The Museo delle Mura ('museum of the walls') provides an exhibition on the walls of Rome and their building techniques, as well as the opportunity to walk along the inside of one of the best-preserved stretches of the Aurelian Wall. The museum is free of charge.
The museum in its present form, was officially opened in 1990. Prior to 1939, the Porta San Sebastiano (also known as the Porta Appia) had been open to the public but it was then taken over by Ettore Muti, the Secretary of the Italian Fascist Party. White-and-black mosaics in some rooms date back to that time. From 1970, there was a small museum connected to the internal parapet of the Aurelian Wall but this museum was only open to the public on Sundays, and, after a few years, was closed.
The museum provides a detailed history of wall construction in Rome and the surrounding areas, with information going back to one constructed in Ardea to the southeast of Rome in the 8th century. It describes the construction methods of the first Roman wall, built by Servius Tullius the legendary sixth king of Rome, the second wall constructed in the 4th century BC after invasion of Rome by the Gauls, and the Aurelian Walls, constructed in the 3rd century CE, as well as subsequent work to raise the height of those walls and improve defences, and more recent additions and changes up to the 20th century. In addition to text and diagrams, some models of walls are provided.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.