Unbeknownst to most people this castle was originally the Mausoleum of Hadrian (A Roman emperor from 117 to 138), but today is now known and called the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is located in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy and is adjacent to the Tiber River. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building would later used by the popes as a fortress and castle. Today in the 21st century, it's a museum. When first built, the structure was tallest building in Rome.
Originally the mausoleum was a decorated cylinder, with a garden on top. Emperor Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in 138, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who mysteriously died in 138 at the age of 36; After a year's stationing on the Danube frontier, Aelius (a possible heir to the throne) returned to Rome to make an address to the senate on the first day of 138. The night before the speech, however, he grew ill, and died the next day.
The remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217. The urns containing these ashes were probably placed in what is now known as the Treasury Room, deep within the building.
The popes converted the structure into a castle, beginning in the 14th century. Pope Nicholas III connected the castle to St Peter's Basilica by a covered fortified raised corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. The fortress was the refuge of Pope Clement VII from the siege of Charles V's Landsknechte during the Sack of Rome in 1527.
Leo X built a chapel with a Madonna by Raffaello da Montelupo. In 1536 Montelupo also created a marble statue of Saint Michael holding his sword to surmount the Castel. Then in 1753 a bronze statue of Michael the Archangel, replaced the marble statue, which now today stands at the top of the Castel Sant'Angelo.
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Color Changing Fine Art Print
Photographer: Michael Kleinsasser
Composition by: EFX Gallery
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Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castel_Sant%27Angelo; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Aelius_Caesar
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EFX™ Gallery - Castel Sant'Angelo