Castel Sant'Angelo

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The Castel Sant'Angelo, meaning the "Castle of the Holy Angel", is a massive cylindrical building located in Rome, Italy. It was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the second century CE, and later served as a fortress and castle from the fifth century onwards.

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The Castel Sant'Angelo has played an important role in the history of Rome and has served as a symbol of the city's power and resilience over the centuries. It is now a museum and is open to visitors. There is no mention of a Bastion of Saint John in relation to the Castel Sant'Angelo.

The Mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian, was constructed in Rome between the years 130 to 139 CE, a year after Hadrian's death. It was created as a family tomb to replace the Mausoleum of Augustus, which was the previous tomb of the Imperial family, and was utilized until the reign of Caracalla.

The Mausoleum was transformed into Castel Sant'Angelo during the Renaissance period, revetting it with brickwork, adding battlements and building new rooms on top. Many of the contents and decorations inside the tomb have been lost over time due to its transformation into a military fortress in 401 CE and its subsequent addition to the Aurelian Walls by Flavius Honorius Augustus. The urns and ashes were scattered by Visigoth looters during the sack of Rome by Alaric in 410 CE. The original bronze and stone statues were also destroyed, as documented by Procopius, when the Goths besieged Rome in 537 CE and they were thrown at the attackers.


circa 137 CE

Treasury Chamber or the Hall of Urns
At the heart of the ancient monument, Mausoleum of Hadrian, lies the so-called "treasury chamber" or the "Hall of Urns". This is where the remains of Hadrian and members of the Imperial family up to Caracalla were laid to rest. Originally, the room's ceiling was decorated with stucco and the walls covered in marble; in particular, proof of the presence of this marble comes from the holes of the iron hooks that were used to secure the marble tiles. The urns had to be placed on the lintels inside the two large niches that open out on the walls.


Bastion of Saint John
The Bastion of Saint John (Bastione San Giovanni) is located in the south-eastern corner of the outer ramparts that surround the circular Hardianic Mausoleum.

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