The Columns of The Temple of Augustus in Barcelona

You can wander around most large cities and find all sorts of interesting hole-in-the-wall style locations: Bars, shops, eateries, museums, and so forth. In Europe, given its rich and tumultuous history, you can find all manner of intrigue in larger cities. When in Barcelona, we happened to accidentally stumble onto the ruins of The Temple of Augustus by complete accident, which just shows you that even ancient Roman architecture can be tucked away in an unassuming alleyway.

A Brief History of The Columns

Base Column - Two Second Street -

The columns themselves have been around for a long time, but they were lost for a brief moment in history (the Modern Age) until they were rediscovered in 1835. They had already deteriorated quite a bit at that time, with one of the columns crumbling due to nearby construction a few years later. They were columns as part of a temple constructed to the Roman emperor Augustus Cesar in the first century BC. The modern reconstruction was done by Puig i Cadafalch at the turn of the century and the columns are now surrounded by apartment buildings and a building that apparently is used by the Hiking Club of Catalonia.

A Hidden Gem in the Gothic Quarter

Seeing the columns (Corinthian style, for you column nerds out there!) was quite an unexpected treat! The Gothic Quarter has a lot of beautiful Gothic architecture, romantic buildings, and stone roads to explore, but we hadn’t imagined that we’d see this large piece of Roman history around a very small corner. The columns reach over nine meters tall and have a glass roof constructed over them. There are other bits and pieces of the temple there to see, such as the base of the columns, called the plinth, that was the original base of the temple! It’s not a huge site, nor is the history of the site exhaustive, so this is more of a shorter stop if you’re in the neighborhood. Nonetheless, it’s a great gateway into a deep and rich history that the area has had for thousands of years!

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