View of the front entrance into the Ara Pacis. The altar is actually "U" shaped. In the foreground are stairs that lead up to the altar. Inside the entrance are additional steps that lead up to the actual altar where the sacrifices were made.
Note the beautiful floral carvings in the lower decorative sections of the altar—they are symbolic of the bounty and luxury of the "era of peace" that had been inaugurated by Augustus (r. 27 B.C to A.D. 14; = Pax Romana). In the upper right panel is a carving depicting the founder of Rome, Aeneas, sacrificing a sow.