Umbilicus Urbis Romae - Roma, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben
N 41° 53.564 E 012° 29.073
33T E 291319 N 4640926
Quick Description: The Umbilicus Urbis Romae (in English: "navel of the city of Rome") is a small monument marking the theoretical and symbolic center of Rome, located on the Roman Forum near the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Vulcanal, behind the Rostra.
Location: Lazio, Italy
Date Posted: 7/13/2019 3:56:58 PM
Waymark Code: WM10YQ9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 2

Long Description:
From Wikipedia: "Originally covered in marble, the Umbilicus is now a forlorn-looking brick core some 2 metres high and 4.45 metres in diameter.

Roman legend related that Romulus, when he founded the city, had a circular pit dug in the Forum. The first fruits of the year were thrown into this pit as a sacrifice and all new citizens of Rome had to throw in a handful of dirt from their place of origin.

The Mundus (Latin, "world"), known only from literary sources, was an underground structure considered a gate to the underworld. It may be that the Umbilicus Urbis Romae was the external (above ground) part of the subterranean Mundus. The Mundus was ritually opened only three times each year. These days were considered dies nefasti—days on which official transactions were forbidden on religious grounds because evil spirits of the underworld were thought to escape then.

The original masonry Umbilicus was probably constructed in the 2nd century BC. The existing ruins, however, are from the time of the Emperor Septimius Severus. The construction of his triumphal arch in 203 AD encroached upon the ancient Umbilicus, which was recreated to allow more space. Fragments of the older monument were used in the new one.

The Umbilicus is believed to be a separate structure from the Milliarium Aureum, which was built nearby by Augustus (c. 20 BC) and served much the same purpose for distance reference." (visit link)
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: €12

Opening days/times:
Every day: 8:30am until one hour before sunset; 25 December and 1 January: closed


Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Partly intact or reconstructed

Visit Instructions:
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Ariberna visited Umbilicus Urbis Romae - Roma, Italy 8/28/2011 Ariberna visited it