The Sanctuary of Venus


The Sanctuary of Venus is the ruin of a series of buildings which housed the Temple of Venus. This ruin is located on the right hand side of the Marina Gate entrance in Pompeii.


There is evidence of three temple complexes constructed in this area, each one varying in size. The first Temple of Venus complex covered approximately 300 square meters and was constructed around 50 BC. The second building complex was considerably smaller as it was to be constructed out of marble. Alongside the construction of this second temple was a set of double colonnades which ran along the east and west sides of the complex. However, construction was cut short due to an earthquake in 62 AD and the majority of the complex was destroyed. The photograph on the left shows one of the columns and Corinthian capitals of the east colonnade. The third temple complex was set to be larger than its predecessor. However, construction met an end in 79 AD with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 

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The site is still taking serious damage. Sections of the ruined city including the Temple of Venus have been fenced off to stop visitors taking artifacts as souvenirs. Coupled with this, the site is being continuously damaged by the weather. In 2013 and again in 2014, the Temple of Venus and other building remnants were damaged due to heavy rain. The Italian Cultural Minister, Dario Franceschini, said that this damage coincided with “an unprecedented vacuum in the management of Pompeii.” In 2013, a 103 million euro conservation project was established and was being partially funded by the European Union. Only 21 million euro had been spent up to October of 2015, with the project deadline at the end of that year. This lack of spending was reportedly due to the conservation project being tied up in bureaucracy for the first year. The work undertaken in 2015 was reportedly double that of 2014, with fear that a rush toward a deadline may have detrimental effects on the conservation. Fortunately, UNESCO have recommended the extension of the project to the end of 2016. 

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