Castel Sant'Angelo: introduction
The construction of Castel Sant'Angelo, commissioned by the Emperor Adriano, was begun in 123 A.D. and completed in 138 A.D. The Castel has come to symbolise fortified Rome. The building initially functioned as a family mausoleum. Between 270 and 275, under the command of Aureliano, the building was fortified for defensive purposes with the addition of the towers and walls, to which four angular bastions by Nicolò V were added in later years, thus creating the present day formation.
Castel Sant'Angelo hosts numerous exhibitions of various genre throughout the year. It also houses the National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo in which ceramics, furnishings, armoury and renaissance paintings are displayed. Every part of the building can be visited; from the Pope's apartments to the salons, which are rich in exquisite décor and frescoes, to the prisons. Among the most beautiful rooms is the Loggia Paolo III, the Sala Clemente VII, Sala Paolina and the Leone X Chapel.