Pompeii Forum -
The Main Square of the Ancient Pompeii

"Pompeii Forum was the main civic, commercial and religious center and is a must see when visiting Pompeii ruins..."


Just as any other Roman forum, the forum in Pompeii, part of Pompeii ruins, was a large open space of an oblong shape, surrounded by buildings, houses, temples, basilicae, porticos...

In other words, Pompeii forum was an urban center, a main square of the city, home to town's main civic, commercial and religious institutions. The center of life and interest for its citizens, a bustling crowd that came here every day to meet, gossip, run business or worship. A must see when visiting Pompeii!

Situated at the crossing of the two old routes between Pompeii and Naples, Nola and Stabiae, Pompeii forum used to be right in the center of the town but from the 2nd Ct. BC, as the town grew, it was left on its outskirts. However, it kept a major role in Pompeii religious, economic and political life.

To locate Pompeii Forum, check our Map of Ancient Pompeii

At the time of Sulla, Pompeii forum was enclosed on three sides by a portico, raised above ground level by three steps and made up of fluted Doric columns on the ground level and Ionic ones around the first floor covered passageway.

pompeii forum image, pompeii forum picture

In front of the portico, there were the pedestals for statues of distinguished residents.

Those of the members of the Imperial house were placed on the south side of the forum, in front of the administrative buildings.

520 feet long and 109 feet wide (157x38 meters), the Pompeii forum was paved with marble blocks and closed for cart traffic.

Here's the list of buildings you'll be able to see in the Pompeii forum:

  • Temple of Jupiter - it stood at the raised platform of masonry, nine and a half feet high, approached by 15 steps.
  • Arch to Drusus and arch of Germanicus
  • Municipal buildings - the function of these buildings is still debated about; one is thought to have served as a meeting room for the administrators, another might have been a legal archive and the third one the hall of the decurions, members of the city Senate.
  • Comitium - an open-air hall that served as a polling station for public office elections.
  • The Basilica - a building dedicated to administering justice and for business negotiations and transactions.
  • Eumachia - this building could possible have served as a wool market and was built and financed by the priestess Eumachia.
  • Macellum - the city's main food market.
  • The Sanctuary of the Lares Publici - either dedicated to the gods that protected Pompeii or to the Imperial family.
  • Forum Granary - once used to store grain for sale, today it is a storage space for different archaeological findings from Pompeii: amphorae, architectural elements, plaster casts of victims etc.
  • The Temple of Apollo
  • Temple of Vespasian - also referred to as the Sanctuary of the Genius of Augustus, as more archaeologists believe it was dedicated to Augustus, rather than Vespasian.

Today, the forum is one of the must see Pompeii ruins when visiting the ancient city Pompeii, bustling with tourists just as it used to with old Romans 2000 years ago, don't miss it!

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