Castel Sant Angelo V - Courtyard - FURTHER INFORMATION
Castel Sant Angelo V - Courtyard - Rome visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Castel Sant Angelo V - Courtyard' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Roma.
Castel Sant Angelo V was originally built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum Hadrian's Mausoleum (hence the alternative name of 'Mausoleum of Hadrian'). It served time as a mausoleum, fort, prison, palace and now a museum. The name changed in the 6th Century by Pope Gregory the Great who was praying for deliverance for Rome from a plague and saw a vision of St. Michael on top of the building. There is a statue of St Michael on the roof of the building, which is also a great place for panoramic images across Rome.
The first building was erected between 135 and 139 AD. In 138 AD the ashes of Hadrian were buried here. Succeeding emperors were buried here up to 217 AD, probably in the Treasury Room at the heart of the building. In the 5th century the Mausoleum was converted into a fortress and incorporated into the defensive Walls built around Rome. This did not prevent looting by the Visigoths in 410 when Alaric sacked Rome.
Castel Sant Angelo and the Popes:
Pope Nicholas III connected the castle to the St Peter's and the Vatican in the 14th century with a fortified, covered corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. During the sacking of Rome in 1527 Pope Clement VII took refuge here whilst back at the Vatican the Swiss Guard were slain to a man. Clement finally escaped dressed as a servant after several months watching Rome burn
The Castel Sant Angelo was then converted into both a papal residence, a prison and a place of torture. Paul III built a rich apartment, ensuring that in a new siege the Pope had a comfortable place to stay. Leo X built a chapel decorated by Raffaello di Montelupo. Famous prisoners included Giordano Bruno, Cellini and Beatrice Cenci. Executions occurred in the small square interior of the building and skeletons excavated from the site show evidence of torture. In 1901 the building began a 30 year restoration programme and conversion to a museum.
The courtyard seen in this panoramic contains an old catapult and old stone shots. The Castel Sant Angelo V is quite a maze of rooms and corridors. From this courtyard there is access to the main art museum and display of Roman artifacts. Stairs ascend to upper levels and eventually, after passing through various chambers, to the roof.