The Temple In Rome Where Julius Caesar Was Murdered Is Now Home To An Army Of Stray Cats

A city’s dealings with its own historically important sites can often be very tricky. On one hand, the city has an obligation to preserve and memorialize what transpired there; on the other, there’s a desire to make sure the space is useful to the citizens in some way.

As you can imagine, a city like Rome that’s filled with history deals with these issues more often than most. For at least one particular historical spot, however, they’ve managed to strike a surprisingly great balance!

In ancient Rome, the Theater of Pompey was the place where Julius Caesar was assassinated by his political opponents. In the present day, though, this important ground is home to a surprising group of Romans!

In 44 BC, Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by members of the Senate in the east portico of the Theater of Pompey in Rome’s Campus Martius.

caesar-2Wikimedia Commons

After the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, the theater was lost to history for hundreds of years until excavations in the 20th century uncovered it. The site now operates as a tourist attraction, but it also has another surprising use…

caesar-1Wikimedia Commons / Peter Clarke

The entire grounds, now called the Torre Argentina, are part of a city-run cat sanctuary for strays!

caesar-3Wikimedia Commons / Wknight94

A team of volunteers collects and cares for street cats from all around Rome. The felines are picked up, spayed or neutered, and then brought to the Torre, where they have access to an indoor facility or are free to roam the grounds!

caesar-5Wikimedia Commons / Wknight94

It’s certainly a surprising but wonderful use of the spot upon which so much of Western history was determined so long ago with one terrible act!

caessar-4Wikipedia / Adam Carr

Wow! You’d never expect such an important historical monument to be used as an animal sanctuary, but it’s a very cool idea!

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