"Rome's Defensive Walls" Aurelian Walls Tip by jungles

Aurelian Walls, Rome: 29 reviews and 51 photos

  Aurelian Walls near Porta San Giovanni
by jungles
  • Aurelian Walls near Porta San Giovanni - Rome
      Aurelian Walls near Porta San Giovanni
    by jungles
  • Tower in Aurelian Walls - Rome
      Tower in Aurelian Walls
    by jungles

The Aurelian Walls were built by the Emperor Aurelian between 270 and 273 A.D. to defend the city against attack from barbarians. These were not the first walls built to protect the city; the earlier Servian Walls had been standing since the 4th century B.C., parts of which can still be seen today near the Termini railway station and even inside the station in the McDonalds on the underground level.

By the 3rd century A.D. the city had long ago outgrown these walls, but at the height of the empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries Rome's army and its reputation were good enough defenses and a wall was not necessary. The empire was already in a state of decline by the 3rd century, however, thus the wall had to be built to keep out Rome's enemies.

Even after the fall of the Empire, the walls were maintained and improved by the Popes and continued to be used as a means of defense right up until 1870 when Garibaldi's army stormed the walls, forcing the Pope to give up his reign over Rome and finally incorporating the city into the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy.

There are many places in Rome where the walls can be seen today; the portion seen in the photo stands near the Church of San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John in Lateran). Today it is in the middle of a very busy junction with many cars passing through it; the wall was originally solid but the arches were cut out in the early 20th century to accommodate the cars.

The website below has very thorough explanations of all of Rome's walls, with many pictures and maps.

Phone: 0030-06-89021630
Website: http://www.museodellemuraroma.it/sede/mura_aureliane

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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