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History of Templo Romano (Roman Temple)

Templo Romano (Roman Temple) - C/ Claudio Marcelo 14009 Córdoba

This temple is the only religious building in Cordoba so far from the Roman period, that has been clearly identified. Its remains are located on a corner site between “Claudio Marcelo” street and “Capitulares” street, in the neighbourhood of the Town Hall building.

For several years, there have been archaeological discoverings on the site, which was known in the 16th century as "Los Marmolejos". There is a remarkable presence of marble, fusts and capitals of columns, etc.

In 1951 “Samuel de los Santos” (director of the Archaeological Museum) and “Félix Hernández” (architect) started the first excavations. From 1958, “Antonio García y Bellido” joined the investigations and he interpreted that the rests that cropped out corresponded to the foundation of a great Roman temple, elevated by a podium. In 1985 the excavations were re-started under the direction of “José Luis Jiménez Salvador”.

This great cordovan temple reveals, by its dimensions, the ambitious mind that its promoters had, conscious of the greatness of the building. It is a pseudo-peripteral temple, hexastyle and Corinth, with 32 meters length and 16 meters wide. Its general aspect must have been very similar to the one of the "Maison Carrée", in Nimes (France), although the dimensions of the temple of Cordoba are bigger. To elevate the building, they had to construct a huge artificial terrace to help cover the large difference of level that existed on the site, which the visitor will clearly see, even nowadays. To contain that great mass of artificial filling and to avoid possible soil movements, they built a retaining wall going in zig-zags. This way, we find in Cordoba one of the few examples of retaining walls (that “Vitrubio” used to recommend) that have lasted until today. A very similar case has been found at the “Palatium Bajo Imperial” excavated in “Cercadilla”.

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