Castel Sant'Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is a historic fortress located in Rome, Italy. It is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city, with a fascinating history that spans over two millennia. Here's some information about Castel Sant'Angelo:
Castel Sant'Angelo was originally commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family in 135 AD. It was later used as a fortified castle by various Roman emperors and served as a military fortress during medieval times. The castle was connected to the Vatican City by an elevated passageway known as the "Passetto di Borgo," which was used as a secret escape route for the Pope in times of danger.
Architecture and Design:
The structure of Castel Sant'Angelo is an impressive blend of different architectural styles. Its cylindrical base and the lower part of the building were inspired by the design of the traditional Roman mausoleums, while the upper part was modified during medieval times to turn it into a military fortress. The castle is made of travertine stone and features a statue of the Archangel Michael on top, giving the castle its current name "Sant'Angelo" (Saint Angel) in reference to the Archangel.
Papal Residence and Museum:
Over the centuries, Castel Sant'Angelo served as a papal residence and treasury, housing various works of art and precious artifacts. Today, it houses a museum that showcases historical collections, including Renaissance paintings, antique weaponry, and other artifacts related to the castle's rich history.
1. Views of Rome: The castle offers stunning panoramic views of Rome from its rooftop terrace, making it a great spot for photography and sightseeing.
2. History and Art: Take your time exploring the castle's museum, which displays an interesting mix of historical and artistic treasures.
3. Passetto di Borgo: Learn about the secret passageway that connects Castel Sant'Angelo to the Vatican City and its historical significance.
4. Nighttime Visit: Consider visiting the castle during the evening when it is beautifully illuminated, providing a unique and atmospheric experience.
Castel Sant'Angelo stands as a testament to the rich history of Rome and has played various roles throughout the centuries, from a mausoleum to a fortress and papal residence. It remains an important cultural landmark, attracting visitors from around the world who seek to explore the fascinating history and architecture of this iconic structure.