From the west
The forum is the meeting place for Romans, the center of political, religious, business, and social life. Built up over many years on an ancient site, the Forum Romanum is the oldest and most important forum. It is laid out on an axial plan and everything is organized within defined boundaries. At its peak during the days of the Republic and the Empire, the forum held the main public buildings, temples, basilicas, shops, colonnades, triumphal arches, pillars and statues.