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Tyropoeon Valley

Western Wall, Israel

You stand in the Tyropoeon Valley in front of the Western Wall. The street is paved and well-constructed. The houses' forms are based on excavations around Jerusalem, however, the exact arrangement of the buildings here is poorly understood.

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Tyropoeon Valley Near Stairs

Western Wall, Israel

You stand in an open area amongst houses in the Tyropoeon Valley in front of the Western Wall. The houses' forms are based on excavations around Jerusalem, however, the exact arrangement of the buildings here is poorly understood.

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Tyropoeon Valley Under Bridge

Western Wall, Israel

This is the street in the early 1st cent. AD. The Western Wall towers above you, made with huge blocks topped by half columns. Only the middle section of the Western Wall remains today. The upper and lower sections are reconstructed in this scene.

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Tyropoeon Valley Looking at the Wall

Western Wall, Israel

Near you is the massive bridge that connected the upper city with the temple complex, called ‘Wilson’s arch’. The other arch you see in the distance, Robsinson’s arch, was another entrance to the temple complex.

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Modern Street Level

Western Wall, Israel

You are on a 15m column in front of the Temple’s Western Wall. This is the current ground level when you visit the site today. You are surrounded by domestic housing. To your left is Wilson’s Arch and a bridge that gives access to the temple complex.

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On the bridge

Western Wall, Israel

This is a glimpse into the temple precinct through one of the entrances on the Western Wall atop Wilson’s Arch. You see all of the Western Wall, mostly destroyed today. Stairs draw you to the unknown, to the temple: obscured behind this massive wall.

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In the Arena

Arènes de Lutèce, France

Today the amphitheatre is a park. This view of the seating area and stage gives tremendously insightful indication of scale. There were 35 rows of benches built against a slope that contained curved vaulted corridors that gave access to seating.

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On The Seats

Arènes de Lutèce, France

Elite spectators sat here, shielded from the harsh sun by shades (velarium). From this point, one was close enough to contemplate the deathly struggle taking place below. This area had its own entrance, separated from the lower status seating behind.

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Looking Out

Arènes de Lutèce, France

The amphitheatre was a rare mix of gladiatorial arena and theatre—a multi-function building. The exact design of the stage building is uncertain but may have featured a decorative façade similar to contemporary Roman theatres, and statues (now lost).

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Archway

Arènes de Lutèce, France

The structure was built between the 1st & 2nd centuries AD after Roman conquest. You stand at the entrance (aditus maximus) looking at the arena, which was probably covered with sand to soak up blood. The arena (52 x 45m) was cut 2m into the earth.

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Near the Tholos

Athenian Agora, Greece

The dining hall of the Athenian council, located at the junction connecting Athens’ major public sites. Councilmen would sleep here nightly, so that the Athenian citizens could always find their civic ministers.

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Middle Stoa

Athenian Agora, Greece

A grand covered walkway, second in scale and magnificence in Athens only to the Stoa of Attalos. Here people could walk in comfort, rest from the heat of the sun, or trade wares. A testament to Athens’ investment in everyday public life.

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Behind the Agora

Athenian Agora, Greece

Take in the spectacle of the public grounds from the perspective of the local residents themselves. Compare the splendour of the public works with humble private residences.

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In front of the Odeion of Agrippa.

Athenian Agora, Greece

Stand in awe before the spectacular Odeon of Agrippa, a monument to Roman philhellenism. Painted giants, sea gods, and philosophers greet you at the entrance to the grand orchestral theatre.

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Vestibulum of Odeion of Agrippa

Athenian Agora, Greece

Make your way inside the Odeion, and see the red walls, multi-coloured marbles, and painted statues. This first glimpse of the theatre interior greeted Athenians to a display of admiration from the Romans who so revered Greek culture.

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Top of cavea

Athenian Agora, Greece

Enter into the world of the stage, where music and rhetoric was performed before an audience. Overseeing the performances are figures known once to the Athenians; now forgotten and re-imagined.

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Front Row Seats

Athenian Agora, Greece

Enjoy the spectacle of the stage, from the best seats in the house. Get up close to the stage, and consider the kind of performances you might have seen from here - music, rhetoric, or poetry recitation.

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In Orchestra

Athenian Agora, Greece

Stand in the orchestra, where the chorus would stand during theatrical performance. Below your feet the chorus stamped, danced and sang their way through the famous works of Greek theatre.

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On the Stage

Athenian Agora, Greece

Look out at the audience, see the theatre from the privileged perspective of the actors and performers. Feel their nerves and triumph before your audience.

