Beautifull old castle near the Vatican, worth a visit. We saw some Roman warriors walking around and a few mime players as well.
The castle has five floors (lots of stairs to climb) once you have reacht the top yu have a great view on Rome.
The view from the top was amazing, we could sight ll of where we had been yesterday. A musical performance was also on at one of the many rooms in the museum. We had spent nearly 3 hours inside without even realising the time fly!
The bronze statue at the top, of Archangel Michael is also truly worth the climb! We couldn't take our eyes off the Basilica though!
This was the second lucky thing to happen to me on this trip. I went to the Castel Sant'Angelo on a holiday, May 1st Giorni Dei Lavoratori, and paid only 1 euro to get in. I think it costs about 8.50 euros and is well worth it.
The castle was originally built in ancient times as the tomb of Hadrian. Legend has it that the Angel Michael appeared at the top of the Mausoleum sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague thus giving the castle its present name. It's not only a Castle, it also has several mini art museums with works by Chagall, Picasso, Van Gogh and there are other painters featured also. You can't take pictures of the paintings and they are really strict about it. I'm pretty sure they are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and I'm not so sure about the weekends.
Although it may not look like much in the shadows of the grand Vatican, it was good enough that one of the Pope's spent several years here. Of course the reasons for that were for protection and thats exactly what this fortress provided for Rome over the years. Its a labryinth of twists and turns and what it lacks in asthetic beauty it makes up for in its rich history. Plus there are some wonderful views of Rome from the top. There is generally not much of a line to get in and the cost is minimal, roughly 7 euro when I visited in Feb. 2008. Additionally for you fan's of Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons", Sant Castel plays a big part in the book and will be featured in the upcoming motion picture of the same name starring Tom Hanks with a 2010 release date. I would recommend combining this with your Vatican tour as it right down the street and its history is intertwined with that of the Vatican. Definitely worth your time!
This was a very nice surprise during of visit to Rome as the castle is in very nice shape with several nice miltary pieces in the museum. The jewel of our visit was the view at the top of the castle. When you reach the top after a nice climb, look to your right and you will have a great photo opportunity of the Vatacan. There is a los a nice little cafe on the second level that you can sit and view the city.
If you are going to make a visit, do your homework...there is a lot of history here and could easily be over looked. We were lucky enough to spend three Euros to have a "group" tour with a degreed hostorian to the dungeons of the castle. The Group ended up being my wife and I and was incredile! She had great english and such a passion for her work. When entering the castle, look at the posted tours that will be listed on a board before entering themain portion of the castle. We took our tour on a Sunday at 2:30. I think most of the tours happen on Saturday and Sunday.
This site was once called Hadrian's Tomb, after the Emporer who made his tomb here. This is the famous Hadrian who made the wall in England....
So much history in the once structure, but most tourists miss it because the tour bus doesn't stop here. Too bad.
Popes were known to take the tunnel trip from the Vatican to Castel Sant' Angelo when the barbarians were banging on the gates of Rome. They also escaped here when things got a little warm from the citizens threatening a riot over the Pope's behavior.
I didn't see any mention of the men who were locked up here while they were being investigated by the Pope for their Christian beliefs, but if you look into the history of this place you will find plenty of instances.
When you reach the top by circular stairs and more, you will look up and see a giant statue of an angel. This was dedicated to the end of the plague, when the citizens, rallied with the Pope marched through the streets. They looked up and saw the angel putting his sword away. The next day, no one was recorded dying. Then the statue was built and placed at the top of Castel San Angelo in memory of this moment.
The view of Rome is excellent all the way around this monument. Take 2 hours and see it. Look for cannon ball hits along the wall outside, there are lots of them that "dented" the structure.
One of the most interesting and intriguing buildings of Rome. It used to be a mausoleum, a fortress, a prison, and it was also used as a refugee for the Pope. There is a bridge that connects this castle with the Pope residence, and they used to seek refugee there whenever there was some danger coming their way.
The interior is not so astonishing, but a visit to the castle is worth if only for the magnificent views of the city: the river, the bridges, the uncountable domes of the churches, and Saint Peter. I would say it's one of the best views of the city you can get.
Finally got to explore the Castel St. Angelo. Originally a mausoleum for Hadrian, it has served as jail, castle, keeper of the papal fortune. We also toured the jail and the jail rooms, where many a poor soul spent their last night before they were executed. There are also exhibits, catapults, storage vaults,
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Rome, initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building, located in the rione of Borgo, spent over a thousand years as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.
