Sacra di Largo Argentina
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member unimoggers
N 41° 53.699 E 012° 28.595
33T E 290665 N 4641195
Quick Description: Budgeting fifteen or twenty minutes should allow enough time to have a look around from street level and view the remains of the temples and the site of Caesar’s assassination. Now this area in Rome appears to be a safe haven for cats!
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 2:33:43 PM
Waymark Code: WM5ZRB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 45

Long Description:
From this website:
(visit link)

Mussolini’s project to demolish the old quarter inadvertently unearthed one of the most important archaeological complexes of the city. The Area Sacra di Largo Argentina, below street level and encircled by traffic, is one of the few remaining examples of republican architecture. The area is quite small, but it certainly is more deserving than the lone paragraph most guidebooks choose to give it. It’s highlighted by the remains of four temples, the channel of an ancient public lavatory, and the site of Julius Caesar’s assassination.

As we approach the site it resembles a swath of burned out woodland, with an assortment of still-standing columns that look like tree trunks without their branches. It’s only after we’re able to see the bottom that it becomes clear we’re looking at the remains of four distinct structures. Smaller, crumbled column fragments are strewn about like too many dice on a Monopoly board.

Unsophisticated archaeological excavations were undertaken between 1926 and 1929, and, as a result, for many years little was know of the various phases of construction or the evolution of the site. To whom the four temples were dedicated was a mystery, and they simply became identified by the first four letters of the alphabet.

Dating from the 4th – 2nd centuries B.C., the temples are the oldest in Rome. Archaeologists believe they were connected with a larger complex built around the Theater of Pompey. Temple B, a rare circular structure, consists of six remaining columns, the original flight of stairs, and the altar. Constructed by Quintus Lutacius Catulus in 101 B.C., it’s now known as the Aedes Fortunae Huisce Diei.

Shortly after excavation was completed in 1929, stray cats, of which there are many in Rome, began seeking refuge amid the ruins in the protected square below street level. The Better Half, who has been coming to Rome since she was a toddler to visit her nonna, says that a sea of cats once congregated here. So many, in fact, that you could barely see the ground. More recently, a cat sanctuary has occupied the site. While the enormous cat population of two or three decades ago is a thing of the past, today the sanctuary cares for about 250 animals. We saw perhaps a dozen or so of the feline creatures wandering about the crumbled columns.

Also in the piazza is the Teatro Argentina, the oldest and most important theater in Rome, and the medieval tower from which the square draws its name.
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Republic 509 B.C. - 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: Not open to the public

Opening days/times:
24/7


Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Some remaining traces (ruins) or pieces

Visit Instructions:
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