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Top Seats by the Door

Athenian Agora, Greece

From here you can have a full view of the statues encircling the theatre, and enjoy the bright and varied colours of statue painting, a neglected art of the ancient world, underappreciated in modern popular consideration.

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Left of Stage

Athenian Agora, Greece

Take your first step to the stage from the wings, and enjoy a full view over the stage, the seats, the painted and decorated walls and high vaulted ceiling of the Odeon.

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In Front of the Seated Philosophers

Athenian Agora, Greece

Before you stands Epicurus and the Seven Sages of Greece, the great pre-socratic philosophers, early statesmen and lawgivers of the Greek world: Cleobulus of Lindos, Solon of Athens, Chilon of Sparta, Bias of Priene, Thales of Miletus, Pittacus of Mytilene, and Periander of Corinth.

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In Front of the Eponymous Heroes

Athenian Agora, Greece

The Eponymous Heroes represent heroes of the 10 tribes of Athens: Hippothoon, Antiochos, Ajax, Leos, Erechtheus, Aigeus, Oineus, Akamas, Kekrops, and Pandion. Over time, heroes were added or removed for political concerns: here we depict the 13 that stood in the 2nd century CE.

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On the Panathenaic Way

Athenian Agora, Greece

The Panathenaic Way was the road travelled by the procession of the Great Panathenaia and Great Dionysia festivals. The stoae of the Agora were constructed along it, to offer shelter to those who wished to view the procession, and became important spaces of Athenian social life.

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Entrance

Acropolis, Greece

You have entered the Acropolis precinct, just having made the journey up the monumental stairs on the west of the fortified hill. Behind you is the Propylaia, while to your left and right are statues dedicated to Athena and the triumphs of the city.

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Courtyard of the Erechtheum

Acropolis, Greece

You now move to inside the western courtyard of the Erechtheum. Underneath the portico, you can see the fine details of the Ionic columns. The giant olive tree, sprouted from Athena’s spear, provides a focal point to this area.

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North of the Erechtheum

Acropolis, Greece

Outside the Erechtheum, you now witness the full scale of this uniquely designed building. The impressive Ionic order on the northern facade is framed by the ornate door and rich colour palette. Behind you is the north fortification wall, constructed from the ruins of the old buildings destroyed during the Persian attack.

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East of the Erechtheum

Acropolis, Greece

You move around to the east side of the Erechtheum. From this viewpoint the east facade of the Erechtheum is on full display, with a richly decorated Ionic order painted in vivid blue and red. If you turn around you will see the Great Altar, with its monumental steps and the Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus.

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East of the Parthenon

Acropolis, Greece

We now arrive to the main attraction: the Parthenon. You are standing on the eastern side of the temple dedicated to Athena. Observe the pediment depicting the birth of Athena and the metopes that describe the battle between the Olympian Gods and the Giants. To your right, is the Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, while directly behind is the Sanctuary of Pandion.

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North of the Parthenon

Acropolis, Greece

Moving around the Parthenon, you are now positioned on the northern side. The richly coloured metopes describe the Greeks battling the Trojans. Take note of the columns, a marvel of ancient architecture that slightly swell in the centre. Behind you can see the remains of the old Parthenon, destroyed in the Persian attack.

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West of the Parthenon

Acropolis, Greece

Arriving at the western end of the Parthenon, this view is most familiar with visitors today. The pediment describes Athena’s struggle with Poseidon, while the the metopes underneath depict the invasion of Athens by the Amazons (also known as the Amazonomachy).

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Courtyard of the Chalkotheke

Acropolis, Greece

The final viewpoint on the Acropolis Hill takes you to the courtyard of the Chalkotheke. Take a final view at the buildings and monuments that surround you. The statue of Athena Promachos also peaks above the landscape, a beacon for those viewing this sacred landscape from miles away.

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Stoa of Eumenes entrance

Acropolis, Greece

We are on the south slope of the Acropolis, inside the Stoa of Eumenes. This sheltered area protected those walking between the Theatre of Dionysus and Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This second floor was accessed via an external staircase at the end of the building.

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Stoa of Eumenes centre

Acropolis, Greece

We are in the centre of the stoa. Notice the wooden roof ceiling and the floor. Also take note of the columns running down the centre, a style typical of stoas. Contemplate the landscape in the distance.

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Areopagus Hill

Acropolis, Greece

The Acropolis is now in the distance as you stand next to the Areopagus Hill. In the Archaic period, the Areopagus Hill served as a meeting place for the Areopagite Council. Look around at the Athenian landscape and gaze and the monuments on the Acropolis.

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Base of the Propylaea

Acropolis, Greece

The grand Propylaea, the only known work attributed to the architect Mnesicles, was the splendid entrance to the Athenian Acropolis. It served as one end of the Sacred Way, leading down to the sacred and mysterious caves of Eleusis.

