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Ara Pacis

Museo dell'Ara Pacis

In 13 BC the Emperor Augustus marched home from three years of imposing peace on his formerly fractious empire, and the Senate promptly commissioned a monument to mark his achievements. Four years later, the Ara Pacis Augustae (Augustan Altar of Peace) was inaugurated.

It’s a simple altar at the centre of four marble walls gloriously carved with friezes hailing the emperor, his family, piety, peace and the prosperity of the pacified Empire. Now housed in a hyper-modern outer shell designed by US architect Richard Meier, the Ara Pacis museum also doubles as an exhibition venue.