Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome

4.5 out of 5 stars 146 Reviews

Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00186 Roma, Italy +39 06 681 9111

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  • Castel Sant'Angelo by night
    Castel Sant'Angelo by night
    by aukahkay
  • View from the Terrace
    View from the Terrace
    by tim07
  • View from the Terrace
    View from the Terrace
    by tim07
  • stiab3's Profile Photo

    St. Angelo's Castle

    by stiab3 Written May 21, 2005

    This castle is connected to the Vatican by a wall with a passage. Apparently, it's meant to be an escape route should the Vatican be under attack. It was originally built as a mausoleum to Hadrian - so it's really a large tomb. It has a large sculpture of an angel with a sword on the top and we were able to go up there. More stairs, but also another spectacular view of Rome.

    angel
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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Steeped in Bloodshed: The St. Angel's Castle

    by deecat Updated May 11, 2005

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    Hadrian's Mausoleum was the biggest, most magnificent tomb Rome had ever seen. We cannot tell today what it looked like, but a Byzantine historian of the 6th century did leave a description. From the description, most historians feel that only the Colosseum surpassed it in splendor.

    Where that Mausoleum stood, the St. Angel's Castle stands today. It's quite ironic that this castle has angel in its name because it is steeped in lots of bloodshed.

    Samples of the bloodshed are the murder of a cardinal, and Pope Clement VII was locked in this fort (a prison really) and watched [through the windows] the awful Sack of Rome by the Constable of Bourbon.

    The castle is quite interesting to visit. The photograph shows rock cannonballs stacked in the courtyard.These cannonballs are extremely heavy, and I have a wild imagination so I can just picture the damage one of them could do!

    You are able to walk to the top of this circular castle; the views of Rome are excellent. (It's also a great place to photograph the Sant'Angelo Bridge which you just crossed in order to reach here. You can find literature on the history of the castle in the gift shop.

    Anyone who is interested in history and architecture, will certainly enjoy touring Sant' Angelo Castle.

    Courtyard of St. Angel's Castle
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  • unravelau's Profile Photo

    You need to go inside this fantastic castle

    by unravelau Written Mar 24, 2005

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    Inside reminded me so much of Planco's Mausoleum (the way that it felt inside) that I made that comment to my companion. He questioned - a mausoleum? I said yes. It wasn't until later that I knew that it had indeed started out as Hadrian's mausoleum. Now, almost four years later I can still conjure up the feeling of mystery, and the grandness of the rooms.

    Castel S Angelo
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  • Julius_Caesar's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    by Julius_Caesar Written Mar 9, 2005

    The massive fortress of Castel Sant’Angelo takes its name from the staute of the Archangel Michael on its summit. It began life in AD 139 as the Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum. It then became the residence of popes during times of political unrest.

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  • IIGUANA's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    by IIGUANA Written Feb 28, 2005

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    This castle was contructed by the emperor Adriano to be his tomb. The Sant'Angelo bridge, formerly known as Elio bridge, conected this mausoleum with downtown Rome.
    As the years went by, this mausoleum took the name of Castel Sant'Angelo and turned into prison, where many famous people were once behind its bars. Cagliostro was one of them.
    Nowadays, the castle holds a museum of coffins, once used to keep the churche's treasures held here by the different Popes. It also holds lots of paintings and a great armor collection.
    The bridge of Sant'Angelo has many angels on each side. If you look closely, each angel holds one of the many things concerning the crucification of Jesus (the Crown of Thorns, nails, the cross, etc.

    Castel Sant'Angelo
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  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant' Angelo (Hadrian's Tomb)

    by Blatherwick Written Dec 23, 2004

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    Emperor Hadrian (117-138) wished to build, for himself and his family, an imposing funeral monument. the construction of the mausoleum was begun in 130 A.D. and finished a year after the Emporer's death in 139 A.D. by Antoninus Pius.

    In 271, the Emperor Aurelian incorporated the pile into the defence system he designed and the tomb becam a fortress. In 1277 it was occupied by Nicholas II who connected it to the Vatican by the famous corridor, a safety passage which runs along the top of the encircling wall of the Vatican. Hencefort, it remained under the control of the Popes who used it as a fortress and a prison.

    Castel Saint'Angelo
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    Castel Sant' Angelo National Museum

    by Damir Written Nov 30, 2004

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    Built, as was the Elian bridge in front, by the Emperor Hadrian (117-138) as a Mausoleum for himself and his successors, it was completed by Antoninus Pius in 139. In 271, the Emperor Aurelian incorporated the pile into the defence system he designed: it lost its function as a tomb to become a fortress.
    In 1277 it was occupied by Nicholas II who connected it to the Vatican by the famous corridor, a safety passage which runs along the top of the encircling wall of the Vatican. Hencefort, it remained under the control of the Popes who used it as a fortress, to impress, but also as a prison and a place for torture.

    The Castle is divided into five floors:
    Floor I from which starts the famous winding ramp about 400 feet long, a stupendous Roman costruction.
    Floor II (or floor of the prisons) with horrible cells, called "historical" prisons, and store-rooms for wheat and oil.
    Floor III (or military floor) with two big courtyards.
    Floor IV (or papal floor) with the loggia of Julius II, by Bramante, in the principal part of the Castle and the papal apartment, consisting of magnificent rooms with frescoes by Giulio Romano, Perin del Vaga and others painters of Raphael's school, the Sala del Tesoro and Cagliostro's Room, the prison cell of the famous alchemist of the 18th century.
    Floor V (top floor) with a big terrace, dominated by an Archangel in bronze by Wersschaffelt, from which we have a fine panorama of the city.