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Entering the Parthenon

Acropolis, Greece

The complex nature of this building has long fascinated historians: the Parthenon was at once a sacred monument to the patron deity of Athens, a treasury vault for the riches Athens extracted from her allies, and a monument proclaiming the supremacy of Hellenic culture.

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Before the Statue of Athena

Acropolis, Greece

The statue of Athena won great acclaim in the ancient world, and was considered among the finest work of the master sculptor Phidias. Her ivory skin, and garments of plated gold, were a striking sight which gave the work both splendour and delicacy.

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Beside the Statue of Athena

Acropolis, Greece

From here the towering scale of the statue is best observed. The materials would have cost a tremendous sum. From the 5th century CE she is lost from the records, emerging in Constantinople in the 10th century, before disappearing entirely from the sight of history.

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Upper Level of the Parthenon

Acropolis, Greece

The unusual colonnade of the Parthenon interior had two orders, and scholars have speculated that a second level stood between them, associated with a stairway in the eastern wall. From here the Nike can be admired, standing near 2 meters tall on the hand of Athena.

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Athena Promachos

Acropolis, Greece

Standing above the statue of Athena of Promachos, viewers can survey the impressive bronze monument to the goddess of Athens. Statues of Athena, Theseus, Pericles, and the spoils of the Persian War can be seen from up on high.

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The Caryatids of the Erechtheion

Acropolis, Greece

Looking upon the ruins of The Old Temple of Athena Polias, which housed the ancient olive-wood statue of Athena, from here you can examine the famous Caryatid statues, restored to their original colour scheme. This unusual space may have enshrined the tomb of Kekrops, mythical king of Athens, and marked the end of the Procession of the Panathenaia.

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Beside the Colossus

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

Gaze at the immense bronze Colossus statue, representing the Sun God. This statue was moved to make room for the Temple of Venus and Rome, which dominates the piazza. The god leans on a pillar and guides Rome’s fortunes with a rudder, held in the right hand.

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West Entrance to the Colosseum

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

You are now standing in front of the Colosseum’s western entrance. Above you are statues depicting the gods and heroes of imperial Rome, bronze shields capping the top. The floor is paved with marble and boarded with cippi to assist with crowd control.

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Western Colosseum Piazza

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

Moving to the southeast corner of the Temple of Venus and Rome, you now have a better view of the glistening Meta Sudans fountain. Behind are houses, and in the distance is the Temple of the Divine Claudia and the Aqua Claudia.

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Via dei Verbiti

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

See the gleaming Colossus of Nero - now the Colossus of Sol, retitled to separate the monument from the bitter memory of Nero’s infamous exploits. Behind is the Flavian Amphitheatre, known better as the Colosseum for its association with the striking bronze colossus, placed in the piazza after the area was remodelled to reflect Rome’s commitment to public works.

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Nero’s Stagnum

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

The focal point of the ‘Golden House’ of the emperor Nero, this magnificent artificial lake existed only to host the emperor’s private party-boat. The excesses of Nero have become infamous, and were seen as such even during the emperor’s own lifetime. This site is perhaps the most telling monument of the memory of Nero left to posterity.

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Flavian Amphitheatre

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

Following the death of Nero, the empire fell into turmoil, with Vespasian emerging the victorious new emperor. The extravagant private buildings of Nero were seen as a mark of shame, and were torn down. In the place of Nero’s massive private lake, a public theatre was constructed on an unprecedented scale, sending a clear political message in support of expenditure in the interest of the public.

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Colosseum, Ground Floor

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

The Colosseum may be considered the greatest arena constructed prior to the modern era, though it was built almost 2,000 years ago. It’s grandeur was remembered in the Middle Ages, where people saw it with an air of mystery. The site was in the 17th century considered one of Christian martyrdom, and in 1720 stations of the cross were installed.

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Colosseum, Upper Level

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

The seating of the Colosseum was thoroughly hierarchical, with the upper levels of seating reserved for lower classes. The emperor was provided a special box, as were the Vestal Virgins, while senators were provided spaces to bring their own comfortable chairs. The importance of the Colosseum extended beyond simply sport - it displayed a cross section of Roman society.

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Arch of Constantine

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

From here the many complex decorative panels of the Arch of Constantine can be best admired. The scenes in relief commemorate Constantine’s accession to the throne, depicting Victoria, captured shields, enslaved barbarians, and a frieze detailing Constantine’s triumphant speech to the people of Rome from the forum.

