These 21 Iconic Structures Represent the Finest Roman Architecture and Artistry
Design feats courtesy of the Holy Roman Empire.
Roman numerals, bound books, newspapers, the postal service, air conditioning, surgical tools—the list of Roman inventions goes on and on. But if there’s one field that the ancient Romans excelled in, it was architecture. Because of the Romans, we now have concrete, arches, aqueducts, apartments (yes, they were the answer to the rising population of the empire), and roads. The Romans were masters at building domes, vaults, arches, and columns, which they used to erect structures that were not only grand and visually complex, but that would also last for centuries and even millennia. Their temples, bridges, amphitheaters, triumphal arches, and public baths reflected advanced understanding of design and engineering, making these structures a staple in every Roman city. In fact, the first mention of the term “architecture” was in a book called De Architectura by Roman architect Vitruvius. Influenced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy, and Greek and Egyptian architecture, the Romans built new towns from scratch as their empire spread.
As a result, there are now remnants of Roman architecture scattered all over Europe, southwest Asia, and northern Africa. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the brightest examples of this ancient civilization that continues to fascinate and influence us.