Arc de Triomphe

Roman triumphal arches are amazing structures that have stood under the open sky from antiquity to our times. They attract tourists with their age, grandeur and unusual decor. In ancient Rome, triumphal arches were erected in honor of great military victories, conquering emperors.They were installed at the entrance to the city or the main street. Preserved to this day and become recognizable – the triumphal arches of Titus, Septimius Sever, Constantine.

Arch of Titus

The Arc de Triomphe of Titus in Rome is one of the oldest. For many centuries it served as a model for similar structures all over the world.

History of construction and restoration

In 70 A.D. the Roman emperor Titus defeated the unfaithful Jews of Jerusalem and returned to his homeland not only with trophies, but also with thousands of captured Jews. 11 years after this event, it was they who built the triumphal arch in honor of the already deceased conqueror.

Construction began on the initiative of Domitian, the ideological follower of Titus. The stone arch was supposed to serve as a reminder of the great campaign and the capture of Jerusalem.

In the Middle Ages, the building was almost destroyed, but in 1821 it was restored at the direction of Pope Pius VII. An indication confirming this fact was preserved on the arch itself.

Features of the architecture

There is only one span in the Arc de Triomphe of Titus, but this does not diminish its greatness, because the height is almost 15.5 m, and the width is 13.5 m.The width of the opening is 5.33 m.

The attention of tourists is attracted by the decor of the building :

  • half columns;
  • a bas-relief depicting an emperor on a chariot;
  • an inscription in Latin about the dedication of the arch to Titus;
  • bas-reliefs immortalizing the emperor’s military campaign;
  • figures of the goddess Victoria;
  • a bas-relief depicting the departure of the Roman ruler to another world, his deification.

The Arc de Triomphe in Rome was ennobled and decorated not only from the side of the facade, but also inside the opening.

Anyone can inspect the building from all sides and enjoy the view of the nearby Colosseum.

Arc de Triomphe of Septimius Severus

The Arch of Septimius Severus has been well preserved to this day. Located in the Roman Forum, where you need to buy a ticket.

History of construction and restoration

The arch was built in 205 AD. in order to celebrate the reign of the emperor Septimius Severus and the military victories of his sons – Caracalla, Geta. The place for the construction of the structure was chosen by the ruler himself. This was the Sacred Road at the northern end of the Forum.

By the end of the construction, Septimius Sever died. The son of Caracalla, who was striving for power, killed his brother Geta and ordered to erase all references to him from the Roman arch.

In the Middle Ages, not only the Arch of Titus suffered, but also Septimius Severus. She almost half went underground. In 1803, work began on her release. Pope Pius VII became the initiator. It was possible to completely empty the arch only by the end of the century – in 1898.

Features of the architecture

The Arch of Septimius Sever is a three-span structure 20.9 m high and 23.3 m wide. The width of the central opening is 7 m, the width of the side ones is 3 m. Manufacturing materials: travertine, rough brick, marble. The last was the facing of the building.

The central plot of the reliefs decorating the arch is the battle with the Parthians. Its “beginning” can be found at the left opening when viewed from the side of the Forum. These are reliefs about preparations for war, battle, the emperor’s appeal to the legionnaires.

Already at the legal opening, they demonstrate the end of the battle, the Roman council of war. From the side of the city, reliefs carved out of stone also “tell” about the military campaigns in Parthia of Septimius Severus and his sons.

Massive, almost 9-meter columns with capitals and flutes stand in front of the triumphal arch of Rome, giving it a solemn look. In the upper part there is an attic with several rooms. Its front part is decorated with a dedicatory inscription in Latin.

Arch of Constantine

Outwardly, this structure differs from the arch of Titus and Septimius Severus. It is also the largest and “youngest” of them, as it was built in 315 AD.

History of construction and restoration

The Triumphal Arch of Constantine was erected in honor of his victory over the domestic enemy – the usurper Maxentius.

Interesting fact! Based on a number of studies, scientists suggest that the arch was not built in 315 AD, but much earlier. This means that she had to perpetuate the memory of the victories of another person, which did not happen. The building has been restored and decorated in honor of Constantine.

The order to build the arch was given by the Roman Senate. Large-scale restoration of the landmark was carried out three times, the last time in 1733.

Features of the architecture

The height of the three-span Arch of Constantine is 21 m, the width is 25.7 m, the width of the central opening is 6.5 m, and the width of the side ones is 3.4 m. The main feature of the structure is the use of elements of other buildings as decoration.

Thus, the attic in the upper part of the arch attracts attention with eight sculptures of the Trajan era. Between them are paired military bas-reliefs from the time of Marcus Aurelius.

The space above the side openings is decorated with medallions from the era of the Roman emperor Hadrian. They depict the deities of the Sun and the Moon, a scene of hunting and sacrifice. There are medallions on the ends of the landmark, but they date back to the time of Constantine’s reign.

On both sides of the attic of the arch, there is a Latin inscription stating the dedication of the building to Emperor Constantine, who has dealt with the state tyranny.

The triumphal arch can be viewed from all sides, but at some distance. Due to the fence, it will not be possible to come close to it or go through the spans.

The main triumphal arches of Rome are unique, each in its own way. They bear the imprint of ancient times, personify the power, authority and strength of great rulers who influenced the course of history.