Going along the Via Sacra you at once notice the ruins of a building with three giant columns. It is the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. Its construction was started by the emperor Maxentius in 308 A.D.
The internal area of the basilica exceeded 4 thousand meters (the length of the structure is 80 m). From the architectural point of view, the basilica was very similar to the thermae of that time. It is believed that Maxentius was inspired to build this basilica by the magnificent thermae of Caracalla. As in the thermae, the ceiling of the basilica was arched and was not made of beams. The height of the arches was about 39 meters. The interior of the basilica was trimmed with marble, white on the walls and colored on the floor.
As Caracalla did not live to see his thermae, the Basilica of Maxentius was also finished by the emperor Constantine after the death of Maxentius in 312 A.D. Constantine made significant changes both in the design and the purpose of the construction. After the basilica was finished it served a court for noble people.