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Piazza Colosseum

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

From here the grandeur of the Colosseum is striking, and the amphitheatre can be contextualized by a smaller monument visible down the road - the Ludus Magnus, where the gladiators destined for the arena lived and trained. An underground tunnel connected the Ludus to rooms below the Colosseum, so the gladiators could move without interacting with crowds.

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Colosseum Underground

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

Behind the scenes of the greatest marvel of the Roman Empire. See the inner workings of the amphitheatre which gave rise to the ancient world’s greatest spectacles.

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Metro Terrace

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

From up here you stand among the many insulae that made up the living quarters and shops of the Roman people, and look out to the piazza of the Colosseum. Massive crowds of an estimated 73,000 would gather for the extravagant displays performed here, and shop owners no doubt made a bustling trade from their business - as indeed they do today!

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Colosseum marble seats

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

This position permits an excellent overview of the splendid structures along the piazza. The Temple of Venus and Rome, the Colosseum, the Temple of Divine Augustus, and the Arch of Septimius Severus can all be seen - great monuments to four of Rome’s great emperors: Hadrian, Vespasian, Augustus, and Septimius Severus.

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By the Arch of Constantine

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

The Arch of Constantine is an intricate work that has intrigued historians for generations - many believe its decorative panels are recycled from pre-existing monuments from across Rome. Perhaps appropriately, the Numidian Yellow columns that once decorated the arch were themselves reused in the later periods of Rome’s history.

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South of the Arch of Constantine

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

The Via Sacra was the processional route marched during a triumph, and it traced a path passing the great monuments of Rome. The Colossus of Sol, originally of Nero, must have been a striking feature along the route, and with his arch Constantine framed it expertly - perhaps associating himself inextricably with Rome’s past and Sol himself.

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In the Middle of the Arena

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

The Colosseum was the site of some of the most elaborate and sensational spectacles the ancient world had ever known. It’s towering cavea hosted a massive crowd, who may wait in line overnight to ensure good seats - the performances were grand, and their cost exuberant.

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Between the Arch and the Colosseum

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

As one of Rome’s most popular social spaces, the Colosseum Piazza was the place for emperors to leave grand public monuments for display. From this viewpoint you can see the greatest of them, including the now long buried Temple of Claudius on it’s grand terrace.

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Colosseum Underground Upper Level

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

This viewpoint places you on the upper level of the underground chambers, where the machines that controlled movable panels in the floor of the arena were operated, to enable the sudden release of beasts, weapons, or stage props.

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Colosseum Underground Beasts

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

These chambers caged the exotic beasts that were imported from the furthest reaches of the empire to be displayed and battled in the arena of the Colosseum. Beast hunts and damnatio ad bestias - execution by ferocious animals - were well attested spectacles of the empire.

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Western Colosseum Piazza (3rd Century)

Colosseum Piazza, Italy

See the famed monuments of the Colosseum piazza as you stand before the four-horse chariot monumental entrance of the world’s greatest amphitheatre.

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Temple of the Vestal Virgins

The Roman Forum, Italy

The tholos temple of the Vestal Virgins was the enshrined hearth of Rome, where burned the sacred fire of Vesta that maintained the eternal life of the Roman Empire. The Vestal Virgins tended to the flame as their life’s work, and ritually commemorated the ashes to the Tiber River once a year. The design of the Temple is modelled on a simple round hut, but elaborately decorated - representing Rome’s humble past and later magnificence.

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Temple of Julius Caesar

The Roman Forum, Italy

The Temple of Divine Caesar was constructed under the rule of Augustus, who honoured his adoptive father with apotheosis. The Roman historian Suetonius reported that four months after the assassination of Caesar, a comet burned brightly for seven consecutive days, and was revered as the soul of Caesar entering heaven. For this reason, the temple of Caesar is decorated with a comet star in the pediment.

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Regia

The Roman Forum, Italy

One of the oldest buildings of the Forum, this site is believed to have original served as a royal residence for the early kings of Rome. After the rise of the Republic over the monarchy, the Regia was repurposed as the office of the Pontifex Maximus, the head religious figure of Rome. Here sacred texts were housed, and the shrines of Mars and Ops, Sabine goddess of fertility were maintained.

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Temple of Romulus

The Roman Forum, Italy

This temple was dedicated to Romulus, son of Maxentius, who died young. The temple is excellently preserved, even maintaining its original bronze door, as it was reused as a church through the medieval period and protected. The building is identified by a Maxentian coin depicting the building and inscribed Aeternae Memoriae.

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Basilica of Maxentius

The Roman Forum, Italy

The Basilica of Maxentius is the grandest construction of Maxentius’ fervent building program following a fire that destroyed many buildings on the west of the forum. After Maxentius’ death, Constantine rededicated the basilica to himself, even resculpting the colossal statue within to match his own appearance. The huge standing structures left today are a testament to the ingenuity of Roman engineering.

