Mausoleum of Hadrian | History of Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian is a Roman architectural tour de force that attracts nearly 7.1 million tourists each year. An all-in-one representation of Rome’s archaeological heritage, the Mausoleum of Hadrian evolved from a tomb to a military fortress and a palace.
On this page, you will find the details on everything about Hadrian Mausoleum, its history, and the tourist attraction that it has become.
What is the Mausoleum of Hadrian?
- The Mausoleum of Hadrian, also famously known as Castel Sant’Angelo, is an architectural masterpiece constructed by Emperor Hadrian.
- Located in the city of Rome, the Mausoleum was built to house the ashes of the Emperor and his family.
- Over the years, it has evolved into a fortress, a site of executions and even Papal residence.
- Today, it stands as a monumental heritage symbolic of Rome’s history over the last two millennia.
Hadrian’s Mausoleum Today
The Mausoleum of Hadrian went through several reformations over the years. It was coined the name ‘Castel Sant’Angelo’ after several changes and renovations by the succeeding emperors.
From Hadrian’s Mausoleum to Castel Sant’Angelo
- Built between AD 135 - 139, Hadrian’s Mausoleum was the burial place of the Antonine Emperors.
- The mausoleum was converted into a fortress in the 5th century.
- A devastating plague hit Rome in the 590s. Gregory the great visualized Archangel Michael standing at the summit of the mausoleum and swinging his sword to protect his people. A sculpture depicting the same was erected, and the mausoleum was renamed Castel Sant’Angelo.
- The Renaissance paved the way to a complete reformation of the Mausoleum of Hadrian. A castle was constructed over the ancient remains of the Mausoleum.
- Castel Sant’Angelo acted as the residence, courtroom, prison, and fortress for several generations.
Ancient remains and current structure
- The main structure of the tomb that is visible today is a square base and an evolving and protruding cylindrical drum. The uppermost region of the Tomb is reconstructed into a palace.
- About 292 feet wide, the castle has five floors of exhibits, each connected by a spiral ramp.
- You can view beautifully decorated rooms containing frescos and a collection of weapons.
- The terrace above gives a panoramic view of Rome.
- The original statues on the pedestrian bridge across the Tiber could not be preserved and were lost among other significant ruins. Bernini designed the ten angel statues that stand on Ponte Sant'Angelo in 1688.
Plan Your Visit to Castel Sant’Angelo
Monday to Sunday- 9.00 AM to 7.30 PM
Closed on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.Castel Sant'Angelo Opening Hours
Plan a Visit to Castel Sant'Angelo
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
The castle is a 10-minute walk from Piazza Navona and a 5-minute walk from Piazza San Pietro.Getting to Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome
All Your Questions about Hadrian’s Mausoleum Answered
A. The Mausoleum of Hadrian is located at Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy.
A. The Emperor of Hadrian, his wife Sabina and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, as well as several successors until Caracalla is buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian.
A. Emperor Hadrian was the adopted successor of Trajan. Hadian ruled Rome from AD 117 to 138.
A. The urns containing the ashes of Hadrian are kept inside the Treasury Room inside the Mausoleum of Rome.
A. Hadrian’s Tomb is open to public view.