Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill

Overview
The Capitoline Hill between the Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

 and the Campus Martius
Campus Martius
The Campus Martius , was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome...

, is one of the seven hills
Seven hills of Rome
The Seven Hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.The seven hills are:* Aventine Hill * Caelian Hill...

 of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. It was the citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 (equivalent of the ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis means "high city" in Greek, literally city on the extremity and is usually translated into English as Citadel . For purposes of defense, early people naturally chose elevated ground to build a new settlement, frequently a hill with precipitous sides...

) of the earliest Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium. The English word capitol derives from Capitoline. The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces
Palazzo
Palazzo, an Italian word meaning a large building , may refer to:-Buildings:*Palazzo, an Italian type of building**Palazzo style architecture, imitative of Italian palazzi...

(now housing the Capitoline Museums
Capitoline Museums
The Capitoline Museums are a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The museums are contained in three palazzi surrounding a central trapezoidal piazza in a plan conceived by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536 and executed over...

) that surround a piazza
Piazza
A piazza is a city square in Italy, Malta, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. The term is roughly equivalent to the Spanish plaza...

, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

.

At this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia
Tarpeia
In Roman mythology, Tarpeia was a Roman maiden who betrayed the city of Rome to the Sabines in exchange for what she thought would be a reward of jewellery...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Capitoline Hill between the Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

 and the Campus Martius
Campus Martius
The Campus Martius , was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome...

, is one of the seven hills
Seven hills of Rome
The Seven Hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.The seven hills are:* Aventine Hill * Caelian Hill...

 of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. It was the citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 (equivalent of the ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis means "high city" in Greek, literally city on the extremity and is usually translated into English as Citadel . For purposes of defense, early people naturally chose elevated ground to build a new settlement, frequently a hill with precipitous sides...

) of the earliest Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium. The English word capitol derives from Capitoline. The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces
Palazzo
Palazzo, an Italian word meaning a large building , may refer to:-Buildings:*Palazzo, an Italian type of building**Palazzo style architecture, imitative of Italian palazzi...

(now housing the Capitoline Museums
Capitoline Museums
The Capitoline Museums are a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The museums are contained in three palazzi surrounding a central trapezoidal piazza in a plan conceived by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536 and executed over...

) that surround a piazza
Piazza
A piazza is a city square in Italy, Malta, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. The term is roughly equivalent to the Spanish plaza...

, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

.

Ancient


At this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia
Tarpeia
In Roman mythology, Tarpeia was a Roman maiden who betrayed the city of Rome to the Sabines in exchange for what she thought would be a reward of jewellery...

. For this, she was the first to suffer the punishment for treachery of being thrown off the steep crest of the hill to fall on the dagger-sharp Tarpeian Rock
Tarpeian Rock
The Tarpeian Rock was a steep cliff of the southern summit of the Capitoline Hill, overlooking the Roman Forum in Ancient Rome. It was used during the Roman Republic as an execution site. Murderers, traitors, perjurors, and larcenous slaves, if convicted by the quaestores parricidii, were flung...

s below. The Sabines, who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women, settled on the Capitoline. The Vulcanal
Vulcanal
The Shrine of Vulcan — or Vulcanal, or Volcanal — was an 8th century BC sacred precinct on the future site of the Roman Forum...

 (Shrine of Vulcan), an 8th century sacred precinct, occupied much of the eastern lower slopes of the Capitoline, at the head of what would later become the Roman Forum. The summit was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad
Capitoline Triad
In ancient Roman religion, the Capitoline Triad was a group of three supreme deities who were worshipped in an elaborate temple on Rome's Capitoline Hill, the Capitolium. Two distinct Capitoline Triads were worshipped at various times in Rome's history, both originating in ancient traditions...

, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus
Tarquinius Priscus
Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, also called Tarquin the Elder or Tarquin I, was the legendary fifth King of Rome from 616 BC to 579 BC. His wife was Tanaquil.-Early life:According to Livy, Tarquinius Priscus came from the Etruria...

 (r. 616-579 BC), and completed by the seventh and last king, Tarquinius Superbus (535–496 BC). It was considered one of the largest and the most beautiful temples in the city (although little now remains). The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull
Human skull
The human skull is a bony structure, skeleton, that is in the human head and which supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain.In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 22 bones...

 (the word for head in Latin is caput) when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter at Tarquin's order. Recent excavations on the Capitoline uncovered an early cemetery under the Temple of Jupiter.

When the Senones
Senones
The Senones were an ancient Gaulish tribe.In about 400 BC they crossed the Alps and, having driven out the Umbrians settled on the east coast of Italy from Forlì to Ancona, in the so-called ager Gallicus, and founded the town of Sena Gallica , which became their capital. In 391 BC they invaded...

