Curia Julia
Historic SitesAncient RuinsArchitectural Buildings
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Mairwen1
By Mairwen1
Exploring the Roman Forum
4.0 of 5 bubblesJun 2022
The Curia, or Senate House was the heart of Rome, both physically and politically. It is one of the more significant buildings within the Roman Forum. Built by Julius Caesar, building started around 44 BC, just before his assassination. He wasn’t to know that he would never see it finished. Augustus, his successor, would go on to complete it in 29 BC. Amidst the broken columns and other ruins, the Curia stands out because it is largely intact. The original tiled floors are still in place mainly because it was converted into a church in 623 AD. It was restored to its original appearance in 1938. If it looks deceptively plain from the outside, that’s because it’s missing a number of external features. A series of square holes beneath the 3 large windows caught our eye. This is where beams were inserted for a chalcidicum (a colonnaded porch) which was raised on a high podium at the front. Slabs of marble would also have decorated the lower part of this wall. Inside Roman senators met to debate and deliberate current issues, to vote and to issue decrees. They were responsible for allocating funds for various public building and projects, appointing governors to the provinces, declaring war and negotiating peace. Three low steps on each side provided seating for about 300 Senators. What you see today are some frescos, mosaics, relief fragments, the marble floor with precious inlaid porphyry and serpentine. ENTRY: It is worth noting that you cannot buy a separate entry to the forum. It is included in the combo Colosseum/Roman Forum ticket and therefore its essential to book ahead.

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Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,915 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
The Curia, or Senate House was the heart of Rome, both physically and politically. It is one of the more significant buildings within the Roman Forum. Built by Julius Caesar, building started around 44 BC, just before his assassination. He wasn’t to know that he would never see it finished. Augustus, his successor, would go on to complete it in 29 BC.
Amidst the broken columns and other ruins, the Curia stands out because it is largely intact. The original tiled floors are still in place mainly because it was converted into a church in 623 AD. It was restored to its original appearance in 1938.
If it looks deceptively plain from the outside, that’s because it’s missing a number of external features. A series of square holes beneath the 3 large windows caught our eye. This is where beams were inserted for a chalcidicum (a colonnaded porch) which was raised on a high podium at the front. Slabs of marble would also have decorated the lower part of this wall.
Inside Roman senators met to debate and deliberate current issues, to vote and to issue decrees. They were responsible for allocating funds for various public building and projects, appointing governors to the provinces, declaring war and negotiating peace. Three low steps on each side provided seating for about 300 Senators.
What you see today are some frescos, mosaics, relief fragments, the marble floor with precious inlaid porphyry and serpentine.
ENTRY: It is worth noting that you cannot buy a separate entry to the forum. It is included in the combo Colosseum/Roman Forum ticket and therefore its essential to book ahead.
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dimitris L
Sydney, Australia49,749 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
Curia Julia is a very important historical site. Julius Caesar was responsible for its construction, which was actually completed by his adopted son and nephew, Octavius, who became known as Augustus. The Curia Julia was the Roman Senate House, where Roman Senators would meet and debate important matters, something like elected politicians do today in their Parliaments. Caesar built the Curia to replace an earlier damaged one. However it too suffered damage a number of times, but was repaired as many. It was eventually turned into a church in the year 630, which explains why so much of it is so well preserved. Well worth a visit.
Written November 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChiefGuru
Decatur, IN3,300 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Julius Caesar started to built the Curia Julia (i.e. a Senate House named after himself) in 44 B.C.. This Senate House replaced Curia Cornelia, which in turn had replaced Curia Hostilia, in this same location. Caesar had the area cleared and the new construction begun. During the construction, the Roman Senate was meeting in the Theatre of Pompey. Caesar never saw the finished Curia Julia, as he was assassinated by Roman Senators in the Theatre of Pompey on March 15, 44 B.C. (The Ides of March). Curia Julia was finished by Caesar's successor, Augustus Caesar, in 29 B.C. Actually, the Curia Julia that you can see today is its second iteration. The Curia Julia finished by Augusta was modified by Domitian from 81 to 96 A.D. After a fire damaged the Senate House in 283 A.D., Diocletian rebuilt it from 284 to 305 A.D. The remnants of Diocletian's building, especially the austere interior (~80 feet by ~60 feet), are what stand today. This structure became the basilica of Sant'Adriano al Foro in the 7th century. In 1938, to celebrate the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Augustus, Rome's first emperor, Mussolini completed the restoration of the Curia, having the baroque church that surrounded it removed. The building remains significant but the interior and lower exterior are the oldest remaining parts. Julius Caesar was very popular with the people of Rome. Many in the Senate (total number in the Senate was ~600) felt that he was becoming too popular and would usurp their power. The Senate and the Popular Assembly of Rome ruled the empire together. In theory, the emperor merely carried out what the Senate and Popular Assembly decided. The Senators were upset when Caesar acquired the ground to the East and Northeast of the Curia Cornelia to build his Imperial Forum (i.e. the Forum of Caesar). They felt his forum was too proximate to The Senate House. When Caesar redesigned The Senate House and surrounding area to create the Curia Julia (building was large enough to hold 300 people or ~half of the Senators), he greatly reduced the prominence of the Senate. This further made mad the Senators, leading to his death. The two main features of the interior of the Curia Julia are its Altar of Victory and its striking colorful floor. The floor features the Roman art technique of opus sectile in which materials are cut and inlaid into floors to make pictures of patterns. This historic site is definitely worth seeing while in Rome and at the Roman Forum.
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

