20 years later. The Mausoleum of Romulus is open again
After 20 years of reconstruction, the Mausoleum of Romulus on the Appian Way is open to the public again. Some people think that the tomb houses the remains of Romulus – one of the Rome’s founders. It is not correct. The mausoleum is one of the buildings of Emperor Maxentius’ residence, created by his will at the beginning of the 4th century. It was designed for the burial of his family members and himself. The ruins of the emperor’s palace and circus arena can be found next to it. According to the traditions of ancient Rome, all the dead men had to be buried outside the town walls. The Appian Way leading out of Rome was an excellent option for this. Obviously, only the emperor’s son – Valerio Romulus who died in his child years, was buried in the mausoleum. This wide and round building had settled the standards of architecture for plenty of mausoleums built after. Originally the mausoleum had to be built as a two storey building, but only the ground floor was finished. Maxentius himself, famous for his tyranny and debauchery, was soon defeated by the army of the emperor Constantine the Great near the Milvian Bridge. He tried to escape and was drowned in the Tiber River.
More than 830 000 euros were spent for the mausoleum’s reconstruction. At the ceremony dedicated to the monument’s opening, the mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino named it as “a jewel of their archaeological heritage”. He also mentioned the idea of creating the world’s biggest archaeological park. The park will stretch from the Capitoline Hill to Appia region along the Appian Way. Since June this year, world famous Trevi Fountain is under cleaning and renovation. But at the same time the Mausoleum of Romulus is opened for visitors after a long time of reconstruction. In summer, the Roman government is planning to add a bus line between the city centre and the mausoleum.