The Main Site of Piazza Colonna is the Victory Column of Marcus Aurelius. The column is about 30 meters tall, on a 10 meter base and the pictographs tell the story of Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian wars, waged by him from 166 to his death.
The Piazza Colonna is one of the more important Plazas in Rome for the Italian Government (not so much for tourists). The Piazza is along the way to the Pantheon is you are walking from the Trevi Fountain going to Pantheon and Piazza Navona. The Piazza was named after the Column of Marcus Aurelius (Colonna di Marco Aurelio) who had a victory colunmn made for him for victory over the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians during his reign. The Column was built in 193 AD. The Square also holds some important landmarks such as the Palazzo Chigi (now the seat of the Italian Government), Galleria Colonna, Chiesa Santi Bartolomeo ed Alessandro dei Bergamaschi, and Palazzo Wedekind. The main Road of Rome, the Via Corso, runs along the eastern side of the Piazza.
On the Piazza Colonna stands the Colonna di Marco Aurelio. It dates from AD 180 and the bas-relief around the shaft depicts the campaigns of Marcus Aurelius against the Germanic tribes and the Sarmatians. Stairs lead up to the top, where the original statue of the emperor was replaced by one of the Apostle Paul in 1589.
“Ab omni impietate expurgata.” (“Cleansed of every impiety.”)
— Sixtus V, his blessing given when the restoration of Marcus Aurelius’ column was complete and the bronze of St. Paul was added on top
Completed in AD 193, the pictorial reliefs on the Column of Marcus Aurelius celebrate his campaigns and victories in Germany. It stands in Piazza Colonna, considered by Romans to be the very centre of their city. During the Empire this area was the northern edge of the Campus Martius, the Field of Mars.
At 100 feet tall the shaft of the column is composed of 28 blocks of Carrara marble. Its base is 32-foot high. The column, 12.7 feet in diameter, is hollowed out to accommodate a 200-steps stairway to a platform at the top. This column does have similarities to Trajan’s column, in height, diameter and material.
In 1589 Pope Sixtus V ordered Domenico Fontana to restore the entire structure. Also a bronze sculpture of the apostle St. Paul was placed on the top platform, just as a bronze of St. Peter was placed on Trajan’s Column.
Piazza Montecitorio, which means “welcoming hill,” is at the very center of the Italian capital. Ancient Roman centurions would gather to vote on this hill. Today this political tradition continues. Since 1871 Palazzo Montecitorio has housed Italy’s lower house of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies. The palazzo was built in 1650 by Gianlorenzo Bernini for Pope Innocent X, who gave it as a gift to the family of his predecessor, Pope Gregory XV.
The obelisk at the center of Piazza Montecitorio dates from the 6th century BC; it was carved for Psamtik I. Augustus found it in Heliopoli; when he brought it to Rome it caused a great stir. In the Campus Martius, not far from its present location, it was used to form the needle of a giant sundial: bronze markers, set into the paving, marked the seasons, months and days. Pope Pius VI had it placed in this piazza in 1792. Unlike other obelisks in the Eternal City, it is surmounted not by a crucifix but by a gnomon and ball.
Because the piazza is traffic-free, it is very peaceful. And because there are always guards on duty at the Chamber of Deputies the area is quite safe. When we visited in late 2000-early 2001 there was a revival cinema in one corner of the square. Two hotels sit along the plaza’s edges, the Albergo Nazionale and the Colonna Palace Hotel.
This Bernini made building is a parliament. There's an obelisk at south entrance of building. This sundial has an interesting story.
In ancient Rome, time was measured random. They had been using a faulty sundial since years. So Emperor Augustus decide to build a giant sundial to Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina. But after many years, this sundial get sink into ground and couldn't work properly neither. Years later it is found underground in Pope Julius II times and Pope Benedictus XIV decide to set it up into Piazza di Montecitorio square at south of parliament building.
You can still see points and iron marks on the floor around obelisk.
this triumphal column was built to commemorate the the victories of marcus aurelius after his death in 180AD. composed of 28 carved marble drums the reliefs depict the campaigns of the emperor . plaster casts of the reliefs are on display in the museo della civilta romana at EUR.
This column looks remarkably similar to the column of Trajan. In fact it was modelled on Trajan's column but was built for a later emperor, Marcus Aurelius (the same emperor whose bronze statue stands in the centre of the Campidoglio). The reliefs that adorn the column tell the story of Marcus Aurelius' troops crossing the Danube to conquer the Germanic tribes on the other side. The carving is not as fine as that of Trajan's Column, though the figures stand out more as they are carved in higher relief.
The small slits that run up the side of the column are windows used to light a spiral staircase inside the column which winds up to the platform on top. Where statues of both Marcus Aurelius and his wife Faustina stood in ancient times, St. Paul now looks down on the plaza from the top of the statue. He was placed there by the Pope in 1589 at the same time that St. Peter, the other patron saint of Rome, was placed on Trajan's column. Also at that time, the column was restored and adapted to the current ground level, thus about 3 metres of the base are now below ground. The inscription seen at what is now the base was also added, which mistakenly calls it the column of Antoninus Pius (a column for this emperor did exist but is now lost).
You will likely see several guards and policemen nearby; the office of the Prime Minister is in the Palazzo Chigi in the northeast corner of the plaza.
Set at the center of Piazza Colonna, it was built in honor of Marcus Aurelius victories over the Marcomani, the Quadi and the Sarmatians. It is almost 30 meters high with the beautiful bas-relief spiral.
Clearly an imitation of the Column of Trajan, this monument was erected after the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 A.D. to commemorate his victories over the barbarian tribes of the Danube. Composed of 28 drums of marble, the column was restored in 1588 by Domenico Fontana on the orders of Pope Sixtus V. The emperor’s statue on the summit was replaced by a bronze of St. Paul.
Under design of Bernini, the building was completed in 1697 by Carlo Fontana, and was used as the Papal Tribunal of Justice. In 1871 it was chosen to be Italy’s new Chamber of Deputies. The obelisk located in front of it was brought to Rome from Egypt by the Emperor Augustus, since Romans until then didn’t have an accurate way of measuring time. The obelisk too, however, became inaccurate after only 50 years.
The column dates back to 7th century B.C. and was brought to Rome by Augustus. It was placed as a sundial in a square, its shadow indicated the hours of the day and the days of the year. It became inaccurate and was lost in time.
The column was found split in the times of pope Julius II. He thought the egyptian hierglyfs were a key to Adam before sin. It would take untill 1748 before it was dug out in 5 pieces and repaired. In 1792 it was erected in front of Palazzo di Montecitorio. The reliefs are partially lost. On top of the column is a symbol of the coat of arms of Pius VI, pope during the restoration of the column. A peak was added as a reminder of its use as sundial.
Piazza Colonna is at the midpoint of Via del Corso and is considered by Romans the very centre of the city. The Column was erected in 176 AD by Marcus Aurelius to celebrate his victories in Armenia, Persia and Germany and it was dedicated to his father Antoninus Pius. Marcus Aurelius' wars and victories are recorded on a sculpture band, which spirals up the column's surface. It was finished in 193 AD. In 1589 Sixtus V restored the column and christianized it by adding on its top the statue of St. Paul. Domenico Fontana was responsible for this restoration and he signed it.