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Maison Carrée

The Maison Carrée at Nimes, France, is one of the best preserved Roman temples.

Raised on a high podium, it dominated the forum of the Roman city. It was built ca 19 BCE by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who was also the original patron of the Pantheon in Rome. It was dedicated to his two sons, Caius and Lucius, heirs of Augustus, who both died very young, but it owes its preservation to the fact that it was rededicated as a Christian church in the 4th century.

The Maison Carrée is an excellent example of classic Augustan balance, almost twice as long as it is wide, with a deep portico almost a third of the building's full length. It is hexastyle, with six columns across under the pediment, with the columns continued as attached half-columns around the cella.

The Maison Carrée inspired the Neo-classical Church of the Madeleine in Paris.

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