Rome

Ara Pacis Museum

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Lungotevere in Augusta,
Rome,

Italy,
100.

Overlooking the Tiber River is the Ara Pacis Museum, which houses the eponymous Altar of Peace. The altar was built in 9 B.C. to celebrate Emperor Augustus’s victories in Hispania and Gaul and the subsequent Pax Augusta (Augustan Peace). Considered the most significant example of Augustan sculpture, the white marble monument depicts the emperor and his family offering sacrifices to the gods, and the life-size portraits are recognizable as real people rather than idealized types. Designed by American architect Richard Meier, the museum features 5,381 square feet of crystal panels, bathing the altar with natural light.