According to Lawfaqs, Rome is the “eternal city”, one of the most ancient, legendary and beautiful European capitals, once the center of the great Roman Empire. The city is located off the western coast of the Apennine Peninsula near the confluence of the Tiber River into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Rome is the administrative center of the Lazio region. Rome is believed to have been founded in 753 BC. e. Gradually, the city grew, its rulers, making military campaigns and conquering more and more new lands, made Rome the main city of the entire Mediterranean. However, nothing lasts forever on earth, and by the 5th century AD. After the fall of the empire, Rome lost its importance. At the end of the 19th century, with the unification of Italy, Rome became the capital of the Italian kingdom.
During its centuries-old history, Rome has become one of the most important cultural centers in Europe. Here are collected historical monuments of various eras, which are of great value to the entire world community. Rome stands on seven hills: Palatine (the first settlements appeared here, and during the time of the Roman Empire, imperial palaces were built), the Capitol (the construction site of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus), Esquiline (the church of Santa Maria Maggiore was built here in the 6th century), Celius (ruins of ancient houses are preserved here), Quirinal (the highest hill in Rome with the official residence of the President of Italy), Viminal and Aventine. Back in the 6th century BC. the hills were surrounded by fortified walls, and in the 3rd century AD. under the emperor Aurelian, a new wall was erected. Fragments of these walls can be seen in different parts of Rome to this day.
Most of the sights, including the monuments of ancient times, are located on the left bank of the Tiber River. Here, at the foot of two hills – the Capitol and the Palatine is the Forum – the political center of Ancient Rome. The construction of the Forum began even before our era, gradually there appeared a comitia (a place for public meetings), a curia (a place for meetings of the Senate), numerous temples and administrative buildings. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Forum was significantly destroyed. Now only fragments of ancient buildings have been preserved from the Forum ensemble. Nero’s Golden House is located in the vicinity of the Roman Forum. The construction of the residence of Nero began in 64 AD. and it was never finished. But still, in terms of its scale, it became the largest city residence of the monarch that ever existed in Europe. After the death of Nero, subsequent monarchs built many other grandiose structures on this site, including the Colosseum, numerous palaces and baths. Coliseum
(Flavian Amphitheater) – a symbol of Rome and one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. It was built in 70-80 AD. by order of Emperor Vespasian and became the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire. The Colosseum was built from large blocks of travertine stone. The height of its walls reached 50 m, and the length of the outer ellipse was 524 m. The Colosseum could accommodate up to 60,000 spectators. In its arena, gladiator fights and hunting for wild animals were held. To date, the Colosseum has lost two-thirds of its original mass, but still it is still a symbol of the greatness of Rome. Next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine from 312.
Among other ancient buildings, the Pantheon can be distinguished. – “temple of all gods”. The first Pantheon was built in 27 BC, and after 2 centuries, under the emperor Hadrian, a new Pantheon appeared, which has survived to this day. Its spherical dome became the largest domed structure ever made in the world. A hole was made in the upper part of the dome, which is the only source of light for the entire temple. In 608, the Pantheon was converted into a Christian church, which is why the ancient building has been so well preserved for many centuries. The kings of united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, as well as the great artist Raphael, are buried in the Pantheon. Also worth a look at the greatest hippodrome of Ancient Rome Circus Maximus, the baths of Caracalla (3rd century) with an area of 11 hectares, which accommodated several thousand visitors, the Appian Way (the oldest road in Rome), Trajan’s column and the imperial palaces and forums. Among the ruins of the ancient palaces of Domus Flavia and Domus Augustiana (1st century AD), located on the Palatine Hill, is the Palatine Museum, where you can see archaeological finds dating back to the Paleolithic and the Bronze Age.
Early Christian buildings are located next to the monuments of the ancient world: one of the main churches of the city is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (second half of the 4th century) with frescoes and mosaics of the 5th century, the Church of San Giovanni in Laterano (4th century), Santi Giovanni e Paolo (5th century) and Santa Maria in Araceli, which stands on top of the Capitoline Hill. In total, there are about 400 churches in Rome.
During the Renaissance (Renaissance), Rome was the center of Italian art. Here lived the greatest architects and painters, whose works are considered the pearls of world art. The most outstanding example of the Italian Renaissance is the ensemble of Capitol Square. on the Capitoline Hill near the Roman Forum. It was designed by Michelangelo himself in the middle of the 16th century. The ensemble includes three palaces: the Palace of the Senators (Palazzo dei Senatori), the Palace of the Conservators (Palazzo dei Conservatori) and the New Palace (Palazzo Nuovo); a copy of the oldest surviving ancient statue – an equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (2nd century AD), a balustrade decorated with numerous sculptures, and a wide staircase-ramp of Cordonata descending to the residential part of the city. The three palaces house the expositions of the Capitoline Museum, whose history dates back to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated to the people of Rome collections of ancient bronzes. Now the museum’s collections contain ancient sculptures, archaeological finds, works of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, jewelry and coins.