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Temple of Venus and Rome Platform

The Roman Forum, Italy

Located on the platform of the Temple of Venus and Rome, you can see the grandeur of the Colosseum. Take note of the houses in the distance that surrounded this area and the large shadow cast from the tremendous temple.

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Temple of Venus and Rome Portico

The Roman Forum, Italy

You are surrounded by a forest of columns that stretch to a vaulted ceiling. Look up and see the colossal size of these columns, now in storage, or destroyed. Glimpse through the columns at the shimmering Colossus.

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Temple of Venus and Rome Entrance

The Roman Forum, Italy

You finally make it to the entrance of the temple. A bronze door leading to the inner section of the temple is seen to your right. Light reflected from the Colosseum sprays across the marble floor.

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Basilica Paulli

The Roman Forum, Italy

The Basilica Paulli was constructed under the patronage of Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, brother of the triumvir Marcus Lepidus, and bribed supporter of Julius Caesar. Along the attic were colossal statues of Parthian prisoners, the heavily damaged remains of which are today stored for preservation. Late in the empire, the Basilica was home to the shops of silversmiths.

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In front of the Basilica Julia

The Roman Forum, Italy

This building has ties with many of the great names of Roman history. The building was inaugurated while still incomplete in 46 BC under the patronage of Caesar, who would be assassinated before he saw its completion. After a fire, the basilica was restored by Augustus. This site hosted the courts of law that Pliny the Elder officiated early in his career, and it was reported by Suetonius that Caligula, declaring that “a man ought either to be frugal or Caesar”, threw money down from the upper stories into the forum crowds for days on end.

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Temple of Concord interior

The Roman Forum, Italy

Enter into the temple of the goddess Concordia and notice the opulence in the glinting marble and golden statues. Look down the length of the cella and admire the statues of Latona and her Twins, Diana and Apollo, and see the elephants carved in black obsidian. This magnificent temple acted as a museum for some of the finest art works in Rome.

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Temple of Julius Caesar altar

The Roman Forum, Italy

The cult of Divine Caesar emerged among the plebs soon after his death, with pilgrims travelling to mourn or worship at the site of his cremation in the forum square. In response to popular will, or possibly to enlarge his own standing, Augustus constructed the Temple of Divine Caesar, providing a sanctified space for worship. The altar in front would have gifts left before it, and flowers are still left by some at the remains today.

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Vestals and Arch of the Parthians

The Roman Forum, Italy

Here can be seen monuments to two faces of Roman culture: the ancient religious order of the Vestal Virgins, keepers of the fire of Vesta; and the Triumphal Arch of the Parthians, a monument to the glory of Roman conquest, and expansion of its eastern territories.

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West of Basilica Pauli

The Roman Forum, Italy

Take in the Roman Forum at its most magnificent. Arrayed around you are the key civic and religious structures of Rome; as well many monuments attesting to the might of its empire.

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Northeast Podium

Roman Temple, Spain

You are standing on the temple podium looking out toward the temple courtyard. The impressive marble columns surround, casting a shadow across the floor. If you look up, the coffered ceiling has remarkable detail, exhibiting the skill of the craftspeople.

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Southeast podium

Roman Temple, Spain

Still on the podium, you are now facing the door which leads inside the temple. This sizeable bronze door has added decorations. The framing above the entrance also displays exquisite detail, matching the level of artistry seen on the ceiling.

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In front of the temple

Roman Temple, Spain

You are now positioned in front of the temple, looking up at the stairs. From this angle you can appreciate the size of the temple within the courtyard. Note the detail on the frieze, above the column capitals. Directly behind you is an altar used for animal sacrifices.

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View from the northeast courtyard

Roman Temple, Spain

You are now standing in the northeast corner of the temple precinct. From this viewpoint, you can see the north side and east façade of the temple. To your left is the wall that surrounded the area, while a cryptoporticus surrounds entire the temple precinct.

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Theatre

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Located on the southern slopes of the rocky Three Hills, the theatre is semi-circle in shape, with an outer diameter of 82m. The decoration behind the stage was made of pink marble, and evidence suggested that gladiatorial spectacles were performed.

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East Gate

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Originally built in the 2nd century AD to commemorate Hadrian’s visit, the ruins of the East Gate can be seen at Tsar Ivan Shishman Street. The street was 13.2 m wide and featured a colonnade on both sides, decorated in the Corinthian order.

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Forum

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

This commercial precinct had a distinct rectangular shape, and represents the second phase of the forum, 1st century AD - 3rd century AD. It was also the location of public administration buildings.

