"Piazza del Popolo, the People?s Square" Top 5 Page for this destination Piazza del Popolo Tip by von.otter
Piazza del Popolo, Rome: 95 reviews and 194 photos
?All roads lead to Rome, but our antagonists think we should choose different paths.?
? From ?Le Juge Arbitre, Fable XII? by Jean de la Fontaine
At the heart of the very large Piazza del Popolo is the city?s tallest obelisk, over 85 feet (see photos #1, 2 & 5). Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, shipped it to Rome from Heliopolis after he conquered Egypt. Carved in the 13th or 12th century BC for Pharaoh Rameses II, the so-called Flaminia Obelisk, is the city?s second oldest. In 1589 Pope Sixtus V had it moved here to help pilgrims coming from the north locate the plaza.
In 1562 Pope Pius IV commissioned architect Nanni di Baccio Bigio to construct a gate (see photos 3 & 4), the Porta Flaminia, as part of the Aurelian Wall. (This was the starting point of Ancient Rome?s Via Flaminia; it was built in AD 220 to connect Rome with the Adriatic coast.)
At the invitation of Pope Alexander VII the newly-converted Roman Catholic Queen Christina of Sweden came to Rome and arrived through this gate in 1655; Gianlorenzo Bernini decorated the gate for the occasion. The family crest of Pope Alexander VII, six hills and star (see photo #4), that Bernini added can be seen still.
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