Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rome Holidays - 11 Victor Emmanuel Monument & Capitoline Hill

Right next to the Roman Forums lies the grandeur Victor Emmanuel Monument.  If you can still remember, Victor Emmanuel II is the one who united Italy in 1861.  We visited his tomb at Pantheon here.

The moment is gigantic, and sits on Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of ancient Rome.  The construction of the monument started in 1885, and opened to the public in 1911!  You see, 1911 is always an important number :)

Victor Emmanuel Monument at dusk

Inside the moment, there is a military museum on the upper floors, as well as an altar for the unknown soldiers who fought for Italy in the basement.

St Sebastian

St Sebastian, the patron saint of soldiers, is in the center of the altar.

At the back of the monument, there is a modern glass walled elevator taking tourists to the top, which is said to offer fantastic views of the Rome.  If you don't want to pay for the elevator ride, you can still get a good view of the symbols of Rome - Colosseum, Roman Forums from a high point at Victor Emmanuel Monument.

View of Rome from Victor Emmanuel Monument, with Colosseum in sight

Sharing the Capitoline Hill with Victor Emmanuel Monument is Michelangelo's masterpiece Piazza del Campidoglio. The whole plaza was master-mind by Michelangelo, and he designed the buildings, as well as the statues, even the staircase leading to the plaza.

The Senate at Piazza del Campidoglio

Standing at the entrance of the plaza is the statue of the twin brothers of Gemini.  The originals were designed by Michelangelo, but they had been moved to another location.  The current pair is a replica.

Capitoline Hill Gemini Statues

This square is full of history.  On all three sides, there are museums detailing the relevant history.  You can see school students coming here for outings.

Next to the square, there is also an ancient church.  What is most important is behind the church.

The Legend of Rome

In the small little square behind Piazza del Campidoglio, there is a column, not a very tall column.  Surmounting the column stands a female wolf, breast-feeding two young boys. These two young boys, said to be twins, would later on become the founder of Rome.

You can find all my Rome Holidays posts here.

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