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Outside the City Gate

Pula, Croatia

The Arch of the Sergii, known also as the Golden Gate, announced the presence of a grand Roman city, aweing visitors. The Roman Imperial Eagle inside the arch reminded all who entered that they were under Roman purview.

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Inside the City Gate

Pula, Croatia

Inside the ancient walls, you can see the everyday lives of the citizens of Pula. Sophisticated Roman architecture was used in construction of ‘insulae’ apartment buildings, made lively with bold stripes of red paint.

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Centre of the Forum

Pula, Croatia

The forum was the home of civic life for citizens in the Roman empire. It served as a social meeting space, market, political soapbox, circulation hub, and religious site all in one.

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Under the Portico

Pula, Croatia

The elaborately adorned entrance to the central religious monument of Pula - possibly Croatia’s finest Roman sacred site. A fascinating insight into the Roman Imperial cult of divine emperor worship - the Roman propaganda machine.

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South-West Gate of the Amphitheatre

Pula, Croatia

Stand between the mighty amphitheatre and the sea. Spectacle and athleticism was greatly admired in Roman society, and Pula’s lucrative oversea trade in oil and wine funded the construction of a place to host it.

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In the Centre of the Amphitheatre

Pula, Croatia

Gladiatorial combat, hunting spectacles, damnatio ad bestias, and martyrdom, all was witnessed here before 23,000 enthralled spectators.

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Underground

Pula, Croatia

Staging the spectacles of the amphitheatre required sophisticated engineering conducted underground - from here, beasts, props, and warriors could be raised, seeming to emerge from the depths of the earth.

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The Great Bath, north face

Bath, Great Britain

The Great Bath was the central hub of the Roman settlement of Bath. Indeed, many historians believe that the settlement of Bath was never intended as a place of residence, but was in fact an expansive religious complex where the sacred waters provided mystical healing. Remnants of this connection may be recognized today in the curious similarity between the architecture of Roman baths and later Christian basilicas.

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The Great Bath, east face

Bath, Great Britain

The original spring that provided naturally heated mineral water, revered for its believed curative properties, was channeled to the Great Bath via a sluice at the top of the spring, removing sediment and allowing bathers to enjoy clean and clear water. The main supply of water to the bath was from the north west corner, where excavations revealed a platform probably meant for a statue. The Romans often associated rivers with gods, and so here we have placed a typical Roman river-god statue, lazily watching over the healing waters.

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The Great Bath, south face

Bath, Great Britain

This towering bathing complex was supplied by the natural springs, long worshipped by the Celtic inhabitants who preceded the Romans. When Roman construction began on the site, a series of lead pipes were built to channel the water to different areas of the bathing complex. One of these pipes poured from the north face of the Great Bath, from a fountain decoratively modelled as a chest, which you can see before you.

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The Great Bath, west face

Bath, Great Britain

Roman occupation of Britain was characterized by extensive building projects - once this region was subdued, the Roman intended to stay, and occupied bath for almost 400 years. In that time, the complex underwent a series of renovations and extensions, which must have come at great expense. The floors of the bath were lined in lead sheets to protect the stone from gradual erosion over hundreds of years.

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Maison Carrée and Forum

Maison Carrée, Nîmes, France

The Heritage listed Maison Carrée, admired for centuries as a striking example of Roman architecture, was once the centre point of an extensive and elaborately decorated forum. The elegant temple square was a gathering point for festivities and socializing, encircling and augmenting the beauty of the temple.

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Palaestra at Olympia

Olympia, Greece

The Palaestra was the training grounds for athletes preparing for the games. Here, wrestling and boxing could be practiced under the guidance of trainers, who would watch from the shade of the portico, correcting the form of their students.

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Temple of Zeus (exterior)

Olympia, Greece

The Temple of Zeus is one of the greatest works of classical Greece, considered to be the standard of Doric architecture. The statues dedicated before the temple and in the pediments were exceptional works of great sculptors of the world, most notably the famed sculptor Phidia, whose workshop was located in Olympia.

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Temple of Zeus (interior)

Olympia, Greece

The Temple of Zeus never changed it’s form, which was considered a perfect representation of Doric architecture, but was embellished over time by cultures wishing to pay respect and leave their mark on the famed sacred site. The floor before the temple was paved in alabaster and coloured marble by the Romans, announcing patronage - but also control - of the sacred space.

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Temple of Hera

Olympia, Greece

The Temple of Hera marks the place where the modern olympic torch is lit, and represents one of the earliest stone temples on Greece. From this viewpoint can also be seen the Metroon, the temple of the mother-goddess; the Philippeon, a shrine to the cult of Alexander the Great; the Ash altars of Olympia; and the splendid Nymphaeum, a Roman statement of pride and philhellenism.

