Rome – Saint Angel Castle

The bridges over the Tiber and Castel Sant’ Angelo

Many bridges cross the Tiber, some of them dating from the time of ancient Rome. The smallest is the footbridge Fabridus (62 BC), the oldest Roman bridge to have survived, still used as a link between the Tiberina island and the city, as does the Cestius bridge, restored by the Byzantines in 370 AD. The Ponte Milvio, to the North of Rome, is famous because here Constantine fought and won a battle against Maxentius in 312 AD. There are also more recent bridges: Ponte Sisto built in 1473 and enlarged in the 19th century; today it is closed to traffic. The splendid Ponte Sant’ Angelo links Castel Sant’Angelo to Campo Marzio. This bridge was built in the 2nd century AD and since 1530 has been adorned by statues of St. Paul (by Paolo Taccone) and St. Peter (by Lorenzetto). In mid-17th century Pope Clement IX had the statues of ten angels, designed by Bernini and sculpted by his pupils, placed on the balustrade.

Castel Sant' Angelo - Rome

Castel Sant’ Angelo – Rome

Castel Sant’ Angelo was built by the Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself. It was finished in 130 AD. Initially a statue of the Emperor was placed on the terrace of the castle, now replaced by a sculpture or an angel. The entrance to the Castle is through the Courtyard Salvatore that leads into the Courtyard of the Angel where cannon balls are stocked. Michelangelo designed the double line of windows on the back wall. The many rooms in the Castle are extremely interesting: on the third floor is the courtyard of Alexander VI which is embellished by a charming well. It is followed by the bathroom of Clement VII decorated by Giullo Romano. Not to be missed are the historical prisons, called the Mouth of Hell, where such people as Cellini, Giordano Bruno and Cagliostro were imprisoned.

Ponte Sant' Angelo

Ponte Sant’ Angelo

Finally, there is the Treasury and the beautiful Library.

Palace of the Quirinale

It was begun in 1583 and planned by the architect Martino Longhi il Vecchio. It became papal residence under Clement VIII (1592-1605) until 1870. The Obelisk, coming from the Mausoleum of Augustus, was erected in 1786. The fountain of the Renaissance was placed here in 1818.

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