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Notes on the Geography of Italy: Classical Rome 2: Photo 20

world pictures Italy: Classical Rome 2

Back in central Rome, we're looking west across the Tiber at the Castel Sant'Angelo. The core was erected in 136-139 as a mausoleum for Hadrian and his family. Like the tomb of Cecilia Metella, it was faced with marble. All the succeeding emperors through Caracalla (d. 217) were buried here. Like Cecilia Metella's tomb, this one became a fortress in the Middle Ages--the citadel of Rome. The modern name comes from the Archangel Michael, whom Gregory the Great in the year 590 is said to have seen sheathing his sword here. About 610, Boniface IV erected the summit chapel to commemorate this vision. The statue of the bronze angel (1752) replaced an earlier one of stone, which replaced a statue of Hadrian atop a smaller circular colonnade. The pentagonal wall was added in the 1620s by Urban VIII. Italy's Royal Engineers were housed here from 1870 until 1900.

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