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Ara Pacis

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Lungotevere in Augusta, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 15

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Ara Pacis towards the end of the afternoon; the setting sun creates a beautiful light that enhances the altar's intricate carvings, and the crowds tend to thin out. Additionally, there’s a little-known rooftop terrace at the Museo dell'Ara Pacis that offers a great view of the surrounding area – it's the perfect spot to take a break and soak in the ambience of Rome."

What is Ara Pacis?

The Ara Pacis, or the Altar of Augustan Peace, stands as a resplendent symbol of peace in ancient Rome, enshrined in its own museum in the modern city center. It's a large altar within an open-air enclosure and was commissioned by the Roman Senate in 13 BCE to honor the return of Emperor Augustus from his successful campaigns in Hispania and Gaul. Today, it is not just an altar, but a repository of art, history, and Augustan propaganda. I've always felt that the intricate reliefs on the marble structure offer a vivid portal into the Roman world as it celebrates the peace and prosperity Augustus brought to the empire.

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History of Ara Pacis

Dedicated on January 30 in 9 BCE, the Ara Pacis originally stood on the northern outskirts of Rome's city boundaries. Its location was significant, aligned with Augustus's Sundial (Horologium Augusti), and it was part of a grander scheme to redevelop the Campus Martius area. Over the centuries, the altar was buried under layers of silt from the Tiber River—a common fate for the city’s ancient treasures. The pieces of the Ara Pacis were rediscovered and excavated in the 20th century and have undergone various restorations and relocations before finding their current home in the purpose-built Richard Meier-designed Museo dell'Ara Pacis in 2006.

Why is Ara Pacis Important?

The importance of the Ara Pacis lies in its embodiment of the cultural and political ideology of the Augustan Age. It represents the dawn of a new era of stability after the turmoil of civil wars. The Pacis artfully depicts the values that Augustus wanted to impart such as peace, fertility, and prosperity, through the imagery of natural motifs and figures that supposedly include portraits of the imperial family. It's a masterclass in symbolism, the kind that seeks to freeze a golden age in stone. And let's not forget its significance as a feat of artistic ingenuity that has spoken across millennia.

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Things to Do & See at Ara Pacis

At the Ara Pacis, it's not just about observing an ancient artifact, but about immersing yourself in Augustan Rome. The intricate reliefs require a closer look—each figure, each floral pattern tells a piece of a larger story. Notice the processional friezes that depict members of the Imperial family; can you pick out Augustus with his unmistakable features? Revel in the allegorical scenes, such as the peace-bringing Earth Goddess, Tellus. I always suggest visitors to take a moment to understand the context behind the imagery – it's like reading a visual book of history.

Aside from the altar itself, the Museo dell'Ara Pacis often hosts temporary exhibitions, multimedia installations, and interactive programs that deepen the understanding of this monument. See if there's a guided tour available when you visit; it's one of those experiences that profoundly enrich one's appreciation of history. Remember to step back and take in the surroundings, too—the juxtaposition of the ancient altar against the crisp modernity of the museum designed by architect Richard Meier is a dialogue across time that Rome narrates so well.

Frequently asked questions

What is the significance of Ara Pacis in Rome?

The Ara Pacis, or Altar of Peace, is an ancient monument that was commissioned by the Roman Senate in 13 BC to honor the return of Emperor Augustus from his military campaigns. It is an important symbol of the Pax Romana, the long period of peace and stability established by Augustus.

Where is the Ara Pacis located?

The Ara Pacis is located in the city of Rome, Italy. It is situated in the Museo dell'Ara Pacis, a museum that has been specifically created to house and protect the altar, near the banks of the Tiber River.

What can visitors see at the Ara Pacis Museum?

Visitors to the Museo dell'Ara Pacis can view the Ara Pacis itself, an intricately carved altar that depicts various scenes of Roman mythology and Augustan propaganda. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and has a collection of art and artifacts related to the history of Rome.

What are the opening hours of the Ara Pacis Museum?

The opening hours of the Museo dell'Ara Pacis can vary depending on the season. Generally, the museum is open from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM, but visitors should check the official website or contact the museum directly for the most current information.

Is there an entrance fee for the Ara Pacis Museum?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for the Ara Pacis Museum. However, the cost can vary, and there are discounts available for certain groups, such as students and seniors. Visitors can also purchase a combined ticket with other museums or participate in free entry days, which are offered periodically.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Lungotevere in Augusta, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 15

Find it on google maps