Temple of Portunus

Rome, Italy

The Temple of Portunus or Temple of Fortuna Virilis ('manly fortune') is one of the best preserved of all Roman temples. Its dedication remains unclear, as ancient sources mention several temples in this area of Rome, without saying enough to make it clear which this is.

The temple was originally built in the third or fourth century BC but was rebuilt between 120-80 BC, the rectangular building consists of a tetrastyle portico and cella, raised on a high podium reached by a flight of steps, which it retains.

The temple owes its state of preservation to its being converted for use as a church in 872 and rededicated to Santa Maria Egyziaca (Saint Mary of Egypt). Its Ionic order has been much admired, drawn and engraved and copied since the 16th century. The original coating of stucco over its tufa and travertine construction has been lost.

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Details

Founded: 120-80 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Luca Scia (2 months ago)
I love this place for the history of it. Portunus was a latin god. Specifically it was the wind who carried the ships safely to the harbour. The Romans believed that the wind should be celebrated because we have to imagine that the main items and products were carried by ships and a gentle and good wind helped to arrive safely. The english word OPPORTUNITY comes from Portunus because an opportunity is something good right?
Mary McPartland (3 months ago)
Beautiful spot across with few visitors, near Tiber River walk, from Boca. Take a few minutes to imagine Rome, 2000 years ago. Gorgeous sunny day in January.
Arturs Mons (4 months ago)
If you are on the way to mouth of truth it’s worth to pass by and see it. Otherwise don’t plan on purpose visit this attraction, there are plenty of other interesting sites in Rome to see.
Vladyslav Bugrym (7 months ago)
The Temple of Portunus (Italian: Tempio di Portuno) or Temple of Fortuna Virilis ("manly fortune") is a Roman temple in Rome, Italy, one of the best preserved of all Roman temples. Its dedication remains unclear, as ancient sources mention several temples in this area of Rome, without saying enough to make it clear which this is. It was called the Temple of Fortuna Virilis from the Renaissance, and remains better known by this name. If dedicated to Portunus, the god of keys, doors and livestock, and so granaries, it is the main temple dedicated to the god in the city.
Dave T (16 months ago)
One of the smallest but one of the best preserved temples in Rome originally built about 400 BC but rebuilt again around 100 BC. Also known as the temple of manly fortune.
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The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

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In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

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