Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

Basilica di Massenzio

Basilica of Maxentius is the largest building in the Roman Forum and the last monumental edifice of antique Rome. Construction began under the Emperor Maxentius in 308 who was aiming to stop expansion of Christianity in Rome and completed by his follower and brother Constantine in 312. Nowadays everything that is left of the basilica is the side nave, however, even this single nave makes a stunning impression and gives an idea of the beauty of this iconic edifice. Basilica was constructed on the spot of warehouses for spices. For one to imagine the space that basilica occupied it can be mentioned that the total floor area of the building was 6000 square meters and was divided into three naves. Central nave was 35 meters high! Inside the basilica was decorated with marble. The central vault of the building was supported by eight marble columns, 14,5 meters high each (the only column that survived to our days stands on Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore).

In an apse at the western side there was the colossal statue of Constantine; fragments of the statue of the ancient Roman Emperor Constantine the Great depicted him seated and were discovered in 1487. The approximate size of the statue was 12 meters high. Marble parts – the head, feet and arms are exhibited in Palazzo dei Conservatori. Further clerical buildings of the later Roman empire and of the early Middle Ages repeated the architectural shapes of the Basilica of Maxentius. Currently this historical space houses the ground for holding musical concerts and literature readings. Greco-Roman wrestling competitions of the Olympic Games of 1960 were held under the ancient vaults of the basilica.

Address: Foro Romano, Clivo di Venere Felice
Opening hours: 2 Jan – 15 Feb, last Sun of Oct - 31 Dec 8.30 am – 4.30 pm; 16 Feb -15 Mar 8.30 am – 5 pm; 16 Mar – last Sun of Mar 8.30 am – 5.30 pm; last Sun of Mar – 31 Aug 8.30 am – 7.15 pm; 1-30 Sep 8.30 am – 7 pm; 1 Oct – last Sun of Oct 8.30 am – 6.30 pm
How to reach: Colosseo
Coordinates: 41.891969, 12.488212