 Gauls (settled in central-east Italy) raided Rome in 390 BC, after the battle of River Allia
Allia
Allia, a stream flowing into the Tiber, is 11 miles from Rome and the site of the Battle of the Allia, where Romans were defeated by the Gauls under Brennus in 387 BC ....

, the Capitoline Hill was the one section of the city to evade capture by the barbarians, due to its being fortified by the Roman defenders. When Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 suffered an accident during his triumph
Roman triumph
The Roman triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the military achievement of an army commander who had won great military successes, or originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war. In Republican...

, clearly indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars
Caesar's civil war
The Great Roman Civil War , also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire...

, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen
Omen
An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change...

 (nevertheless he was murdered six months later, and Brutus
Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus
Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus was a Roman politician and general of the 1st century BC and one of the leading instigators of Julius Caesar's assassination...

 and his other assassins locked themselves inside the temple afterward). Vespasian's brother and nephew
Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul 69)
See also Titus Flavius Sabinus for other men of this name.Titus Flavius Sabinus was the son of Titus Flavius Sabinus . He was suffect consul in May and June 69 and one of the generals who fought for Otho against Vitellius during the Year of the Four Emperors, although he submitted to Vitellius once...

 were also besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors (69).

The Tabularium
Tabularium
The Tabularium was the official records office of ancient Rome, and also housed the offices of many city officials. Situated within the Roman Forum, it was on the front slope of the Capitoline Hill, below the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, to the southeast of the Arx and Tarpeian Rock.Within...

, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state. The Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis
Temple of Veiovis
The Temple of Veiovis in ancient Rome was the temple of the god Veiovis.-In literature:The temple was sited in the saddle of ground "inter duos lucos", between two sacred groves, one on the Arx and one on the Capitolium . The statue of the god stood next to a statue of a goat...

.

Medieval


The church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Santa Maria in Aracoeli
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven is a titular basilica in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. It is still the designated Church of the city council of Rome, which uses the ancient title of Senatus Populusque Romanus...

 is adjacent to the square, located near where the ancient arx
Arx (Roman)
Arx is the Latin word for citadel. In the ancient city of Rome, the Arx, not always capitalized, was located on the northern spur of the Capitoline Hill, and is sometimes specified as the Arx Capitolina. Sentries were posted there to watch for a signal to be displayed on the Janiculum if an enemy...

, or citadel, atop the hill it once stood. At its base are the remains of a Roman insula
Insulae
In Roman architecture, an insula was a kind of apartment building that housed most of the urban citizen population of ancient Rome, including ordinary people of lower- or middle-class status and all but the wealthiest from the upper-middle class...

, with more than four stores visible from the street.

In the Middle Ages, the hill’s sacred function was obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome, revived as a commune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

 in the 11th century. The city's government was now to be firmly under papal control
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

, but the Capitoline was the scene of movements of urban resistance, such as the dramatic scenes of Cola di Rienzo
Cola di Rienzo
Cola di Rienzo was an Italian medieval politician and popular leader, tribune of the Roman people in the mid-14th century.-Early career:Cola was born in Rome of humble origins...

's revived republic. As a result, the piazza was already surrounded by buildings by the 16th century.

Michelangelo


The existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536–1546. At the height of his fame, he was commissioned by the Farnese Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

, who wanted a symbol of the new Rome to impress Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, who was expected in 1538.

Michelangelo's first designs for the piazza and remodelling of the surrounding palazzi date from 1536. He reversed the classical orientation of the Capitoline, in a symbolic gesture turning Rome’s civic center to face away from the Roman Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

 and instead in the direction of Papal Rome and the Christian church
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

 in the form of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The sequence, Cordonata piazza and the central palazzo are the first urban introduction of the "cult of the axis" that was to occupy Italian garden plans and reach fruition in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Executing the design was slow: Little was actually completed in Michelangelo's lifetime (the ‘’Cordonata’’ was not in place when Emperor Charles arrived, and the imperial party had to scramble up the slope from the Forum to view the works in progress), but work continued faithfully to his designs and the Campidoglio was completed in the 17th century, except for the paving design, which was to be finished three centuries later.

Piazza



The bird's-eye view of the engraving by Étienne Dupérac
Étienne Dupérac
Étienne Dupérac was a French painter, draughtsman and engraver, and a topographer and antiquary, who arrived in Rome in 1559...

 shows Michelangelo's solution to the problems of the space in the Piazza del Campidoglio. Even with their new facades centering them on the new palazzo
Palazzo
Palazzo, an Italian word meaning a large building , may refer to:-Buildings:*Palazzo, an Italian type of building**Palazzo style architecture, imitative of Italian palazzi...

 at the rear, the space was a trapezoid, and the facades did not face each other squarely. Worse still, the whole site sloped (to the left in the engraving). Michelangelo's solution was radical. The three remodelled palazzi enclose a harmonious trapezoidal space, approached by the ramped staircase called the "Cordonata
Cordonata
Cordonata is a sloping road composed of transversal stripes , which are made with stone or bricks. It has a form almost similar to a flight of steps, but allows the transit of horses and donkeys...

