A beautiful monument in Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo has been guarding the banks of the Tiber for nearly 2000 years. Throughout the centuries, Sant’Angelo was, in turn, a mausoleum, a fortress, a castle, a prison and, today, a museum.
In the year 135 AD, the roman emperor Hadrian commissioned a mausoleum for himself and his family, a monument worthy of the Antonine dynasty. To link it to the Campus Martius area, he built also a bridge, Pons Aelius, the current Sant’Angelo bridge.
In 401, the mausoleum has been partially destroyed, after its conversion to a military fortress and due to the inclusion in the Aurelian Walls.
Beginning in the 14th century, the papacy converted the mausoleum into a castle and connected it to St. Peter’s Basilica by a fortified corridor. Later, the Papal state will use Castel Sant’Angelo as a prison, Giordano Bruno or Benvenuto Cellini being among its guests.
Today, the castle is a museum, the “Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo”.
HOW TO GET THERE
The nearest Metro station is Lepanto, on Line A, 1.2 kilometers from Castel Sant’Angelo or 16 minutes of walking. If you want to reach the castle on foot, use the map below.