26 March 2008

Mausoleum of Augustus, Rome, Italy

Coordinates: 41° 54' 22" N, 12° 28' 35" E. Find With Google Earth.

The Mausoleum of Augustus was a large tomb built by the Roman Emperor Augustus in 28 BC on the Campus Martius in Rome. The Mausoleum, now located on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, is no longer open to tourists, and the ravages of time and carelessness have stripped the ruins bare. However, the ruins remain an impressive and dominating landmark on the northern side of the Campus Martius.

The Mausoleum was one of the first projects initiated by Augustus in the city of Rome following his victory at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The mausoleum was circular in plan, consisting of several concentric rings of earth and brick, planted with cypresses and capped (possibly, as reconstructions are unsure at best) by a conical roof and a statue of Augustus. Vaults held up the roof and opened up the burial spaces below. Twin pink granite obelisks flanked the arched entryway; these now stand, one at the Piazza dell'Esquilino (on the northwest side of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore) and other at the Quirinal fountain. The completed Mausoleum measured 90 m (295 ft) in diameter by 42 m (137 ft) in height. Learn more...

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