Castel Sant'Angelo: the storied citadel of the eternal city
Art & Culture

Castel Sant'Angelo: the storied citadel of the eternal city

Castel Sant’Angelo,Italy

Castel Sant'Angelo: the storied citadel of the eternal city

Castel Sant'Angelo stands as one of Rome's most iconic and captivating sites—an authentic archaeological treasure trove steeped in history and remarkable artistic episodes. This majestic fortress, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, stands proudly on the western bank of the Tiber River, a stone's throw from the Vatican. Its legacy spans over 2,000 years of political, architectural, and cultural transformations, making it a symbol of Rome and its heritage. The history of Castel Sant'Angelo traces back to its origins as a mausoleum commissioned by Emperor Hadrian in 123 AD, intended to serve as the final resting place for the emperor and his family. The original structure, known as the "Mausoleum of Hadrian," was adorned with sculptures and marvelous frescoes.

During the Roman Empire, Castel Sant'Angelo fulfilled its funereal role until the 5th century, when it was transformed into a fortress to defend Rome from barbarian invasions. Over the centuries, the castle underwent various architectural modifications, serving as a residence for popes, a prison, the Papal Treasury's headquarters, and even a refuge during periods of political instability. The castle's current appearance, with its characteristic elevated and fortified passage connecting it to the Vatican, was designed by the renowned architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in the 16th century. This corridor, known as the "Passetto di Borgo," became famous for its use by popes as an escape route during times of danger—a crucial strategic point providing better control over the district.

Today, Castel Sant'Angelo stands as a grand museum—a vast gallery preserving Rome's complex history. Visitors can explore its numerous chambers and corridors, marvel at artworks and ancient artifacts that narrate intriguing tales of power, faith, and defense. The beauty and historical significance of this monument serve as a focal point in Rome's narrative, bearing witness to the changes endured over centuries. An unmissable destination where history, art, and architecture harmoniously merge into a singular cultural experience For all information regarding visits, temporary exhibitions, and cultural events at the castle, visit the National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo

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