Castel Sant'Angelo Rome Italy about 1892

CASTLE OF SAN ANGELO AND TIBER, ROME — One of the most beautiful and impressive views of Rome is that represented in this illustration, embracing the Tiber, the Castle of San Angelo, and in the distance the majestic dome of St. Peter’s. For amid all the changes which have swept over Rome, one thing at least remains comparatively unchanged. It is this yellow, legend-laden Tiber, still rolling on with tawny waves beneath its arches towards the setting sun, and guarding deeply in its breast some of the mightiest memories of the world. How many lives, for example, it has remorselessly engulfed — from those of brave defenders of the city to countless victims of Imperial or Papal tyranny! And, oh! what treasures no doubt lurk within its sands! The Castle of San Angelo is not the name which seems appropriate to this huge circular structure which casts its sombre shadow in the stream beneath. That is a title bestowed upon it by Pope Gregory the Great; but in reality, that building is the grand Mausoleum of Hadrian, erected by that monarch as his place of sepulture 1700 years ago. Now it is bare and desolate, but once its curving wall was covered with pure Parian marble and decorated with the finest Grecian statues and Corinthian columns, destined, alas! to be hurled down upon the heads of an invading army of Barbarians, who nevertheless were ultimately successful and threw with brutal laughter to the Tiber’s waves the ashes of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Hadrian himself. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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