Roman Cities - A KS2 Guide to the Important Buildings
Updated: Feb 7
The Romans loved entertainment and set up large stadiums called Amphitheatres so that they could go to watch live entertainment.
Amphitheatres are large circular (or oval) open-air stadiums with raised seating around a central space where the ‘entertainment’ would take place.
The entertainment was quite different to what we watch today. The Romans went to watch Gladiator fights where trained men (or slaves & criminals) would fight each other and wild animals, often to the death.
The Forum was a busy market square at the centre of the town or city.
The Forum contained all of the important places of business such as government buildings and law courts.
People didn’t just go to the Forum to browse the shops or buy food. They would go to meet friends, catch up on gossip or listen to important speeches from politicians or officials.
Religion was important to the Romans, and like many ancient cultures they worshipped a number of different gods.
They would often build grand temples in their cities where people could worship different gods.
A classic Roman Temple would have a white portico surrounded by lots of columns.
Worship included making offerings of food, flowers and money, killing animals as a sacrifice to please the gods or celebrating religious festivals.
Colosseum's were the Roman equivalent of a sports stadium or cinema: a place for thousands of people to be entertained. They were much larger versions of the amphitheatre; at a colosseum you could watch many different events; from chariot racing to gladiator contests. You could even go along to watch dangerous wild animals nibble on criminals - talk about variety!
There were many colosseums but only one 'Colosseum'. This vast building still stands in Rome. When it was built 50,000 Roman citizens could be seated to watch the entertainment provided by the Emperor.
Romans loved to have water for the public baths, fountains, and toilets in their ancient cities. Some fancy pants Romans even had running water pumped to their homes - fancy that?
To run all of these amenities the Romans needed lots and lots of water. That's where the Aqueducts came in. Think of Aqueducts as man-made rivers that carried water for many miles to where it was needed. Giant bridges were built to pump the water over obstacles like Rivers. The water was even cleaned of gunk and debris with sedimentation tanks - talk about clever!
As mentioned above - the Romans loved their water! One use for all that H2O was to fill public baths. These enormous buildings could be found in cities and military bases all over the Roman Empire - there are loads of them in Britain too.
The Romans became so advanced with bath time that the water in the baths could be kept at a variety of temperatures. In the Public Baths in the well-named city of Bath you could have had a cold bath, a lukewarm bath or a hot bath.