Castle of the Holy Angel (Rome)

Castle of the Holy Angel in Rome (Adrian’s Mausoleum) – detailed description, history, photos, opening hours, location on the map.

Castel Sant’Angelo

Castle of the Holy Angel or Mausoleum of Hadrian – Rome’s famous landmark with almost 2000 years of history. This is a powerful brick structure on the right bank of the Tiber, located near the Vatican. The castle received an additional fame after the book by Dan Brown and his subsequent film adaptation – Angels and Demons.


The history of the Castle of the Holy Angel is many-sided and interesting. On over millennia, he changed roles from imperial tombs to fortified outpost, papal residence and even a prison, but despite all the shocks came to us almost not damaged

The history of this building begins in the first half of the 2nd century. AD The emperor Adrian (rebuilt literally a third of Rome) conceived him like a tomb for yourself and your family. The mausoleum has already been built after his death. The burial urns of Hadrian and Septimiya Sever. The last buried in it was Caracalla.

According to historical chronicles, the mausoleum looked like a different of today. It was lined with marble and had a completely different form. Over time, it was constantly strengthened, turning it into real fortress. Already with Aurelianus the mausoleum was included in city ​​walls and began to perform protective functions.

Castle of the Holy Angel at nightCastle of the Holy Angel at night

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Pope took his hands. By legend at the end of the 6th century, during the plague, Roman Pope Gregory saw on top of the archangel Michael. Since then, this facility began to be called the castle of the Holy Angel.

In the Middle Ages, the castle was built and expanded. With his vatican connected the fortified corridor – passetto. Popes turned the castle not only in the fortress, but also its residence.

Since the Renaissance, the structure of the castle has remained virtually unchanged.


Castle of the Holy Angel is a high cylindrical a building that throughout its history not only tried on different roles, but also changed and rebuilt.

A modern castle is first of all a museum. He is divided on 5 floors and several sections: the mausoleum of Hadrian – the oldest part, proper castle part and papal apartments.

In the castle of sv. Angela you can touch the Antiquity, admire the frescoes of the Renaissance and see the collection weapons.

Scheme of the Mausoleum of AdrianThe scheme of the mausoleum of Hadrian

Explanation of the scheme:

  1. Atrio romano – Roman Atrium
  2. Rampa diametrale – Spiral Staircase
  3. Rampa Elicoidale – Spiral Staircase
  4. Sala delle Urne – Zar Urn
  5. Ambulacro – gulbyshche (perimeter terrace)

Mausoleum of AdrianAdrian’s Mausoleum

The oldest part of this structure. In this old building The ancient decoration has been preserved, and the walls literally “breathe” history. AT Roman atrium recreated historical reconstruction of the mausoleum. Previously, there was installed a giant statue of the emperor. Passing on spiral staircase you can get into the heart of the mausoleum – Hall Urn.

Castle partCastle part

Explanation of the scheme:

  1. Rampa diametrale – Spiral Staircase
  2. Giretto scoperto – parts of the perimeter of the walls, closing the circle the castle
  3. Giretto coperto – parts of the perimeter of the walls, closing the circle the castle
  4. Bastione di San Luca – Bastion of San Luca
  5. Bastione di San Matteo – Bastion of San Matteo
  6. Bastione di San Marco – Bastion of Sts. Mark
  7. Pasetto di Borgo – Passetto Borgo (Fortified Corridor)
  8. Marcia ronda – Perimeter gear track
  9. Bastione di San Giovanni – Bastion of San Giovanni

Fortified staircase connecting the Vatican and the castleReinforced corridor connecting the Vatican and the castle

The castle part gives us to understand that this is good in the first place. fortified outpost. Borrowing extremely profitable strategic position, the mausoleum was soon converted into a castle. With this he not only defended the Vatican, but also controlled the entire northern part Of rome Here you can trace how the castle was rebuilt and changed, turning into a powerful fortification. Four lock approaches to the castle bastion, and a fortified corridor connects it to the Vatican, with the siege of which the Pope could hide behind the powerful walls of this fortress. What happened once.

Papal apartmentsPapal apartments

Explanation of the scheme:

  1. Sala del Perseo – Perseus Hall
  2. Sala della Biblioteca – Library
  3. Sala del Tesoro – Treasure Room
  4. Comdoio pompeiano – Hall in Pompeian style
  5. Loggia di Giulio II – Loggia Julia II
  6. Cortile dell’Angelo – Angel’s Courtyard
  7. Capella di Leone X – CapellaLeva X
  8. Sala dell’Apollo – Hall of Apollo
  9. Stufetta di Clemente VII – Clement VII’s Bathroom
  10. Sala di Amore e Psiche – Hall of Cupid and Psyche
  11. Cortile del Teatro – Courtyard
  12. Sala Paolina – Salon Paolin

Papal apartmentsPapal apartments

Castle of the Holy Angel also served as a fortified papal residences. In this part you can admire the luxurious halls. pontiffs, painted with frescoes of the Renaissance and Renaissance.

Angel Bridge

The Angel Bridge is a pedestrian bridge over the Tiber, built by Adrian. Romans often call it a bridge Adriana or Elia.

Bridge of the Holy AngelAngel Bridge

In the 16th century, statues of Peter and Paul were installed on the bridge. With assisted by Bernini added to them 10 sculptures of angels. also in 16 century on the bridge hung executed criminals.

Mode of operation and cost of tickets

The mode of operation of the castle of the Holy Angel from 9.00 to 19.30, except Monday, the first Sunday of every month, 1 January 1, December 25.

Ticket price (2017):

  • Adults – 10 Euro
  • European citizens from 18 to 25 years old – 5 euros

Tickets can be bought here. -https: //

You can also see tickets here. There are promotions and discounts if buy tickets to the Vatican Museums -https: //

How to get there

Metro – line A, Lepanto (Metro A) Ottaviano (Metro A).


  • Route 62, 23, 271, 982, 280 (Piazza Pia)
  • Route 40 (Piazza Pia)
  • Route 34 (via di Porta Castello)
  • Route 49, 87, 926, 990 (Piazza Cavour-fermata via Crescenzio)
  • Route 64, 46 (Santo Spirito)

Location on the map

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