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Leonidaion

Olympia, Greece

The Leonidaion was the finest hostel of Olympia, housing distinguished visitors to the games. The elegant Ionic colonnade was the work of the sculptor Leonidas, for whom the building is named, and whose statue stood before it.

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The Stadium

Olympia, Greece

The foot races of Olympia were believed to be the oldest Olympic event, founded by Herakles himself. A Greek ‘stadion’ was a standardized length, which came to be a unit of measurement equivalent to 600 Greek feet. Clearly the footrace held great importance to the Greeks, that it should became a standard by which they measured the world itself.

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Inside the Temple of Zeus

Olympia, Greece

The interior of the Temple of Zeus is dominated by the colossal chryselephantine masterwork, the Statue of Olympian Zeus, a wonder of the ancient world shaped by the hand of Phidias. Above, the open ceiling of the temple and fine pentelic marble roofing glow in the sun, illuminating the space with heavenly white light.

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Arrival to Ephesus

Ephesus, Turkey

You stand aboard a corbita (Roman trading ship) approaching the cosmopolitan city of Ephesus, as it appeared in the 2nd century AD. Ephesus had a long and storied history: colonized by the Greeks and seized by the Persians before flourishing under the Roman Empire. The thriving trading centre benefited from its location within a key natural harbour until river-borne silt cut it off from the sea.

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Domitian’s Stadium

Palatine Hill, Italy

The private garden of the palace, the stadium of Domitian served as a lush, secluded space for the emperor. Similar in shape to a Roman circus, this was the perfect place to ruminate on the expansion of your empire, or recite love poems.

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Crossroads of the Forum and Palatine

Palatine Hill, Italy

This position overlooks the point where the Clivus Palatinus splits off from the Sacra Via - where the Roman Forum connects to the Palatine complex. From here can be seen a mix of sacred, secular, and regal buildings: the imperial bathhouses of the Domus Tiberiana, the Warehouses of Vespasian, and the magnificent Temple of Victorious Jupiter.

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Palatine Terrace

Palatine Hill, Italy

This splendidly decorated portico allowed the imperial family and entourage to survey the forum, and remains a popular tourist viewpoint today for its wide reaching vista. The construction of this multi-storied terrace was a major engineering project but when looking out, it’s clear why so much effort was put into this work.

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Overlooking the Circus Maximus

Palatine Hill, Italy

This portico, sadly lost today, was a prime lookout or the emperor to the circus, and also served as a place for the emperor to be seen and cheered by the plebs spectating the games. The exceptional marble panelling and flooring seen is based on examples found within the Palatine complex.

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Double Gates

Palatine Hill, Italy

From our current viewpoint, the balcony that was supported by the foundations you see before you is lost. In this area, the Domus Augustana was complex feat of Imperial architecture. Niches and alcoves housed triclinia (dining rooms) for hosting parties, no doubt on on race days at the Circus Maximus!

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Reflective pool

Palatine Hill, Italy

Although we can not venture out to see However, many visitors do not realise that behind them, stood the glorious imperial residence of the emperor. Imagine strolling from your palace to contemplate the popular contests below you. No wonder some emperors believed they were divine.

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Right hand doors

Palatine Hill, Italy

The sun gently sets to the west on the Domus Augustiana and brings out the lavish colours of the marble flooring, the Opus Sectile. From this vantage point, you see the Circus Maximus below and the Balneum Suae behind it. Crowded city blocks bath in the afternoon light.

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At the edge of the portico

Palatine Hill, Italy

The portico of the Domus Augustiana collapsed at some unknown point in the one and a half thousand years between the decline of the Western Roman Empire and the present day, but here it has been reconstructed. Leaning against the marble balustrade, the emperor would have a view down into the crowds and the racetrack of the Circus Maximus.

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In the Midst of the Orchestra

Paphos, Cyprus

Stand on the vibrant purple granite of the orchestra, where the theatre chorus would sing, recite, and stamp their feet. Before you are the columns of green cipollino marble. Above you on the scaena fons the imperial family looks down on the crowd, their cloaks painted in bold pastels.

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The Painted Paradoi

Paphos, Cyprus

From this view the lively frescoes of the paradoi can be admired. The paradoi were entryways for the performers, but this opportunity for decoration was not overlooked. The fresco colours and designs come from restorations of almost invisible traces left on the remains.

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Overlooking the Stage.

Paphos, Cyprus

From this position, the full scale of the theatre can be admired. The seating of this stage is estimated to facilitate up to eight and a half thousand audience members. The scaena fons followed a design common to grander Roman theatres, and proves an excellent example of Roman stagecraft.

