RELIGIOUS ROMAN ARCHITECTURE
 
Uniformity imposed by Roman Empire to every field of common life can also be seen in religious architecture. It created a characteristic way of building, specially for god's Temples -they had its own style- rather than tombs -having every human being his own faith and religion-. Indeed, temples were open just for priests. They were a home for gods in every city. Priars were said outside the temples. Therefore we can point out both kind of constructions as a representation and legacy of religious Rome in Hispania: temples and tombs.
 
Templo rectangular
Rectangular temple
Templo circular
Circular temple
  • Temples.
     
    They can be seen as an evolution of Etrurian Temple: they were built on the top of a podium, with a frontal access through a staircase that communicates it to a portico in antis with columns that are spread all over the perimeter -peripter- or endosed to the wall -pseudoperipter- . The cella -inner nave- is usually rectangular with an altar with the shape of a niche for the god, inner wooden cover and exterior gabled roof.
     
    Piezas del Templo de Marte
    Pieces of Mars Temple in
    Little Furnace of Saint Eulalia
    Sometimes they got a circular plan as Rome's Pantheon, but temples in Hispania are smaller, with a conical cover or dome and a central opening for the exit of smokes from sacred fires, similar to those of Temple of Vesta at Rome.
     
    Temples are numerous out of Hispania, as the already named Pantheon, the masterwork of Roman architecture and one of the most important of universal art.
     
    In Hispania many temples exist in a different state of preservation. Most of them dissappeared because of the action of later civilizations. An instance: in Zaragoza -the Roman Caesaraugusta- the remainings of a great temple have been found down the foundations of the Cathedral of the Seo: it could be the biggest Roman temple in Peninsula.
     
Ruins from outstanding temples remain today:
  • Temple of Diana at Merida (Emerita-Augusta), Badajoz.BASIC INFORMATION
     
  • Temple of Mars in Merida (Emerita-Augusta), Badajoz. Only some pieces remain from the old Temple of Mars because they were moved at 7th century and used for building a chapell called "Little Furnace of Saint Eulalia". On its actual lintel -probably the old architrave- is written the following text "MARTI SACRVM-VETTILA PACULI" -Devoted to Mars/Paculo's Vetila-.
     
    Antigua y nueva ubicación de los restos
    Old and new location of the remainings
  • Temple of La Cilla, at old Talavera la Vieja (Augustobriga), Caceres. Ruins remaining are moved, because the original place for them is now covered by the waters of Valdecanas swamp. It is a common mistake believing that the remains usually called "the marbles" are those of the Temple. "The marbles" belong to the portico of a Roman curial palace -for justice- and are the only remainings of this kind in the whole world.
     
    The authentic one is called the Temple of Cilla because it was used as a granary from 16th century -cilla means granary- using its perimetral columns as pillars for it. There only remains a part of them. They have been located on a place close to it.
     
  • Temple of Claudius Marcelus in Cordoba (Corduba). BASIC INFORMATION
     
    Capiteles del Templo de Augusto
    Capitals of Temple of August
  • Roman Temple Vic in Vic (Ausa), Barcelone. BASIC INFORMATION
     
  • Roman Temple of August in Barcelone (Barcino). Only four columns remain from
    Templo de Barcino
    Model of August Temple
    Press to enlarge
    this Roman Temple. They are placed at the right superior angle. We also keep a part of the architrave, integrated in a later building. It was a Temple of 35 m. long and 17,5 m. wide. On a podium many columns were elevated. They occupied the whole perimeter -peripter-. Its portico in antis gets six columns on the frontal part -hexastile-. These are crowned by capitals of composed order.
     
    It was a part of the whole of temples in the forum of the Roman city of Barcino and was devoted to Emperor August, whose statue presided the cella.
     
  • Temple of Traian -Traianeum- in Santiponce (Seville).See plan It was devoted to the most famous son of the city, the divine Traian. The temple was placed at the upper area of the city on a square with a portico of exedrae around it. It has a rectangular plan, with a portico octastile -with eight columns-, and other columns around it: peripter. Built on a base podium, its entering was made through staircases placed on its main façade.

 
  • Tombs
     
    The presence of different religions in villages of occuppied lands made primitive "funeral Etrurian art" evolution to different forms of burials: columbarium -for cremating and putting in niches- little temples, monumental columns, pyramids...
     
    El mausoleo de los Atilia
    El mausoleo de los Atilia
    Mausoleum of the Atilia in Sadaba.
    View of the façade and
    detail of niches.
    Most outstanding remainings in Hispania are:
     

     
    In the last years of Roman dominaton, from 4th century, Tarraco and other cities cannot offer important public services as the other towns. Great buildings are no more mended; even walls are often destroyed in order to make other constructions. Pagan temples are broken up or converted to Christianism: many crosses were put on their inner walls and façades.
     
    As a good sample of a Roman building of the latest years stands out the unique Mausoleum of Centelles, that was at its origin a recreational villa.
     
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