The popes converted the structure into a castle, from the 14th century; Pope Nicholas III connected the castle to St. Peter's Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. The fortress was the refuge of Pope Clement VII from the siege of Charles V's Landsknecht during the Sack of Rome (1527), in which Benvenuto Cellini describes strolling the ramparts and shooting enemy soldiers.
Leo X built a chapel with a fine Madonna by Raffaello da Montelupo. In 1536 Montelupo also created a marble statue of Saint Michael holding his sword after the 590 plague (as described above) to surmount the Castel. Later Paul III built a rich apartment, to ensure that in any future siege the Pope had an appropriate place to stay.
This building used to be many things... a prison, the mausoleum of Hadrian, a castle, a place of hiding for the pope, in various times when there was a price on his head... I actually did not go inside, but the Ponte Sant Angelo has beautiful Bernini sculptures of angels all along the sides of the bridge. Each angel holds an item from the Crucifixion of Christ: nails, crown of thorns, garment & dice, pillar of scourging, spear of Longinus... they are beautiful, beautiful sculptures by one of the greatest artists in the history of the world.
Once the mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian, this was used as a refuge when Rome was under siege after that. Now, I think it's the best place for a fantastic view over Rome--better than St. Peter's Cathedral, since here you can see both St. Peter's and the rest of the city, too. There are some interesting historical displays and artifacts on display in the Castel, but the highlight is the view from the top.
Entrance in 2007 is 8 Euros. I would alllow about 3 hours for a visit here.
Gracefully hovering at the very pinnacle of Castel Sant’Angelo, the colossal bronze of Archangel Michael recalls his AD 590 appearance there.
Rome was suffering an outbreak of plague in that year; Pope Saint Gregory the Great ordered all Romans to take part in a procession to the Vatican to pray for the city’s deliverance. As they approached the Castel, the Pontiff saw Archangel Michael hovering above it sheathing his sword. The Holy Father took this as the answer to his prayers.
The Dutch artist Pieter Verschaffelt designed this version of Michael in 1752. It replaced Raffaello da Montelupo’s marble one.
The Castel Sant'Angleo is a great place especially if visited early in the morning. The entrance is magnificent, there is a bridge and along it's edges there are statues of Angelic peoples or Angels and at the other end there are people who cover themselves in a silver colour and stand in a fixed position to look like staues but move when you are not expecting them to. Then walk through the magnificent doors and enter the outer wall. It is quite cheap to get in and once in, you circle the Castle and then enter. You go up each floor individually by small or large staircases. THE Vatican, St Peter's Square and the River Tiber can be seen on the Terrace. There is also a large statue which dominates the Castel. It is of St. Michael the Archangel, sheathing his sword. I beleive it was placed there by Benedict the XIV. This is also on the terrace along with a bell. It was only when I got back to England I reaslised that it was the "Bell of Mercy" which was rung when executions were about to happen inside the Castel, it was used to warn the prisoners who had been condemned to warn them that their last hour before execution had begun.
After the terrace you follow the 10 or so signs that say "Uscita" to the Exit. Its very worthwhile even if you just go for the views.
It was built to be like maze, was a prison and turned into escape route cum fortess. Today, it stands as a museum. It was believed that Pope Gregory the Great saw an angel hovering round it and he christened it, Castel Sant' Angelo. From the Castle, you can have a panoramic view of Roma built on the "seven hills" and Tiber River. There is a little cafe at the top and along its passageway, you can peep through the "pot holes" to enjoy the scenary. It is a different "way" of enjoying Rome. It will cost you about 5 Euros to enter and is open from Tues to Sun, from 9am to 8pm.
Best-kept secret in Castel Sant 'Angelo. You don't see this in any of the travel guidebooks (at least I haven't) or even in the Castel literature. You won't want to miss this very small bagno where the entire room - walls and ceiling - were painted by Raphael and, yes, our guide who is with the Rome Cultural Ministry confirmed that it was, indeed, painted by Raphael. It is not easy to find and you will climb a short but very narrow stairway to reach the room - worth the search and worth the upward trek. The stairway gets more narrow as you reach the room so be prepared - the room is well lit and you can get great photos.
Much more - two Travelogues - on Castel Sant 'Angelo on my Vatican pages.