Mausoleum of Augustus located near Capitoline Hill, was built in 28 BC by the order of the first Roman Emperor. Nowadays only ruins remain of what was once one of the most impressive buildings of Rome.
The circular structure had a diameter of almost 88 meters and was about 44 meters high. It consisted of four layered concentric circles covered with soil. The outer circle’s wall was 5 meters thick. A corridor led to the burial chamber in the inner circle which had 4meter thick walls. There were also enclosed chambers between those two walls.
The bottom layer was planted with Cypress trees. On the top layer at the central part of the monument, the Romans built a tumulus topped with a large bronze statue of Augustus. The entrance was marked by a bronze door flanked by two Egyptian obelisks. The outer walls of the mausoleum were covered with white marble.
The ashes of emperors
The ashes of the cremated emperors and family members buried in the mausoleum were put in golden urns, placed in niches inside the burial chamber at the center of the structure. The ashes remained untouched until the fifth century when barbarians broke through the bronze door, stole the urns and threw out the ashes.
The first person buried in the mausoleum was Marcellus in 23 BC. Many emperors were buried here including Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The last person to be buried here was Emperor Nerva in 98 AD. The next emperor – Trajan, was buried at the base of the Trajan’s Column and his successor, Hadrian built a new mausoleum, the Castel Saint’Angelo.
Location: Piazza Augusto Imperatore
Nearby sights: Ara Pacis, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo
How to get there: Subway: Spagna (A), Rome
Nearby hotels: Short Stay Rome Apartments Spanish Steps , Stay Inn Rome, Relais Rome