Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) and completed for the most part only after his death
“The new layout of the square was founded on three basic principles: alignment, symmetry and convergence, which combined to give the Capitoline new square a coherent unit both architectural and spatial. Michelangelo aimed to achieve a unified whole, extending the unprecedented solution of the giant order with Corinthian pilasters to the façades of all three buildings, characterized by a common horizontal emphasis, for the use of massive cornices and architraves structures” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Modified 1578 by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) and shortened in 1929 for the opening of the Via del Mare
Original “Egyptian Lions” in black basalt of Numidia from the Iseo Campensis transformed into fountains in 1588 on the 1582 “Bases” by Giacomo Della Porta
During special celebrations, such as those after the election of a pope, white and red wine flowed from the mouths of the lions
On the left “Monument to Cola di Rienzo” in 1887 with a statue that the Florentine Girolamo Masini (1840/85) had carved in the years 1869/71. It is placed on a base composed of fragments of sculptures and various epigraphs designed by architect Francesco Azzurri (1831/1901)
Cola di Rienzo was maybe killed here or, more likely, in front of the Senatorial Palace in 1354
To the right there are rocks that were part of the Republican Walls
Modified 1585 by Giacomo Della Porta
“Dioscuri” of late imperial age from the area of Monte Cenci where there was a temple dedicated to them. They were moved here in 1585
So-called “Trophies of Marius (159/86 BC)” which actually dates back to the Domitian (81/96) period from the castle of the Aqua Iulia in Piazza Vittorio. They were moved here in 1590
“Statues of Constantine (306/337) and of his son Constans II (337/350)” from the Baths of Constantine. They were moved here in 1653
“Two milestones (1st and 7th miles) from the old Appian Way”
Copy of the “Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius” from the Lateran (the original is in the Capitoline Museums) moved here in 1538 on “Pedestal” by Michelangelo Buonarroti who used marble taken from the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the Roman Forum
It was one of the few things made during the artist's lifetime together with the “Access door to the Council Chamber” and the “Two ramps staircase” 1547/54 of the Senatorial Palace, even if the project also included a pillared canopy that was never made
“Fountain of Goddess Rome” 1588/89 by Matteo Bartolani da Città di Castello (about 1527/about 1598) with “Porphyry and marble statue of Minerva” of the Domitian period transformed into goddess Roma
Matteo Bartolani had won the competition for the job although he had previously failed as an architect with the Felice Aqueduct and the fallen Bridge St. Maria, today's “Broken Bridge”
“Two statues representing the Tiber (originally Tigris) and the Nile Rivers” from the Baths of Constantine but originally in the corners of the pediment of the Temple of Serapis moved here in 1518. They are hollow inside in order to be lighter
Designed in 1940 by Antonio Muñoz (1884/1960) who followed roughly Michelangelo's design according to a posthumous engraving of 1567
The square is represented on the Italian coinage of the 50 euro cents coin
On 20 April 1979, a high potential bomb exploded in Piazza del Campidoglio causing serious damage. The attack did not cause a massacre only for a chance
An hour before the outbreak of the bomb, in fact, a session of the municipal council had just finished, while the square, usually crowded with tourists, was empty due to a storm
The bomb, consisting of four pounds of TNT and placed under the portal of the Palace of Senators, at the time of the explosion tore the portal, the arch and the columns on the left, damaging also the base of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius and the statue itself
Those responsible for the attack were never identified with certainty

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