". Since no "perfect" forms would work, his apparent oval in the paving is actually egg-shaped, narrower at one end than at the other. The travertine
Travertine
Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot...

 design set into the paving is perfectly level: Around its perimeter, low steps arise and die away into the paving as the slope requires. Its centre springs slightly, so that one senses that he/she is standing on the exposed segment of a gigantic egg all but buried at the centre of the city at the centre of the world, as Michelangelo's historian Charles de Tolnay pointed out. An interlaced twelve-pointed star makes a subtle reference to the constellations, revolving around this space called Caput mundi, Latin for "head of the world." This paving design was never executed by the popes, who may have detected a subtext of less-than-Christian import. Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 ordered the paving completed to Michelangelo's design — in 1940.



Marcus Aurelius


In the middle, and not to Michelangelo’s liking, stood a replica of the Marcus Aurelius Equestrian statue. Michelangelo provided an unassuming pedestal for it. The sculpture was held in regard because it was thought to depict Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Emperor. The bronze now in position is a modern copy; the original is in the Palazzo dei Conservatori nearby.

Palazzi



He provided new fronts to the two official buildings of Rome's civic government, the Palazzo dei Conservatori, the Senatorio, and finally the Nuovo. The sole arched motif in the entire Campidoglio design is the segmental pediment
Pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

s over their windows, which give a slight spring to the completely angular vertical-horizontal balance of the design. The three palazzi are now home to the Capitoline Museums
Capitoline Museums
The Capitoline Museums are a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The museums are contained in three palazzi surrounding a central trapezoidal piazza in a plan conceived by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536 and executed over...

.
Palazzo dei Conservatori

The Palazzo dei Conservatori ("Palace of the Conservators") was built in the Middle Ages for the local magistrate on top of a sixth-century BC temple dedicated to Jupiter
Jupiter (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon....

 "Maximus Capitolinus." It was the first use of a giant order
Giant order
In Classical architecture, a giant order is an order whose columns or pilasters span two stories...

 that spanned two storeys, here with a range of Corinthian pilasters
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

 and subsidiary Ionic columns
Ionic order
The Ionic order forms one of the three orders or organizational systems of classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the Doric and the Corinthian...

 flanking the ground-floor loggia
Loggia
Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

 openings and the second-floor windows. Another giant order would serve later for the exterior of St Peter's Basilica. Its facade was updated by Michelangelo in the 1530s and again later numerous times.
Palazzo Caffarelli Clementino

Adjacent and now serving as an annex to the Palazzo dei Conservatori is Palazzo Caffarelli Clementino; here, short-term exhibitions are held. The palazzo was built between 1576 and 1583 for Ascanio Caffarelli Gregory Canonica. Until the cessation of World War I, the palazzo served as the German Embassy to Rome. Following the war, it was it was claimed by the Comune di Roma, which demolished a large section of the palazzo's east wing to create the Caffarelli Terrace.
Palazzo Senatorio

Built during the 13th and 14th centuries, the Palazzo Senatorio ("Senatorial Palace") stands atop the Tabularium
Tabularium
The Tabularium was the official records office of ancient Rome, and also housed the offices of many city officials. Situated within the Roman Forum, it was on the front slope of the Capitoline Hill, below the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, to the southeast of the Arx and Tarpeian Rock.Within...

, which had once housed the archives of ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. Peperino
Peperino
Peperino is an Italian name applied to a brown or grey volcanic tuff, containing fragments of basalt and limestone, with disseminated crystals of augite, mica, magnetite, leucite, and other similar minerals...

 blocks from the Tabularium were re-used in the left side of the palace and a corner of the bell tower. It now houses the Roman city hall
City hall
In local government, a city hall, town hall or a municipal building or civic centre, is the chief administrative building of a city...

. Its double ramp of stairs was designed by Michelangelo. The fountain in front of the staircase features the river gods of the Tiber
Tiber
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It drains a basin estimated at...

 and the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 as well as Dea Roma (Minerva). Its bell-tower was designed by Martino Longhi the Elder
Martino Longhi the Elder
Martino Longhi the Elder was an Italian architect, the father of Onorio Longhi and the grandfather of Martino Longhi the Younger.He was born in Viggiù into a family of architects, and initially worked in Germany for the Altemps family, who were relatives of the Milanese Borromeo...

 and built between 1578 and 1582. Its current facade was designed by Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta was an Italian architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica. He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.-Biography:...

 and Girolamo Rainaldi
Girolamo Rainaldi
Girolamo Rainaldi was an Italian architect who worked on the whole in a conservative Mannerist style, often with collaborating architects, yet was a successful competitor of Bernini...

