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Mura Aureliane, Rome

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The Aurelian Walls are a line of city walls built between 271 AD and 275 AD in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus.The walls enclosed all the seven hills of Rome plus the Campus Martius and, on the right bank of the Tiber, the Trastevere district. The river banks within the city limits appear to have been left unfortified, although they were fortified along the Campus Martius. The size of entire enclosed area is 1400 hectares.ConstructionThe full circuit ran for surrounding an area of. The walls were constructed in brick-faced concrete, thick and high, with a square tower every 100 Roman feet.In the 4th century, remodelling doubled the height of the walls to. By 500 AD, the circuit possessed 383 towers, 7,020 crenellations, 18 main gates, 5 postern gates, 116 latrines, and 2,066 large external windows.
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  • In a morning too hot we decide to visit the Porta Ostiense and that section of the Aurelian walls that encompassed the Cestia pyramid, whereby, with relief we got cool half-light of the Civic Museum. In the small garden there are marble ruins of the Imperial era found in the excavations along the via Ostiense. The Aurelian walls were built in the 3rd century AD when Rome was going through a serious crisis inside and outside. In the 2 previous centuries the political power and military power had managed to retain some understanding thanks mainly to huge wealth that flowed from conquered lands but after 250 a.d. century hordes of barbarians came from Scandinavia and arrived until Greece forcing Roma to defend its interests because their pressure had interrupted the dense network of businesses. The abandonment of expansionist policy however did infuriate the legions who wanted a choice interventionist and this created within an ongoing political and social instability. In fact Rome for its importance seemed to all immune from external aggression but Aurelian decided it was better to be safe because inside the climate of continuous political destabilization created by contrasts with the army did not provide for control of territory. The walls were built between 270 and 275 19 kilometres long (of them remain 12.5 kilometers) and for economic reasons and urgency were incorporated existing buildings including the Cestia pyramid on which the West side were built 2 doors that opened the entrance to the via Ostiense. The walls were punctuated every 30 meters from towers that ensured greater shooting accuracy and since the biggest concern of a besieged city's water supply the walls incorporated Trastevere and janiculum which allowed the control of a large section of 2 banks of the Tiber. It seems that in the design of the walls were also called the military and this served in part to placate them. On the other hand the barbarians were only able to do raids and enough rough warriors to stop them a wall with solid doors and a walkway and in fact up to 400 a.d., no enemy besieged seriously the walls of Rome. The porta Ostiensis took its name from the road connecting Rome to the important port of Ostia but over the years gradually lost importance in favour of port Fiumicino linking better barns Romans through the via Portuense. The door, however, he returned in great favour with the Christianization of Roman society and was renamed the Porta San Paolo because he opened the route that leads to the Basilica of St Paul and the Emperor Honorius in 403 closed one of its doors, held up two towers and fused battlements and Windows. The Museum tells this long history: in the first room there are quite old plastic depicting the port of Ostia performed in 30 by Italo Gismondi and an oil painting by Marelli depicting the territory from Rome arrived at sea and in the second room the model ports of Trajan and Claudius near where it is now. Through the walkway outside to admire a magnificent view of the pyramid of Cestius and the Protestant Cemetery and Eastern Tower there are interesting remains of frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries that decorated a chapel where used meet the Byzantine community. The Museum provides an accurate description of a period in the history of Rome and this makes up for the visitor a good experience. A personal record: over the years I have seen that some clips of the Aurelian walls were visibly inhabited and has always intrigued me to know how people were able to get into it and we could live peacefully. In one, on the wall of an approximate balcony even had a pot of Basil and some Geraniums, examples of atavistic art of getting of the Romans. As if to say: "the old walls are fine but this is my house, too"
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  • The details are; Procura Pallotti, 7b Mura Aurelia, [NOT Aureliane!] the picture is incorrect, - please delete!] This is a most hospitable and affordable accommodation, run by a religious congregation...  more »
  • Until then Rome had only minimal defensive walls around the town, while continuing to fortify the borders of the Empire increasingly vast and difficult to control. Aurelian had understood that it was time to protect the city from likely predatory incursions of Germanic peoples (Marcomanni etc ...) migrating with increasing momentum towards the fertile lands of Italy. The construction of the defences was a surprise for the people, who could not understand that the beginning of disintegration of large parts of the Empire and the justified fears of the emperor. Between 270 and 282 a.d. (Aurelian and Probus) 3/4 metre high walls were thus built, surrounded by a moat which basically talking duplicating the height, and in front of a land free of any obstacles to facilitate the detection of any impending danger. Inside were incorporated aqueducts and baths, military structures and tombs, temples and regulars meeting places. Almost 20 km of perimeter with 18 doors and 381 towers around the seven hills. Much of this extraordinary defensive system is still in good condition and can be seen especially from the bottom (there are few raised points available) at the many doors still used, as incorporated into the huge expansion of the city. In later centuries, the walls were made even more impenetrable by Emperor Honorius through their doubling in height and thickness and the extension of Interior walkways and heights that would better guarantee coverage and movement to the sentries, and secure operation of war machines. Millions upon millions of handmade bricks for a huge undertaking that remains one of the largest and best preserved of the ancient world. Walls never conquered, because the invasion of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths of Alaric, already rejected twice in previous years, was determined by the treachery of a Roman noblewoman, Proba, that-trying pity for the hardship of fellow citizens – is believed to have ordered his servants to open the doors to the enemy at night. It was not until the September 20 1870 for the only ' failure ' to cannon fire breached a Piedmontese army, perhaps less than 100 metres from Porta Pia. But that's another story. alfredodenicolais
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  • Impressive but you can't climb up there.
  • Impressive walls. Free museum inside the gates. It is possible to go up to the towers.
  • Cool to visit on your way down the Via Appia. There is a museum that lets you go in the Porta San Sebastian here but we just missed it as it closes at 2pm.
  • Well preserved ruins.
  • The Aurelian walls are very fascinating, especially when you walk in them. Recommend to visit them entering the museum walls. I hope they will add another piece of route, the already nice and long enough inside the Museum and who knows that one day soon we can get to the pyramid of Cestius.
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