The Renaissance also includes numerous palaces that were built by wealthy Roman families: Palazzo del Quirinale (now the residence of the President of Italy), Palazzo Venezia (one of the most beautiful palaces in Rome) on the square of the same name, Palazzo Farnese, Palazzo Barberini, Palazzo Chigi, Palazzo Spada and Villa Fornesia.
Since the 17th century, in Rome large-scale construction of squares in the Baroque style began. Perhaps the most famous square in Rome is Piazza Navona. Three fountains are located here: the Fountain of Neptune, the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Fountain of the Moor. The Fountain of the Four Rivers occupies a central place in the square. It was designed by Bernini in the middle of the 17th century. The fountain consists of allegorical figures representing the largest rivers in the world – the Danube, Ganges, Nile and La Plata, and an ancient obelisk. Also on the square are the Church of St. Agnes and the Palazzo Pamphilj. Very beautiful Piazza di Spagna, which got its name from the Spanish Embassy located here. The square is decorated with the Barcaccia fountain in the form of a boat. From the fountain stretches the famous Spanish Steps of the 18th century (138 steps), which leads to the church of Trinita dei Monti standing on a hill.
From Piazza di Spagna stretches the popular tourist street Via dei Condotti, which is lined with numerous boutiques and luxury stores. Via dei Condotti flows into the main commercial artery of the city – Via del Corso, which has a length of 1.5 km and connects Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Popolo. The street is known not only for its shops, but also for luxurious baroque palaces. In the vicinity of Via del Corso is one of the most impressive examples of Baroque architecture, the Trevi Fountain. This is the largest fountain Rome is 26 m high and 20 m wide. It was built in the middle of the 18th century by the architect Nicola Salvi. The central figure is Neptune riding in a shell-shaped chariot drawn by seahorses led by tritons. On the sides are allegorical figures and bas-reliefs.
Be sure to go for a walk in other squares of the capital: Campo dei Fiori, where public executions were held, as reminded by the monument to Giordano Bruno towering here, and Piazza della Minerva with the only Gothic church in the city of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
One of the main attractions of the opposite (right-bank) part of Rome is the Castel Sant’Angelo. It stands on the right bank of the Tiber River and is connected to the left bank by the Pedestrian Bridge of the Holy Angel.. The castle got its name at the end of the 6th century, when Pope Gregory the Great saw the Archangel Michael in the sky during the plague, however, the history of the castle began long before that. Back in the 2nd century AD. Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a mausoleum for members of the imperial family on the banks of the Tiber. The construction of the mausoleum was completed after the death of Hadrian in 139. From the 3rd century AD the mausoleum began to serve as a fortified castle, and after the adoption of Christianity, it was turned into a fortress for the popes. The castle is a powerful cylindrical tower on a square base. In the 18th century, a bronze statue of an angel was erected on top of the castle. 10 statues of angels by Bernini can also be seen on the bridge leading to the castle. Today, the castle houses a museum. In the papal chambers, ancient frescoes have been preserved and collections of weapons and armor have been collected.
Castel Sant’Angelo is connected by a fortified Passetto corridor to the nearby Vatican, the center of the Roman Catholic Church. The 800 m long corridor was built in the 13th century. The Vatican is a dwarf enclave state (an area of 0.44 sq. km). Although it is located on the territory of the Italian capital, it is completely independent of Italy. The Vatican contains numerous masterpieces of world art. First of all, this is the grandiose St. Peter ‘s Basilica , which is the ceremonial center of the Roman Catholic Church. The first basilica was built here in 324 during the reign of the first Christian emperor, Constantine. The basilica was erected on the site of the alleged burial place of the Apostle Peter. At the beginning of the 16th century, by order of Pope Julius II, the basilica began to be rebuilt into a huge cathedral, which, according to the idea, was supposed to “outshine” all Christian churches and strengthen the position of the Catholic Church in the world. The construction of the cathedral, which lasted more than 100 years, was attended by such masters as Bramante, Raphael, Peruzzi, da Sangallo, Michelangelo and Giacomo della Porta. To date, the total height of the cathedral is 125 m, and the length is 212 m. Its facade is decorated with statues of Christ and the apostles, mosaics and reliefs. The interior decoration of the cathedral is truly striking: numerous statues, including the marble “Pieta” by Michelangelo, marble tombstones, carved crucifixes, a 30-meter canopy and St. Peter’s pulpit by Bernini and much more. In the middle of the 17th century, Piazza San Pietro was laid out in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. The oval square is surrounded by a colonnade, and in its center stands an Egyptian obelisk, which was brought by the emperor Caligula. It is here that believers gather to listen to the speeches of the Pope.