    Ponte Sant'Angelo & Castel Sant'Angelo
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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Hadrian's Mausoleum

    by sue_stone Written Nov 7, 2004

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    Castel Sant'Angelo or Hadrian's Mausoleum dates back to AD 123.

    It became a fortress and prison in the Middle Ages and then a papal residence in the 16th century. Since then it has remained under the control of the popes and there is a long passageway linking it to St Peters.

    We came across the Mausoleum on my 3rd visit to Rome and I couldn't believe I had not visitied it previously.

    It was very interesting to walk through some of the old rooms and exhibitions.

    But the main draw card for me was a climb to the top of the building, timed to co-incide with a spectacular sunset over St Peters Basilica and the city of Rome.

    Just beautiful!

    Castel Sant'Angelo Castel Sant'Angelo angel inside Castel Sant'Angelo weapon inside Castel Sant'Angelo View from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo
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  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    by kentishgirl Updated Nov 1, 2004

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    This was a fortress for the popes in the 6th Century.
    Pope Gregory the Great saw a vision of an angel here telling him that this would be the end of the Plague in Rome. And this is how the building was named!

    This is located close to the Vatican.%C

    Castel Sant'Angelo
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  • WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Oct 22, 2004

    This building, originally the Tomb of Hadrian, who started constructing it in the early-mid 2nd century, has had a few different guises. The Romans in the late empire used it as part of their fortifications and as such it became the scene of some fighting during the barbarian invasions. It was later taken over in the late middle ages by the popes, who used it as a fortress and prison.

    It is massive and much of the original Roman construction remains. Nearby is the Ponte Sant'Angelo, also originally built under Hadrian.

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  • Polly74's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    by Polly74 Written Aug 22, 2004

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    Originally an imperial tomb built by Hadrian it became the dynastic sepulcher of the Antonine's.
    Work began in 123 AD but was only completed in 139 AD after the emperor's death. The mausoleum was linked to the Campus Martius by the Pons Aelius (now the Ponte Sant'Angelo).
    Through the ages is has served in varying capacities: first as a fortress, then as a noble dwelling, and finally a papal residence.

    Castel Sant'Angelo

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  • sylvie-uk's Profile Photo

    St Angelo castle and bridge

    by sylvie-uk Updated Aug 17, 2004

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    It was planned by the emperor Hadrien to be his tomb and was started in 123 a.c. and was called the Hadrien Mausoleum.
    Between 275 and 403 , it was fortified to defend from attacks.
    It is said it became a castle around the 5th century.
    Around 1277, nicolas 3 unitied the castle to the Vatican with a wall called "il passeto".It enabled the popes to go from one to an another.
    It took its name "St Angelo castle" in the 12th century after a very old legend: during a procession in 590 to implore the "virgin" to put a stop to the plague, an angel appeared on the top of the Mausoleum, putting back his sword in his sheath in sign of grace.

    st angelo castle and bridge
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  • belgianchocolate's Profile Photo

    1752 - a new angel..number six

    by belgianchocolate Updated Jul 17, 2004

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    I had taken this picture of the archangel
    not nowing that it was made by a Flemish person.
    'Peter Verschaffelt' made it.

    Peter Verschaffelt was born in 'Gent ' in 1710.
    'Pope Benedictus XIV ' ordered a new angel
    after the last one got damaged by bad weather.
    You can still see that one in the courtyyard.
    In 1752 the present on got inaugurated.

    It was in 1798 the French painted it in the
    colors of France. Red , white and blue and
    putted a Phrygian cap on its head.
    They nicknamed it 'Genius of freeing
    France and of Rome'.
    A really bad joke if you ask me.
    But that was nothing compared to what
    happened to the 5 angels before this one.

    The first added at the end of the 11th century
    just faded away since it was made in wood.
    The second one in marble was destroyed
    by an attack in 1379.
    Seventy years later number three was ready.
    A marble one with bronze wings. He blew up
    when the powder magazine got hit by lightning.
    The next one in gilded Bronze , number 4 ,
    was melted in 1544 to make cannons.
    The fifth one - I already told you..the weather.

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  • tinyvulture's Profile Photo

    Tomb, Dungeon, Fortress

    by tinyvulture Updated May 29, 2004

    Castel Sant Angelo, with its fierce sword-wielding angel statue at the very top, was designed as a tomb for the emperor Hadrian, but later on it was used as a dungeon and as a fortress to protect the Vatican. There are still some cannons and other weapons on display, left over from that time. There are also some little artist studios, and a cafe. Great views from the top! The Ponte Sant Angelo bridge in front of it crosses over the Tiber, and has beautiful angel sculptures all along it, carved by Bernini.

    St. Peter's seen from Castel Sant'Angelo
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  • CourtneyLyn's Profile Photo

    Castel Sant'Angelo

    by CourtneyLyn Written Apr 30, 2004

    This castle was right down the street from where I lived for 7 months. There is a park around the base of the castle where I used to spend my afternoons playing with the little kids i took care of.

    The castle itself is cool and has a fascinating history that I don't know enough about. It served many purposes over its years, such as a prison and a refuge for popes. The street in front of the castle along the river is one of the prettiest areas to walk. There are always vendors and lots of people around, and from there you can get a really good view up via della concillazione to St. Peter's. This picture is from across the bridge. This is also one of my favorita bridges, completely decorated with marble statues.

    castel sant'angelo

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