@JT3AZ
Phoenix, Arizona4,944 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
Located at the northwest corner of the Roman Forum is Curia Julia (Senate House). The structure is intact and inside the expansive height are several restorations of mosaic flooring, marble sculptures, wall panels and frieze. The thinly stacked bricks are mesmerizing to look at. The project was commissioned by Julius Caesar and is a must see attraction because of that alone.
Written April 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Spanish Steps Apartment
Rome, Italy32,945 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Friends
In late October 2013, we were lucky enough to see the Roman Forum at night. One of the stops was inside the Curia, the Senate House of the ancient Romans. The building was amazingly silent and contemplative. You could really appreciate the sheer size of it, as well as the beautiful marble floors. Inside are also a red porphyry statue found near the Curia and several beautiful carved panels (the Plutei of Trajan) of ceremonial animals being led to sacrifice (make sure to see the backs as well).
Written November 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott8147
The Villages, FL3,475 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
On my first visit to the Forum in Sept., I found the Curia closed about 3:00. I was really upset as this is one of the major sites in Roman history. I was fortunate enough to return a few days later and it was open. It's kept fairly dark inside, but not enough that you can't see the beautiful mosaics on the center of the floor. There was an exhibit inside when I was there. Other than the exhibit there is not that much to see inside,but it's the building itself and the history that happened here (or it's earlier versions) that are so important. A must when you are in the Forum.
Written November 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FTMDave
Adria, Italy7,486 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
The senate house in the Roman Forum started to be built under the orders of Julius Caesar way back in 44 BC.
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pete
Fredericksburg, VA1,201 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Solo
My first photo is a statue of one of the first co-consuls of the Roman Republic in 509 BC: Publius Valerius Publicola. It is found in the National Roman Museum. His good friend: Lucius Junius Brutus, led the revolution, at this spot, to get rid of the 200 year old Kingdom. This place would have been the original Romulus Curia and probably 4 other Curia were built in this spot until The Curia Julia. According to historians, Lucius Brutus, ancestor of the famous “et tu brute” murderer of Julius Caesar, was said to have been a very good orator. I can only imagine how Lucius Junius Brutus would have stirred the angry mob with eloquent speeches from this place. The other photo is of a painting of the preceding event of the crime committed by the son of the current king. The details of this criminal event in Callatia, Italy, 30 miles east of Rome, are still debated amongst historians and archeologists.
Written July 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nellielim
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia4,031 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Family
The Curia Julia was the Senate House in the ancient city of Rome. Built by Julius Caesar in 44 AD, this was where the emperors and the senators met regularly. This is one of a handful of Roman structures to survive mostly intact.
Written December 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PrestonGuild
United Kingdom55,938 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Friends
Curia Julia is one of the better preserved sites in the Roman Forum.

It was the Roman senate house where the senators would take part in important meetings and debates.
Written June 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Curia Julia, Rome

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