Arch of Augustus

Aosta, Italy

The Arch of Augustus was erected in 25 BC on the occasion of the Roman victory over the Salassi and was the work of Aulus Terentius Varro Murena.

Constructed from conglomerate, the arch has a single vault, with a height to the keystone of 11.4 metres. Its span is a barrel vault, constituting an extension in width of a round arch. In the monument, various styles can be recognised: The ten engaged columns which decorate its facade and its sides culminate in Corinthian capitals, while the entablature, adorned with metopes and triglyphs, is of the Doric order.

During the twelfth century, the arch contained the home of a local noble family and in 1318 a small fortification was built inside it, designed for a corps of crossbowmen. In 1716, because of the numerous leaks that were compromising the integrity of the monument, the attic that previously crowned the arch was replaced with a slate roof.

The arch's modern appearance is the result of a final intervention for restoration and consolidation which occurred in 1912 under the direction of Ernesto Schiaparelli.

The wooden crucifix displayed below the vault is a copy of the one which was placed there in 1449 as a votive offering against the flooding of the river Buthier, which flows a little to the east. The original crucifix is now housed in the Museum of Aosta Cathedral's Treasures.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 25 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bernardus Ordelman (2 years ago)
Beautiful and interesting place
Ryan Cheeseman (2 years ago)
Great historical building directly across from a bridge. Both are Roman and used to be on the main road into town.
Andrea Motta (2 years ago)
One of the ancient principal port to get into Augusta Pretoria, built up by the Romans. In front of it we can just imagine how strong were them and how much the were smart.
Olexa Onyshchenko (3 years ago)
Historical place. If you love history it would be interesting. Not bed idea to visit if you driving by occasionally.
Misty K (3 years ago)
Saw this arch when we visited Aosta Italy the first time. Lots of history to tell and I saw group of kids having a brief of history about this arch. It is beautiful.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.