Mausoleum of Augustus

Rome, Italy

The Mausoleum of Augustus is a large tomb built by the Roman Emperor Augustus in 28 BC. The interior of the mausoleum is not open to tourists. The mausoleum was one of the first projects initiated by Augustus in the City of Rome following his victory at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The mausoleum was circular in plan, consisting of several concentric rings of earth and brick, planted with cypresses on top of the building and capped by a conical roof and a statue of Augustus. Vaults held up the roof and opened up the burial spaces below.

In the Middle Ages the tumulus was fortified as a castle and occupied by the Colonna family. After the disastrous defeat of the Commune of Rome at the hands of the Count of Tusculum in 1167, the Colonna were disgraced and banished, and their fortification in the Campo was dismantled. Thus it became a ruin.

It was not until the 1930s that the site was opened as a preserved archaeological landmark along with the newly moved and reconstructed Ara Pacis nearby. The restoration of the Mausoleum of Augustus to a place of prominence featured in Benito Mussolini's ambitious reordering of the city of Rome which strove to connect the aspirations of Italian Fascism with the former glories of the Roman Empire.

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Founded: 28 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

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4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jian Du (5 months ago)
Not so many people, the big altar stand in a very delicate and pure space designed by famous architect Richard Meier. If you like architecture or history of Rome, this is the place you have to visit
Chris Scott (5 months ago)
It looked with a visit, but you cannot get a good view our photo. It was also closed so unable to go in.
Alex Dasa (8 months ago)
Try passing bye when going to plaza del popolo. It's an interesting site, even from the outside.
Ajay Sharma (9 months ago)
This was the family tomb of Rome's first emperor, Augustus. Originally the tomb resembled an artificial round, terraced hill with trees on the upper terrace in imitation of the tombs of leaders Augustus admired. The tomb broke convention by being built within the city when at the time all burials took place outside of the city. Over the years the mausoleum was used as a fortress, garden and as a venue for bullfights, circus performances and concerts until restoration began under Mussolini who identified himself with Augustus. Today visitors can see the overgrown ruins of the mausoleum's brick inner core The first person buried in the mausoleum was Marcellus, Augustus's nephew, in 23 BC. Many emperors were buried here, among them Augustus himself, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The last person to be buried in the mausoleum was Emperor Nerva in 98 AD. The next emperor, Trajan, was buried at the base of the Column of Trajan and his successor, Hadrian, built a new mausoleum, now the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Stefano Prina (9 months ago)
This monumental mausoleum – a dramatic 45m wide and 90m high – was built in 28 BC and is the final resting place of Augustus, buried here in AD 14, and his favourite nephew and heir Marcellus. Mussolini had it restored in 1936 with an eye to being buried here himself, but since then it has fallen into sad disrepair. Apparently they are working on the mausoleum these days to restore it as it deserves.
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