The fortress of the popes
When the Pope decided to return to Rome after the Avignon exile, he set a very clear condition: he wanted
the keys of the castle.
Castel Sant’Angelo, for the Romans known only as Castello, was the fortress of the Pope. It was the safe place, well protected, where to take refuge in case of attack.
Connected to the Vatican Palaces through a corridor inside the walls, Castel Sant’Angelo is a photograph of the history of the city.
It was created to be the tomb of the emperor Hadrian, then it became a fortress, then a papal residence, then a prison, and finally a museum.
The Castel is the witness of a city that has never really died, even in the most difficult periods. Layers of history lie one above the other.
The past is physically the foundation of the present.