The Temple of Venus Genetrix occupied the centre of the northern side of the square of the Forum of Caesar. It was erected by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. to celebrate the mythical ancestral of his family: the goddess Venus. The front of the Temple, erected on a podium, was decorated with eight fluted columns of white Carrara marble. Later on it became a veritable museum of sculptures, paintings and precious objects. The statue of cult, portraying the goddess Venus holding a Cupid on her shoulder, was preserved in the cell; it had been commissioned by Caesar to the Greek sculptor Arcesilao.
The structure was completely rebuilt by Trajan in 113 A.D., within the broader urban planning intervention linked to the realization of his Forum. In this stage of rebuilding the interior of the cell of cult was decoreted with a double colonnade separated by a frieze with Cupids; a fragment of this frieze is on diplay in the Museum of Imperial Fora.
In 283 a disastrous fire seriously damaged the Forum of Caesar and the Temple of Venus Genetrix, which was restored a few years later, in the first decade of the 4th century. In order to support the tympanum, the ancient colonnade was stopped up with a very thick wall, in the centre of which there was only one entrance.
The three columns of the Temple still remaining were raised together with part of the trabeation in 1933.