Ancient monuments from the inside
What did the ancient monuments of architecture look like inside, from which now only ruins remain.
The Golden House of Nero, Rome.
It was built in 65-68 AD by the famous Emperor Nero for orgies and feasts. A huge dome crowned the octagonal room, which was decorated with mosaics, including the ceiling. The Roman historian Suetonius, 50 years after the death of Nero and the destruction of the palace, wrote that “the main chamber was round and day and night continuously rotated after the firmament; salt and sulfur waters flowed in the baths.” A contemporary of the emperor also described the gem-encrusted walls, the ivory and pearl ornaments, and the ceilings with turntables, which showered the guests with flowers and bestowed scents.
Masada Fortress, Israel.
According to the historian Josephus, Herod I the Great built the fortress between 37 and 31 BC. Masada stands firmly on the top of one of the rocks and looks out over the Dead Sea. The fortress had three luxurious terraces. The artists restored one of them, the lower one.
Great Kiva, Chaco National Historic Park, USA.
The ruins were discovered in 1859 and gave an insight into the daily lifestyle of the Pueblo people (a group of Indian tribes). The structure stretched over 27 acres and consisted of 450 rooms, including a restored kivu-a ritual room for the Indians. Partially built underground, the kivas were huge circular rooms where people gathered to socialize, discuss important issues of the people, or celebrate an event.
Basilica of Maxentius, Rome, Italy.
Huge even by the standards of Ancient Rome, the basilica was erected in the Roman Forum. Its area covered 6,500 square meters. The basilica served as a meeting place, business deal-making and administrative building.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
The complex, which was supposedly built over 30 years in the early 12th century, was originally a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. By the end of the 12th century, the temple had become a Buddhist temple and one of the largest religious buildings in the world.
From a distance, Angkor Wat looks like a huge pile of stones, but inside, visitors will see a series of high towers, many porches and courtyards on different levels, connected by stairs.