The Drususstein (Drusus stone) is a nearly 20 metres high masonry block of Roman origin on the grounds of the citadel of Mainz. It was originally cast in marble. Researchers now largely accept that this is the structural remnant of the cenotaph mentioned by writers like Eutropius and Suetonius, erected in 9 BC by Roman troops in honour of the deceased general Drusus, in Mogontiacum (now Mainz) as part of the roman funerary art.
During the early days of the Principate the Drususstein was the starting point for elaborate memorial services in honour of Drusus, and the centre of the imperial cult in Mogontiacum. A procession road linked it to the public theater of Mogontiacum that had about 12,000 seats, making it the largest known theater north of the Alps. It may have hosted a part of the annual ceremonies at the day of Drusus' death, and probably also at his birthday.
After being robbed of its marble casing in the early Middle Ages, the Drususstein served as a watchtower in the fortifications of the city in the 16th century. For that purpose a staircase and doorframe were made in the structure, which had been up to that point a massive building. Besides the pillars of aqueducts and the stage of the theatre, the Drususstein is one of the few remaining visible reminders of Roman Mogontiacum. Together with the Igel Column, it is the only funerary monument north of the Alps dating from antiquity that remains in its original location.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.