El castillo del Santo Ángel
The St. Angel Castle, known also as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, was supposed to serve as a tomb for the Emperor Hadrian, his family and his successors. It is located on the left bank of the Tiber river in Rome, Italy.
The construction began in 135 and finished in 139. At first, it was built on the plan of square, 89 meters wide and 15 meter high. It was topped with a dome and cypress trees were planted on it. On the walls there were marble sculptures, as well as inscriptions infroming on the resting place. Inside the mausoleum there were buried Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus and Caracalla, among others. To the tomb leads a spiral corridor with walls coated with marble and niches for urns with ashes of the dead.
The castle served a function of a mausoleum till 271. Later, it was integrated with the system of ramparts. It was converted into a fortress in the 5th century. During an invasion of the Goths the sculptures which had been an outer decoration of the castle were used to defend the stronghold. There is a legend saying that during a plague in the end of the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great saw an angel above the castle holding a sword. That is the origin of its name. In the 7th century, by order of Pope Boniface IV, the chapel of the Saint Angel in Heaven was built on top of the building. In the 13th century the castle got connected with the Vatican by the underground tunnel which exists to date.
Nowadays, inside the castle there is the Vatican museum of Medieval weapon. The great attraction of the St. Angel castle are views of a beautiful panorama of Rome and the Vatican.