I don't recall having read anything about Castel Sant'Angelo before my arrival in Rome. If I did, it didn't make an impression on me until I saw it up the river from the Vatican. It seemed like such an odd shaped castle!
After visiting St. Peter's, I had to take a closer took and toured Castel Sant'Angelo. As it turns out, this is actually quite an ancient structure at its heart. Built as Hadrian's Mausoleum, construction was completed in 139 AD. It's outward appearance today, though, is a medieval castle, once a stronghold of the Popes in Rome. Now it stands as an intriguing museum. It's unusual to walk through so much history. At the bottom, an ancient mausoleum, at the top a fortress.
I would pass by Castel Sant'Angelo several more times in my trip, but that first evening was my favorite. It was so beautiful at the end of the Ponte Sant'Angelo with the market stalls covering the bridge and the dark winter skies gathering.
September 18th, 2013
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