The Temple of Divus Claudius is located on the Celio hill, next to the Colosseum in Rome. The word Divus means “made divine”. Some ruins of the monument are visible underneath the Santi Cosma and Damiano Church.
Temple of Divus Claudius on the Celio Hill Rome
The Tempio del Divo Claudio was probably built by Claudius‘s widow and murderess Agrippina the younger.
After Nero had destroyed the Temple in order to create space for a nymphaeum of the Domus Aurea and for the Arcus Neroni, a side arm of the Acqua Claudia aqueduct, his successor Vespasian had it reconstructed.
Later the Temple was abandoned and left to decay but it is possible to get an idea of what it must have looked like from a marble map of Rome, the Forba Urbis Romae, which was attached to the Chiesa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano. The temple consisted probably of one big hall, with a garden covered by a portico and with 6 columns at the entrance.
The Temple of Divus Claudius was built on an artificial platform (175 by 205m) and its entrance was on the west side, towards the Palatine Hill. The travertine facade was built against the side of the hill.
The foundations of this platform, which were also used for Nero‘s fountain, can still be seen on this west side, where a double row of travertine arcades has been excavated. On the east side (Via Claudia) part of the nymphaeum was found in 1880.
The convent belonging to the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo was built on top of the erstwhile Temple of Claudius. Also here arcades that used to be part of the facade have been excavated. However, parts of the temple itself have not been found.