Bronze statue of a Lar, 2nd-3rd century AD. Nearly every Roman household possessed statuettes of the lares, usually in pairs that were placed in a lararium, or shrine, that was built in the central court (atrium) or in the kitchen. These shrines sometimes contained paintings rather than statuettes. Offerings, sacrifices, and prayers were made to the lares and to other household gods. The lares of the crossroads, associated with the emperor’s household gods, were worshipped publicly.