Castel Sant'Angelo

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5 historical facts about the Mausoleum of Hadrian

Few of Ancient Rome's surviving monuments depict the Empire's fall quite as vividly as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. In just 270 years it went from being a symbol of imperial domination to one of military desperation. Here are some points to start your tour!

  • It has served several functions

    1. It has served several functions

    Built by the Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for his family in 139 AD, it was later used as a fortress and castle, and currently serves as one of Rome's leading museums!

  • It was based on the Mausoleum of Augustus

    2. It was based on the Mausoleum of Augustus

    The mausoleum's design was inspired by one constructed for the Emperor Augustus a century earlier. Unfortunately, only the ruins of the earlier building remain.

  • It was fortified by the Emperor Aurelian

    3. It was fortified by the Emperor Aurelian

    Most of the building's decorative features were lost in the 5th century when it was incorporated into the Aurelian Wall to defend against the threat of marauding Germanic tribes.

  • The royal remains were lost to invading Visigoths

    4. The royal remains were lost to invading Visigoths

    Barely a decade after its fortification, the Visigoths pillaged the mausoleum and emptied many of the funerary urns during the 410 sacking of Rome.

  • Its alias refers to a fanstastic legend

    5. Its alias refers to a fanstastic legend

    In 590, Pope Gregory I reported seeing an angel sheath its flaming sword on the roof, bringing an end to the city's plague. It's been known as the Castel Sant'Angelo ever since!

Planning Your Visit

  • What are the opening times?

    From April to September the Mausoleum of Hadrian's opening hours are 9:00AM to 7:00PM. Off-season, you will have to get there early as it closes at 2:00PM. Book tickets in advance to save time queuing!

  • How to get there?

    Located on the banks of the Tiber close to the Vatican, the Mausoleum of Hadrian can be easily reached by bus (route 40 from the main station) and by taking the metro line A to Lepanto station.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    9:00AM to 7:00PM, April to September. 9:00AM to 2:00PM in the off-season.
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets are just €10.50.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    This attraction is located close to the Vatican and can be reached by bus route 40, or metro line A to Lepanto station.
  • Additional information
    *Admission is free on the first Sunday of each month!

What people are saying about Castel Sant'Angelo

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,183 reviews

Am Ende unseres Wochenaufenthaltes in Rom nach den vielen Besichtigungen nochmals die Stadt abzulaufen mit einem Thema und einem sehr belesenen und einem grossen Wissen gesegneten Guide, war eine Bereicherung und schöne Abrundung unserer Reise. Die Geschichte von Robert Langdon und irgendwie auch die Vielschichtigkeit von Rom so packend erzählt, dass wir fasziniert und mit unseren Füssen am Ende zufrieden ankamen. Ich habe noch nie zuvor eine so lebendige Tour erlebt und kann nur jedem raten, an dieser Tour teilzunehmen.

REALLY interesting activity. I believe the only TRUE way to really know about a City history. Not very deep cause only lasts for 90 minutes but much more interesting, exciting and rewarding than the traditional tourist tours. Look for similar activities as this one and do as many as possible once is the only true way to really know about a City such as Rome.

Alethea was an amazing tour guide!!! She kept it fun, and very educational, throughout our stroll through the Roman streets. She had knowledge about locations that I had seen on previous tours that the other guides didn't offer. If you're lucky enough to have her, you're in for a treat! 10/10 would do another tour with her any day!

Chronological explanation of Caravaggio's life visiting the locations and the background of his paintings including lost ones made me feel his life in Rome more closely. The setting for wine was beautiful and the taste of wine was authentic from Lazio, which had minerals.

The tour was very well organised. The meeting point was easy to find, the guides were on time. Our guide was very knowledgeable and ready to answer all our questions. Was an excellent tour. Would definitely recommend it.