Among the countless treasures in Rome is Castel Sant’Angelo. This monument was commissioned by Hadrian to serve as his mausoleum. Constructed between 134 and 139AD, the towering, cylindrical building commands a presence as an enduring statement of strength.
Through the centuries this tribute to Hadrian has been re-purposed from its original intent as a mausoleum to a fortress castle, a prison and execution site, and a museum. It has withstood abuses not limited to attacks by Goths and other warring tribes, looting of treasures, and destruction for building materials.
Even today it serves as a final bastion of protection for the sitting Pope who can quickly reach the safety of its thick walls through an underground tunnel.