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Roman Monuments: Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo is certainly one of the most beautiful monuments in Rome, and it starts growing popularity among travelers from all over the world.

Built around 123 A.C., Castel Sant’Angelo was erected at first as sepulchre for the Emperor Hadrian and his family. This incredible monument had a unique destiny in the Roman history.

Indeed, differently from other monuments that had been destructed or reduced to quarries for materials extraction, the Castle accompanied the Roman history for almost 2,000 years and went through an impressive number of transformations, going from being a funeral monument, to fortress and prison, and eventually a stunning museum.

In order to a assure a burial worthy of the Imperial family, the Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of sepulchre, connected to the other side of the river by a bridge. The helical stairs that leads to the first floor and to the Sala delle Urne, can be dated back to this period.
With the end of the Roman Empire, the monuments abandoned his original function, to become a fortress in 401. Most of the decorations have been lost, while the urns and ashes were destroyed by the Visighot looters.

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According to legend, in 590 the Archangel Micheal appeared atop the mausoleum and ended the plague, from which originates the name of Castel Sant’Angelo.

At the beginning of the 14th century, the popes started converting the fortress into a castle, and Pope Nicholass III connected it to St. Peter’s Basilica by a secret fortified corridor, known as the Passetto del Borgo.

Today the castle is a national museum with an impressive collection of artwork, sculptures, potteries and paintings. Among its wonders, it’s also possible to visit the papal apartments, the Library, the Sala the Apollo and the Angel Courtyard, just to name a few of the amazing places you’ll see inside.

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Opening times:

Tuesday - Sunday 9:00 - 19:30
Closed on Monday, December 25th, January 1st

*price may vary


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