Most of the ancient Temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger) has been destroyed, but three fluted marble columns (18 m high) have survived, thanks to the fact that they were once used as a support for the brick bell tower of Santa Maria Annunziata ai Monti, a small church which was built in the ruins.
The church, which was also known as the Annunziatina on account of its small size, belonged to a convent of Dominican nuns. Although both church and convent were knocked down in the 1920s, the church doorway, surmounted by a beautiful relief of the Annunciation, survives.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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