Castel Sant’Angelo

A building that has seen its fortunes constantly change. From mausoleum wanted around 123 A.D. for the emperor Hadrian and his family, from a fortified outpost, from a prison to a splendid Renaissance residence.

A building that has seen its fortunes constantly change. From mausoleum wanted around 123 A.D. for the emperor Hadrian and his family, from a fortified outpost, from a prison to a splendid Renaissance residence.

Some history hints of Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant’angelo follows the history of Rome hand in hand. The changes, the times of glory or misery, everything that concerned the Eternal city has consequently overwhelmed the Castle as well.

Born in the second century as a sepulcher for the family of the emperor Hadrian in a peripheral area of the city at the time, it fulfilled this original function until 403 AD approximately, when it is included in the Aurelian walls.

From this moment a ‘second life’ begins in the guise of castellum, a fortress that served as an outpost to protect the city. Numerous Roman families contend for possession: it will be the stronghold of Senator Teofilatto, Crescenzi, Pierleoni and Orsini. It is precisely a Pope Orsini – Niccolò III – who had the famous Passetto di Borgo built, which connects the Vatican to the Castle, in a physical and ideal continuity.

In 1367 the building was handed over to Pope Urban V, to urge the return of the Curia to Rome from the Avignon exile. From this moment on, the strong relation with the ecclesiastic power is evident, which adapts it to a residence in which to take refuge in moments of danger. Thanks to its solid and fortified structure, the Castle houses the Vatican Archives and Treasury, but is also adapted to court and prison.

To learn more and for information on the museum, we refer you to the official website.

Do you want to discover other places in a city that intertwines past and present in an unmistakable way? Take a look at the Pantheon!

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