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Capitoline Overview

Capitoline Hill, Italy

Here you stand on the balcony of the Aedes Deorum Consentium, the Temple of the Consenting Gods, dedicated in honour of the stability of the Olympians, perhaps as a public statement emphasizing the importance of a stable empire. The function of the rooms behind you is uncertain, but believed to house civic offices - appropriate, as these bureaucrats ensured the smooth running of Rome.

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Capitoline Overview North

Capitoline Hill, Italy

The Aedes Deorum Consentium was positioned at the junction connecting the forum to the Capitoline Hill. From here the forum square can be spotted through the columns of the Temple of Saturn and Temple of Vespasian. The grand triumphal arch of Septimius Severus can be seen ahead, and the arches of the Tabularium seen stretching behind the temples.

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In the stands of the Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus, Italy

You are seated near the temple of Sol, Roman god of the sun, who steered his chariot across the sky, hauling the sun behind him. From here you can see the curved portico of the Domus Augustiana overlooking the circus. From that splendidly decorated lookout, the emperor could see the races - and, more importantly, be seen by the people of Rome.

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The interior of the Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus, Italy

Standing on the race track, this viewpoint demonstrates the outstanding size of the Circus Maximus. The dangerous chariot races would circle the central spina, where monuments dedicated to the victory of Rome stood triumphant. Obelisks seized from Egypt as trophies, statues of Victory, and unique sculpture works stood here for all to see.

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East of the Spina

Circus Maximus, Italy

Here you stand beside the metae, the turning posts of the circus where chariot racers would vie for the front spot. The many monuments of the spina stretch off into the distance down the stands, and the scale and diversity can be admired. These monuments were added progressively over time, different emperors adding their own touches to the assemblage.

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Close to the Spina

Circus Maximus, Italy

Before you is one of the monuments of the Circus, the mysterious Phrygian mother-goddess Cybele. According to legend, Cybele sent her spouse, Attis, mad in the Anatolian wilderness, and compelled him to castrate himself in her honour. She was brought to Rome from her sacred city, Pessinus, in the 2nd century BC and joined the family of Roman urban goddesses.

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Would you like custom viewpoints?

Lithodomos VR is able to create customised viewpoints to suit your needs. Note that exclusivity may be available for custom viewpoints.

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  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Search for your location by address using the search bar at the top left of the screen.
  3. Right click on the exact viewpoint position
  4. Select "What's here?"
  5. The GPS coordinates of the point are shown in the bottom centre of the screen (latitude is the first number).

Do you need any hardware (VR headsets, mobile devices, etc)?

You can provide customers with VR tours using your own hardware, rent ours at no upfront cost or order your own branded VR headsets.

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How many headsets/phones do you need?

We recommend one headset per customer per tour.


Do you need any Cardboard viewing devices?

Cardboard viewing devices make a great upsell to your customers at the conclusion of a VR tour.

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Do you need any branded Cardboard viewing devices?

Order more than 500 and we will custom brand your business' logo onto the headsets. Your customers will leave your tour carrying a walking billboard for your business.

Minimum order quantiy 500

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Existing viewpoints
Custom viewpoints
  • 41.890242, 12.492252
    2,000 years ago
    Midday
Hardware
  • 5 headsets
  • 500 branded cardboard viewing devices
  • 40 non-branded cardboard viewing devices
Cost summary

Lithodomos VR is priced on a per activation basis, where an activation is a single use in the Lithodomos VR app.

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"In less than a year, our VR tour has become one of our most popular offerings."

Nikos Sarafidis, Scooterise

"Our Museum’s virtual reality exhibit gives the visitor a unique opportunity to be transported to another place, and to change the perception of things like time and space. Lithodomos VR has been quintessential to this mission. Our visitors have loved using Lithodomos VR to relive moments and places in history, and to use these reconstructions of these ancient sites as a way to imagine themselves in the past."

Nadia Hamid, Living Computers: Museum + Labs

"Lithodomos VR's innovative work with VR technology is the future of education."

Professor Angela Ndalianis, University of Melbourne

"Lithodomos VR have been great collaborators in our research. The app of the Paphos theatre 3D model has enhanced our impact reach and has been of enormous benefit in both public outreach activities and scholarly presentation of our archaeological investigations."

Craig Barker, Director Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project

"Using Lithodomos VR’s self-guided app on-site was an amazing experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Seeing the VR reconstruction overlaid on top of the modern day ruins is unforgettable."

Al Rose

Contact Us

Lithodomos VR offers a range of products and licensing models customisable to your location and specific needs. Please connect with us via the contact form below, or email us at info@lithodomosvr.com

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