Museo Delle Mura - Rome, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 41° 52.393 E 012° 30.107
33T E 292686 N 4638717
The Museo delle Mura (The Roman Wall Museum) is located in Porta San Sebastiano, one of the largest and best preserved parts of the Aurelian Walls.
Waymark Code: WM1XFX
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 07/27/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member MikeGolfJ3
Views: 139

Getting There :

Using public transport, starting from Rome Termini station
Go to stop Termini
Take Line N. METRO B (LAURENTINA) to 4 stops
Get off at stop Piramide
Take the bus 118 to Porta San Sebastiano

It is possible to walk above the stretch of wall which reaches the following Porta Ardeatina: presently, this is the only part of the set of roman walls which can be visited.

The current display, on the first and second floors, opened in 1990 and is divided into three sections - ancient, medieval and modern, each with explanatory texts, drawings and photographs.

The display narrates the history of the city's fortifications. It starts with those built under the kings of Rome, then those under the Republic, before discussing the walls built by Marcus Aurelius in the third century AD. The historical and political events that led to the building of the Aurelian walls are detailed, as well as the strategic considerations that led to them being built where they were. There is a further analysis of the building techniques used, including door types, as well as subsequent restorations and transformations.

The circular hall on the first floor contains models of the various construction phases of the Aurelian Walls, and a three dimensional plan of Rome, showing the layout of its fortifications. In the medieval and modern sections, found on the second floor, the historical and architectural events that befell the Aurelian Walls are narrated, tracing how in medieval times the relation of the walls to the city changed as the population dwindled.

On the walls of the two rooms in the museum are hung plaster casts of the crosses cut into the stone above the entrance arches of some of the doors. The casts also illustrate the crosses, palmettes and wheel patterns made with bricks by the workmen during the building of the walls. The terrace on the central section between the gateway's two towers and that in the western tower are also accessible to visitors.


By the 3rd century AD Rome had expanded beyond its old boundaries, and the Servian walls had become useless. Therefore emperor Aurelian, who had reunited the crumbling empire and quelled internal revolts, decided that time had come to build a further set of walls, and to do so as soon as possible: in only five years (from 271 to 275) Rome's new boundaries enclosed a much wider area, especially on the western side of the city. Nevertheless, Aurelian did not live long enough to see the work finished, as he died a few months before it was completed.

The new defensive system was built with bricks. Unlike the previous set of walls, these ones had square towers at regular distances, and a walkable passage on the inner side that the soldiers used for moving along its length, remaining fully protected.

These are the walls still standing for most of their length, with the only exception of the western segment; during the centuries, restoration works were carried out many times, as can be told by the different brick and stone textures, by some inscriptions and by several crests of the ruling popes.

Also most of the gates, albeit standing on their original sites, have gone through changes; some have been even walled up (most of the latter, though, have been restored and reopened). Alterations were mainly due to defensive reasons, as the important ones carried out by emperor Honorius, by the early 5th century AD, consisting of an outer lining of white stone that was added in front of the gates to prevent catapults and other weapons from breaching the old brick structure; but modern alterations were also due to the increasing traffic, which required the widening of old gates, or the opening of additional passages where the walls crossed busy roads.

Since the walls needed to be ready in a very short time, when civil or military pre-existing buildings happened to be along their way, Aurelian's architects did not dismantle them, nor did they change their planned direction: they simply crossed the older building!
These walls, though, proved far more steady than any ancient architect would have imagined: after seventeen troubled centuries, catapults, battering rams, cannons, bombs and even earthquakes have not been strong enough to take them down.
Roman History

Street Address:
Via di Porta San Sebastiano, 18 - 00100 Roma

Hours of Operation:
Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday 9.00am-2.00pm (the ticket office closes half an hour in advance) Closed Monday, 1st January, 1st May and 25th December

Cost: 3.00 (listed in local currency)

Museum Size: Small

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

Food Court: Not Listed

Gift Shop: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
In order to log this waymark in this category, you must be able to provide proof of your visit. Please post a picture of yourself or your GPSr in front some identifiable feature or point of interest either in the museum, or on the museum grounds.
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franketmuriel visited Museo Delle Mura - Rome, Italy 05/21/2017 franketmuriel visited it