Castel Sant Angelo in Rome was originally constructed as the magnificent Mausoleum of Hadrian, the fourteenth emperor of Rome from 117AD to 138AD. It is unclearly as to exactly when Castel Sant Angelo was built, but most sources date it to between 123 and 139 AD.
A fortress-like structure, successive Roman emperors and other leaders used Castel Sant Angelo for a variety of purposes. In 401, Emperor Flavius Augustus Honorius incorporated Castel Sant Angelo in Rome’s Aurelian Walls, destroying and losing many of the contents of Hadrian’s mausoleum in the process. It later turned into a medieval stronghold and a prison.
In the fourteenth century, popes began using Castel Sant Angelo as a place of safety, an emergency shelter in times of danger. In fact, there is a corridor linking Castel Sant Angelo with Vatican Palace. Various changes were made to Castel Sant Angelo in order to meet the requirements of the popes and to further fortify this already well-defended building.
Today, Castel Sant Angelo houses a museum which tells the story of its history, from the Roman remains of the Mausoleum of Hadrian to remnants of the fortified castle, the original prison cells and the papal apartments.
Castel Sant Angelo is located on the right bank of the Tiber in Rome. It is accessed from Lungotevere Castle. Buses 23, 34 and 280 stop nearby and the nearest metro station is Leptano on line A.
Castel Sant Angelo is open daily except Mondays, 9am-7pm (last admission 6:30pm). Closed 1 January and 25 December. Entry costs €5 (€8.50 online) and concessions are available. Tickets can be bought online on the official site. Guided tours can be booked in advance by sending a fax to 06.855.59.52
Lungotevere Castello 50, 00186, Roma 00186
06 372 4121
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