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History of Templo Romano (Roman Temple)

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

The ruins of the Roman temple of Cordoba that the visitors can see nowadays are due to the reconstruction that the architect “Felix Hernández” did to the open structures. Thanks to the rests of the building’s staircase, as well as the altar and the original pavement of the space in front of the temple, Hernández was able to calculate approximately the point from which the bases of the columns would have started. Since this point did not coincide with the original foundation that remained, he had to construct a series of brick pillars with columns to recuperate the volume of the foundation they were short of. The restoration of the columns was made using new materials, except three original capitals which they re-used. For the construction of the new elements, they used a reinforced concrete central nucleus, while for the construction of the exterior elements, like the mouldings of the bases, the grooves of the column’s fusts or the decoration of the Corinthian capitals of the columns, they used frames (José Luis Jiménez Salvador, 1990).

The temple, from the “Flavia”(Roman Emperors Dynasty) period, presided an arcaded square and it was probably consecrated to the imperial cult. The foundation was made by "opus quadratum", using "opus caementicium" for the staircase. The exterior decoration was made with marble.

When they built this large building, the east wall of the city ended up obliterated, which confirms that Cordoba was at that time an expanding city, and that, in the context of the "Pax Romana" Alto Imperial, the walls were not needed.

Due to its location, at one end of the city, on a site with a strong slope and raised by an artificial terrace, that gave the temple even more height, the building must have had optimum views for the travellers that came to Cordoba using the “Vía Augusta”. Precisely, “Vía Augusta”, entered the city through the eastern door of the wall, located next to the temple, where the actual Town Hall is situated. That is also what happens, for example, in “Baelo Claudio” (Bolonia, Cádiz); The location of its most characteristic temples, tries to find a similar effect facing the ships that approached the city.

In “Italica” (Santiponce, Seville) the temple consecrated to the Divine “Trajano”, is located, like the temple of Cordoba, on the highest point of the city, from where the visibility was also optimum.

The capitals of the columns at the temple of Cordoba, very big in size and calculated to be seen from afar, produce an intense “chiaroscuro” effect, with its prominent volutes and helixes. At the “Archaeological Museum” the visitant will be able to contemplate some of them. At the “Plaza de las Doblas” (Doblas square) and at the “Jardines de Agricultura” (Agriculture Gardens) there are several pieces of fusts of columns, proceeding from this same archaeological bed.

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