Here are some facts about Roman buildings.
- The Romans introduced many new building ideas and techniques, including concrete, bricks and the arch. They also built sewers, and aqueducts to carry water to their cities and people.
- Roman buildings used concrete as early as about 270 BC. It was a strong and cheap material.
- They constructed mosaics in a lot of their buildings. These were small coloured pieces of stone arranged to make a picture or pattern.
- Rich Romans lived in town houses, or villas in the country. These often had a reception room, bedrooms, private baths and a garden or courtyard, and were decorated with tiled murals.
- Roman palaces were even more luxurious, with marble floors, running water and heat. Emperor Nero’s palace had 300 rooms and a revolving ceiling, as well as murals made from precious stones.
- Not all Roman buildings were spectacular, and poor people often lived in overcrowded apartment buildings 4 or 5 floors high. They were made from wood and had no water, heating or toilets.
- The Romans occupied England for almost 500 years and Roman buildings can be seen all over England. Some of the best places Roman remains are in York, Chester and Bath.
- The Romans built over 200 amphitheatres or stadiums, as well as many temples and public buildings. They built baths and lighthouses, and every city had a forum, or marketplace.
- One of the best known of these Roman buildings is the Colosseum (or Coliseum), in Rome. The huge stadium influenced the design of modern stadiums and could seat up to 80,000 spectators.
- The Pantheon in Rome is another famous Roman building, built as a temple. It still has the world’s largest unsupported concrete dome, which measures almost 10 metres across.
- The Romans built many roads, bridges and aqueducts to expand their empire. The Pont du Gard aqueduct in France has 3 levels of arches and is 275 metres long and almost 49 metres high.
What next? Learn more about the Romans by visiting our Roman resources page.