The UNESCO World Heritage area of Rome is awash with famous and dramatic sights and buildings, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican (which, strictly speaking, is a city within a city), the Forum, the Trevi Fountain… the list is endless! And the Castel Sant’Angelo is right up there with them.
Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel) has stood for almost two millennia. Constructed on the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (the one with the Wall) as a mausoleum for himself and his family, it was completed in 139 AD. At that time it was the tallest building in Rome.
Now, you might think that once a tomb, always a tomb. Slightly bizarrely though, over the last two millennia, the Mausoleum of Hadrian has been repurposed time and time again.
In 401 AD it was converted into a fortress, hence its current name of Castel Sant’Angelo. At that time, the structure was expanded and incorporated into the defensive walls surrounding the city.
During the Middle Ages, Castel Sant’Angelo was castle and prison. Later it became a refuge for popes during times of danger. In fact, the ‘secret’ passage that connects the fortress to the Vatican still exists.
Today, Castel Sant’Angelo is a spectacular museum. And for me the best exhibit is the building itself!
The first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes early this year.
Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!
If you’re the sort of person that enjoys something a little unusual on your travels, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?