- we hunt the dead

Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian
50 Lungotevere Castello -Rome, Italy
Phone: 06.681.911.1
Our Rating:

Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 9 AM - 7 PM (office closes at 6:30)
Closed Mondays, Christmas Day and New Years Day

Cost: 5

Castel Sant'Angelo was constructed from 135 - 139 AD at the behest of Hadrian, emperor of Rome.  The building housed not only his earthly remains but those of many other notable Romans until 410 when pillaging Visigoth warriors scattered the ashes of all those who had lain quietly here for centuries.  9 years before, the building had been turned into a military fortification and was included in Rome's Barbarian defense mechanism - the Aurelian Walls.  The building was used as a military installation and then became a papal castle until 1901 when it was converted into a museum.

We arrived after close so were unable to enter the museum proper, but we did get a nice long look at the outside and the lovely bridge, the Ponte Sant'Angelo.

The statues along the bridge depict angels carrying different items associated with the suffering of Jesus.  We were strapped for time and had to go in a different direction so we didn't cross the bridge itself ... but it was lovely nonetheless!

"Thou hast ravished my heart"

It's a shame that the remains of all these dead Romans are no longer within this edifice ... but the history it holds, and the power that history has, makes it a stop not to be missed.

Roman emperors once interred here:
Antoninus Pius
Lucius Verus
Marcus Aurelius
Septimius Severus

It is said that in 590, the angel Michael was seen sheathing his sword in the sky above the castle to signal an end to the wrath of the Plague - hence the building's name.  A bronze statue of Michael can be seen atop the castle.


Learn more about the Mausoleum of Hadrian


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