• June 14, 2018

Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo

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In English known as Castle of the Holy Angel. Castel Sant’Angelo was originally a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian and his family. It takes its place on the right side of the Tiber. Let us take you there on our tour:)!

The Hadrianeum

3D model of Castle of Holy Angel in Rome shows its original version

The original tomb of emperor Hadrian was turned into Castle of Holy Angel

Nowadays the building looks like a fortified bastion, but originally it was built as a grave for the emperor Hadrian and his family. Another name for The Hadrians Mausoleum is the Hadrianeum. They finished the grave in 139 AD. One year after Hadrian died. How did the Mausoleum look before? The building was even bigger than the Castle nowadays!

The structure

The shape of the Castel Sant’Angelo still copies the original structure of the former mausoleum. It was a huge circle grave for the mortal remains of Emperor Hadrian. On top of the grave, there was a hill decorated with trees and flowers. On top of the hill, there was a temple with quadriga. The quadriga was a statue of an ancient chariot with for horses in the front.

Ponte Sant’Angelo

Bridge in front of Castle of Holy Angel

In the 18th century, the bridge to Castle of Holy Angel was built. Each angel holds one of the instruments of the passion

In front of the Castel Sant’Angelo, there is a bridge. In our opinion one of the most beautiful bridges which are crossing the Tiber here in Rome. The name of the bridge is Ponte Sant’ Angelo. There is a row of statues on angels on both sides of the bridge. These statues were sculpted by followers of John Lorenzo Bernini.

Later, the Mausoleum was strongly fortified and incorporated into the city walls. It should have protected the western bank of the Tiber. The first invasion of barbarians around the year 410 was the first chance for this building to demonstrate its strategy.

The Treasure Room

There are many rooms you can see in the castle once you decide to go for a visit. Few of them are of course more interesting:)! One of them is called the Treasure Room. It takes place exactly in the burial chamber of emperor Hadrian. Pope Paul III later used it as a secret archive room. It is still furnished with wardrobes from those times. Another significant room is is The Pauline Room. It was decorated by Perin del Vaga and it has the richest decorations. You can also see the frescos of Alexander the Great there.

The Passetto

Detail of the Passetto, secret passage between Vatican City and Castle of Holy Angel

The Passeto, a secret passage to Vatican City from Castle of Holy Angel, was used when the pope was in danger

The transformation into a castle probably started in the 10th century. Later it passed to Crescenzi family and in 1277 Pope Nicolas III took it as his residence. He also started to build the bridge, which still connects the Vatican with Castel Sant’Angelo. This bridge is called the Passetto. There is a secret corridor on top of this wall. Pope could use this corridor when they were in danger. Nowadays the would use a helicopter but before they had to run by themselves:)!

The museum

They use the building as a museum od armoury and weapons. You can also admire the private chambers of the popes. On top, there is a restaurant which is not very good. Let’s admit you pay more for the place and the atmosphere than for a gastronomical experience:D! The great terrace on top of the castle offers you an amazing view of the city. you can also enjoy a different panorama of the Vatican from there.

The musicians

Castle of Holy Angel with bridge at night

The view of Castle of Holy Angel at night is breathtaking

When it gets dark this place takes a different atmosphere. The bridge and the surroundings of the castle offer some good spots for local street musicians. You can sit on a wall of the riverside and enjoy these beautiful moments. During the summer season, they build many bars and restaurants along the river at the riverside. It is the only place in the city where you can cool down a little because of the breeze at the river. It is a nice place to enjoy a glass of prosecco with a different view of the city. If you fancy lit up buildings let us take you here on our night tour!