This beautiful modern building stands at the left side of the Tiber river. We will pass by the Ara Pacis when coming to the baroque part of the city on the Segway tour:!:) Let us tell you a few interests about this modern building.
On July 4, 13 BC, the Senate decided to build an altar dedicated to the achievement of Emperor Augustus. They did it on the occasion of the return of the Emperor from a three-year pacifying expedition to Spain and southern Gaul. The dedication, which was an important ceremony, started on 30 January 9 BC. This date was quite important for Augustus. It was a birthday of Livia, who was his wife. The monument took its place at the beginning of the ancient Via Flaminia
In 9 BC Emperor Augustus decided to dedicate alter to the peace. The official name of this monument is “The Ara Pacis Augustae” (Altar of Peace of Augustus). Ara Pacis represents one of the most significant evidence received from the Augustan art and intends to symbolize the peace and prosperity achieved as a result of the Roman population.
The original location of Ara Pacis wasn’t at the place where you can find it nowadays. It took its place closer to Via del Corso. To be exact at its original place you can see nowadays Palazzo Fiano-Peretti-Almagià. Unfortunately because of the humidity, Ara Pacis started to receive damages. Some parts broke, some were taken away. Because of the Tiber river, which we still very close to the monument the level of the ground was still raising higher. In the end, they had to build a brick wall around Ara Pacis to protect it from sand and mud.
In the Middle Ages, they were “recycling” many roman marble monuments. The used them as marble quarries to get material for new statues and buildings. Unfortunately, Ara Pacis became a part of one of these recycling processes. Finally, they started to rediscover the rests of this beautiful monument and the also slowly started with its preservation. They found some fragments of the reliefs and send them to many museums including Gallery Uffizzi in Florence, Louvre in Paris and also the Vatican museums.
At the beginning of the 20th century, they started with the realization of the idea of putting all the rests of Ara Pacis back together. Later they replaced the remains between the Tiber river and Mausoleum of Augustus where you can still admire it even nowadays. They built a building around it as a case to protect it from the impacts of nature. Since they didn’t have enough money for white marble and travertine they built it from different materials and painted it white after. Later the were adding other parts to the case however they still weren’t sure if the Ara Pacis remains in this exact place. Finally, they inaugurate The Museum of Ara Pacis only in 2006. It was the final touch to the building and it got the look you can still see nowadays.
This building is used not only to protect the Altar but you can find there also interesting exhibitions. The exhibitions are Ara Pacis is always somehow special. They try to use modern methods of showing the subjets there. The visitors can always enjoy them using more senses than just see. The inner parts of the building have an interesting acoustic system and since the walls are made of glass the rays of sun coming inside play a beautiful show just themselves.
In the summer the area around the river gets quite busy. The build a long promenade at the riverside. It is full of bars, restaurants and different kinds of shops with clothing, food and souvenirs of course. It is the only place where you can cool down from the heat in the streets. That is why it gets crowded especially on Fridays and Saturdays evenings. All the locals are coming there to get some fresh and breeze from the river when enjoying a glass of wine in one of many bars there.