The Temple of Saturn was built in honour of Saturn - the ancient Roman god of wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal, and liberation. It is believed that actually an altar of Saturn had already been located at the same place before. The construction of the temple began in the late years of the Etruscan kingdom around 500 BC. Some sources report that the construction of the Temple of Saturn was started under Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome.
The temple was reconstructed in 42 BC and again in the 4th century. The latter was after the fire of Carinus in 284 that highly damaged buildings and monuments of the Roman Forum.
Architecture & Art
The Temple of Saturn is one of the oldest buildings on the ground of the Roman Forum. You can't overlook its prominent 8 granite columns at the west end of the Forum - standing on a pediment of travertine blocks (limestone).
Gold and silver and the official scale for weighing metal were stored in the building. It is believed that the treasure was beneath the temple's stairs.
A statue of Saturn was once located in the temple. During the Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn, bonds were removed from his feet - as a symbolic act. The festival took place on every 17th of December. During a party lasting several days, people gave gifts to each other, gambling was allowed, slaves could behave like free citizens.
Especially during summer, it can get quite hot. Since you can hardly find any shadow it is a good advice to visit the Roman Forum in the morning hours. And bring comfortable shoes because the ground is a bit rough.
I also advise you to book tickets online. Usually, the tickets are sold as combi tickets that also allow access to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill.
Last but not least, you shouldn't miss the view from the top of Palatine Hill. From there, you can nicely overlook the whole Roman Forum.