Castel Sant'Angelo
Rome • Italy

From: Rome Travel Guide

See also: PantheonTrevi Fountain

Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy
The Castel Sant' Angelo which is also known as Mausoleum of Hadrian is a formidable building that was built as a mausoleum between 135 and 139 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian for himself and his wife Sabina and their adopted son Lucius Aelius.

Situated on the right hand bank of the river Tiber this cylindrical building which originally had a garden top and golden quadriga.

The Mausoleum of Hadrian can be approached over the magnificent bridge called the Bridge Of Hadrian (Pons Aelius) which would have also provided a stunning approach for many pilgrims who came to Rome. As wella s Hadrian and his family the mausoleum also contains the ashes of many other Emperors such as the Emperor Caracalla.

The building was converted into a military fortress around 401 AD and was also one of the many buildings that was included in the Aurelian Wall which ran around the city.

A terrible plague took hold of the city during the 7th century and legend has it that the Archangel Michael appeared on the top of the Mausoleum and put his sword away into his scabbard which announced to the people of Rome that the plague had ended. It was after this that the bridge and mausoleum took on the name of Sant' Angelo.

Raffaello da Montelupo created a stunning marble statue of the angel which was originally placed at the top of the Castel Sant'Angelo and which is now kept safely within the castle with a bronze statue positioned in its place instead.

When the mausoleum was converted into a castle by the Pope of the time who added the Passetto di Borgo which is a raised passage that connects the mausoleum with the Vatican City and was used as an escape route.

The Castel Sant' Angelo has also been used as a prison and a site of execution but is now thankfully a museum (Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo), and visitors can view frescoes by Raphael's disciples, the famous bronze angel, various military objects and take in splendid views of the City of Rome.

Attraction Location Guide
The Castel Sant'Angelo is located on the right hand bank of the River Tiber, two kilometers west of west of Trevi Fountain.