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

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Iulius Stirban (2 years ago)
Although you don't get to see much of the original construction (which used to be the largest circular tomb in the world) as it was reshaped/rebuilt over multiple times since the middle ages, it's still an interesting site to see for the many stories related to it (you definitely need a guide, otherwise you won't understand a thing from the myriad of construction layers). At the time I visited (April 2022), the place was not very well popularized, and the only way you could see it was by guided tour only in Italian, booked through an italian website which I managed to use with the help of the guard at the gate. I learned that a redtoration project of the enire surrounding area was in development at the time. Hope it's been finished by the time you're reading this.
Andrew (2 years ago)
I wish i could give this five stars but it's just not quite there. Our tour was supposed to be in English, but was only in Italian, which made it less meaningful than I was hoping. It seems like there isn't really much left of the original structure except for the brick walls. I'm glad I got to go inside, but I think most people can skip this one. I hope to come back to see the new piazza they are building outside.
Tyson Hinton (3 years ago)
Scheduled a tour via a website which was pretty tricky. It was only in Italian so I didn't understand a word so not sure of the language options. We had to walk around the block to find the entrance to the tour. It was not near the street near across from the Ara Pacis. Our tour also ended up being in Italian but there were some helpful signs which explained a lot of what we were looking at. The tour was probably about 35 to 45 minutes. We were able to do some free wandering about the premises. The building is said to be mostly original but there is a lot of work being done to improve the structures integrity. I imagine this will be quite the site to visit when they are done. The only downside is I would have liked to walk around the outer walls. But this was a very pretty location. Visit the Ara Pacis as well I you come to visit the resting place of the first emperor of Rome.
ernst wit (3 years ago)
Entirely fascinating historical building in Rome that over the millennia had seen countless different uses. From the original mausoleum, a garden, a bull fighting ring, a theatre, to Mussolini's grand revision of history (that in the process destroyed a lot of layers of history). It is temporarily open after decades closed. It will close again soon so see it before it is too late, however don't expect to "see" much. But the explanations of the archeologists that do the tours are interesting.
Michele Formica (3 years ago)
Super excited to see this from the inside after it being shut ever since I was a kid! The inside is huge (45m tall X 90m diameter) you could never tell from the outside. Very excited to see how the square will look like once all the work is done both on the mausoleum and on the new hotel by Bulgari.
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