The Roman Circus of Toledo was built during the 1st century, during the mandate of the emperor Augustus or the emperor Tiberius. Possibly, its construction was included within the plan that the emperor undertook by all the Empire to endow to all the great cities of public buildings, like thermaes, theaters, amphitheaters, or forums, with the aim of promoting the Romanization in these zones. In particular, the Roman circus was located in the north of the Roman city.
Given the size of the Circus, as it happened in almost all Hispanic-Roman cities, it was located on the outskirts of the walled enclosure. It is certain that from the city there was a causeway to the circus, which has not been found.
Although little investigated, since more than half of the infrastructure still remains without excavating, its similarities with other circuses of the peninsula, like the one of Emerita Augusta, allow to affirm that its capacity had to be between the 15,000 or 30,000 spectators, which initially proved sufficient to meet the needs of the city as well as other surrounding towns. The Roman circus had dimensions of 422 meters long by about 112 meters wide.
With the information available, it is not known that the Roman Circus of Toletum was used for naumachia (recreation of naval battles) as it happened, for example, in the Roman circus of Tarraco.
The decline of the building arrived with the arrival at the Christianity that rejected this type of events. Finally, it was with the arrival of the Visigothic domination when it ended up being abandoned. From this moment, the expolio of the sillars of granite that covered the Opus Camenticium to re-use it in other constructions. This expolio will extend during practically all the High Middle Ages.
During the Muslim stage, at least initially, the stands of the Circus were used by merchants to locate their establishments there. Later, the Arabs used the circus like cemetery, of which can be observed to the naked eye many vestiges. Currently, the medieval cemetery remains there, which makes the archaeological park an important medieval cemetery.
During the Late Middle Ages, it is possible that the plunder would end, although the buildings were abandoned on the outskirts of the medieval city, which made it easier for the inhabitants to bury them and the Toledans forget the location of these.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.