Wrongly said of Vesta, the temple is circular with twenty Corinthian columns resting on a low podium of marble steps. The architect was probably Hermodoros of Salamina, while the cult statue seems to have been by Skopas Minore, greek sculptor of the late second century BC. The capitals seem to be of Greek workmanship, performed on Hellenistic models. The building was dedicated to Ercole Vincitore (Hercules the Winner), protector of Italic merchants who carrying on their activities in the nearby Forum Boario. Built at the end of the second century BC, it is the oldest temple in marble preserved in Rome. The building was restored under Tiberius, probably after the flood of 15 AD. In the twelfth century (1140) was converted into the church of St. Stephen of the Coaches, and from the mid-sixteenth century, before the abandonment, was dedicated to St. Maria del Sole because of a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary found in the Tiber. Inside there is still a fresco of the end of the fifteenth century, depicting the Madonna with Child and Saints. The entire building and the fresco have been recently restored.
The site is opened the 3rd Sunday of every month.
Entrance only with guided tour or accompanist.