The Arch of Augustus in Rimini is the oldest surviving Roman arch in the world. It is here that one of the most famous consular roads of the ancient Roman Empire, the Via Flaminia, which begins at the Porta del Popolo in Rome, ends.
Arch of Augustus Rimini
Address: Corso d’Augusto – 47923 Rimini. The monument is visible from outside.
History and description
In addition to the Via Flaminia, another important Roman road, the Via Emilia, ends at the Arch of Augustus.
The triumphal arch was built in honor of Emperor Caesar Octavian Augustus.
Inscriptions on the monument indicate that it was built in the year 27 BC. Other inscriptions on the arch are of religious and political nature.
Originally, the monument featured a parapet with a statue depicting the Emperor himself.
Effigies of the four main Roman Gods are carved into the marble. These are Jupiter, Neptune, Apollo and Minerva. Minerva was the patron goddess of what was then called Ariminum as well as of Roman crafts.
The Arch of Augustus has a single passageway that is nearly 10 meters high and 8.45 meters wide. Originally it was part of the defensive wall around the city. However, most of this wall was largely destroyed by Mussolini. Only few remains can still be seen around Rimini’s historic center.
At the time, the passage was too wide and too high for a gate to be put in. This had to do with the Emperor’s Pax Augustea (“Peace of Augustus”) policy, which assumed that no one would attack the city anyway.
The teeth on top of the arch were placed there only during the Middle Ages.
A restoration of the arch took place in the 18th century under the direction of the architect Tommaso Temanza.
The Arch is one of the most important symbols of Rimini and is therefore depicted in the city’s coat of arms.