.
Palazzo Nuovo

To close off the piazza's symmetry and cover up the tower of the Aracoeli, the Palazzo Nuovo, or "New Palace", was constructed in 1603, finished in 1654, and opened to the public in 1734. Its facade duplicates to that of Palazzo dei Conservatori. In other words, it is an identical copy made using Michelangelo's blueprint when he redesigned the Palazzo dei Conservatori a century earlier.


Balustrade


A balustrade punctuated by sculptures atop the giant pilasters capped the composition, one of the most influential of Michelangelo's designs. The two massive ancient statues of Castor and Pollux that decorate the balustrades are not the same posed by Michelangelo, which now are in front of the Palazzo del Quirinale.

Cordonata


Next to the older and much steeper stairs leading to the Aracoeli
Santa Maria in Aracoeli
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven is a titular basilica in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. It is still the designated Church of the city council of Rome, which uses the ancient title of Senatus Populusque Romanus...

, Michelangelo devised a monumental wide-ramped stair (the cordonata
Cordonata
Cordonata is a sloping road composed of transversal stripes , which are made with stone or bricks. It has a form almost similar to a flight of steps, but allows the transit of horses and donkeys...

), gradually ascending the hill to reach the high piazza
Piazza
A piazza is a city square in Italy, Malta, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. The term is roughly equivalent to the Spanish plaza...

, so that the Campidoglio resolutely turned its back on the Roman Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

 that it had once commanded. It was built to be wide enough for horse riders to ascend the hill without dismounting. The railings are topped by the statues of two Egyptian lions in black basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

 at their base and the marble renditions of Castor and Pollux
Castor and Pollux
In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux or Polydeuces were twin brothers, together known as the Dioscuri . Their mother was Leda, but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus, who visited Leda in the guise of a swan...

 at their top.

American emulation


The name Capitol Hill for the location of the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in Washington D.C. was chosen by the founders of the US in emulation of the ancient Roman location.

See also

  • Seven hills of Rome
    Seven hills of Rome
    The Seven Hills of Rome east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.The seven hills are:* Aventine Hill * Caelian Hill...

  • Aventine Hill (Aventino)
    Aventine Hill
    The Aventine Hill is one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built. It belongs to Ripa, the twelfth rione, or ward, of Rome.-Location and boundaries:The Aventine hill is the southernmost of Rome's seven hills...

  • Caelian Hill (Celio)
    Caelian Hill
    The Caelian Hill is one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. Under reign of Tullus Hostilius, the entire population of Alba Longa was forcibly resettled on the Caelian Hill...

  • Cispian Hill (Cispio)
    Cispius
    Cispius is the nomen of the Roman gens Cispia.-Cispius Laevus:The Mons Cispius, or Cispian Hill, is one of several summits of the Esquiline Hill in Rome. The grammarian Festus says that it was named for a Cispius Laevus of Anagnia, of the Publilia voting tribe . This Cispius may be legendary.-M...

  • Esquiline Hill (Esquilino)
  • Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo)
  • Monte Mario
    Monte Mario
    -External links :* * *...

  • Oppian Hill (Oppio)
    Oppian Hill
    The Oppian Hill is the southern spur of the Esquiline Hill , one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. It is separated from the Cispius on the north by the valley of the Subura, and from the Caelian Hill on the south by the valley of the Colosseum...

  • Palatine Hill (Palatino)
    Palatine Hill
    The Palatine Hill is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city...

  • Pincian Hill (Pincio)
    Pincian Hill
    The Pincian Hill is a hill in the northeast quadrant of the historical center of Rome. The hill lies to the north of the Quirinal, overlooking the Campus Martius...

  • Quirinal Hill (Quirinale)
    Quirinal Hill
    The Quirinal Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome, at the north-east of the city center. It is the location of the official residence of the Italian Head of State, who resides in the Quirinal Palace; by metonymy "the Quirinal" has come to stand for the Italian President.- History :It was...

  • Vatican Hill (Vaticano)
    Vatican Hill
    Vatican Hill is the name given, long before the founding of Christianity, to one of the hills on the side of the Tiber opposite the traditional seven hills of Rome...

  • Velian Hill (Velia)
    Velian Hill
    The Velia — or Velian Hill or Velian Ridge — is a saddle or spur stretching out from the middle of the north side of the Palatine Hill towards the Oppian Hill ....

  • Viminal Hill (Viminale)
    Viminal Hill
    The Viminal Hill is the smallest of the famous seven hills of Rome. A finger-shape cusp pointing toward central Rome between the Quirinal Hill to the northwest and the Esquiline Hill to the southeast, it is home to the Teatro dell'Opera and the Termini Railway Station.At the top of Viminal Hill...


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