The temple of Vesta could be entered only by the Vestals, whose house was adjacent. In addition to the sacred fire, the temple housed ancient relics, among which the Palladium, which was an effigy of Minerva, that, according to the legend, would have been brought to Rome by Æneas.

Synthetic picture presented by Jacques Plassard, showing the temple of Vesta as it might appear on the Forum. In the middle burnt the sacred fire, that should never go out. The Vestals were responsible of keeping the flame up.