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Pompeii (Campania), Italy

Triangular Forum

Its unusual shape lends this place its picturesque name: Triangular Forum. It was built on a steep lava ridge on the face of Pompeii’s hill that stretches out towards the sea and the Sarno River.

The Triangular Forum was part of a detailed urban plan carried out in the 2nd Century BC to re-arrange the theaters and temples area.  An impressive monumental entrance leads into a triangular square surrounded by a 95 column colonnade opening out to an incredible view of the coast.

Because of the shape of the sacred area, the north entrance at the upper vertex of the triangle is quite small. The wall running along the colonnade forms a wide corridor: it may have been used as a running track or for horse races held during religious festivals.

In front of the main façade of the temple, an odd construction consisting of two concentric fences is situated. Their function remains unclear: they probably surrounded a grave, perhaps the burial monument of Pompeii’s founder, who was considered a hero. Three altars stand in front of the temple, on the right corner.