Hadrian and Maxentius. Though recently restored and a few original walls still stand, it’s hard to get an idea of the true majesty of this ancient sanctuary, thought to have been the largest in Rome.
The Temple of Venus and Rome, known in Latin as Templum Veneris et Romae, in the Roman Forum was built in approximately 135 AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Hadrian himself is thought to have heavily influenced the design of this temple, although it was later renovated... Read More
The Iseum is a second century AD Roman temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis.
The Iseum, also known as the Isis Szentély Romkertje, in Szombathely is a restored 2nd century AD Roman temple site dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis. Excavated since the 1950’s, the ruins of the two temples of the Iseum can be seen today and part of the site has been... Read More
Dedicated to the goddess of the hearth, the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum was an Ancient Roman shrine. However, little has survived of the original structure.
The Temple of Vesta was an ancient Roman shrine dedicated to the goddess of the hearth, the remains of which are found in the southeast of the Roman Forum. Serving as the temple of the Vestal Virgins, the priestesses dedicated to Vesta, the Temple of Vesta housed an eternal flame... Read More
This once-thriving Roman town in Morocco contains some interesting sites and includes the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter. However, aside from a few standing columns, little remains intact.
Volubilis in Morocco is a UNESCO-listed ancient Roman site housing extensive ruins dating back to the first century BC. Already a thriving town, the Romans developed Volubilis from approximately 25 BC, during the reign of Juba II, a Berber prince appointed as the ruler of the region by the Emperor Augustus.... Read More