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Domus Aurea Rome Italy

Golden House

Rome experience the Domus Aurea - Golden House
Was a large landscaped portico villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes built in the heart of Ancient Rome by the Emperor Nero after the Great Fire of Rome (64 AD) had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Esquiline Hill.

Built of brick and concrete in the few years between the fire and Nero's suicide in 68, the extensive gold-leaf that gave the villa its name was not the only extravagant element of its decor: stuccoed ceilings were applied with semi-precious stones and veneers of ivory while the walls were frescoed, coordinating the decoration into different themes in each major group of rooms.

Though the Domus Aurea complex covered parts of the slopes of the Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian hills, with a man-made lake in the marshy bottomlands, the estimated size of the Domus Aurea is an approximation, as much of it has not been excavated. Some scholars place it at over 300 acres (1.2 km2), while others estimate its size to have been under 100 acres (0.40 km2).

Suetonius describes the complex as "ruinously prodigal" as it included groves of trees, pastures with flocks, vineyards and an artificial lake— rus in urbe, "countryside in the city". Nero also commissioned from the Greek Zenodorus a colossal 35.5 m (120 RF) high bronze statue of himself, the Colossus Neronis.Pliny the Elder, however, puts its height at only 30.3 m (106.5 RF).

The statue was placed just outside the main palace entrance at the terminus of the Via Appia in a large atrium of porticoes that divided the city from the private villa. This statue may have represented Nero as the sun god Sol, as Pliny saw some resemblance.

This idea is widely accepted among scholarsbut some are convinced that Nero was not identified with Sol while he was alive.The face of the statue was modified shortly after Nero’s death during Vespasian’s reign to make it truly a statue of Sol.Hadrian moved it, with the help of the architect Decrianus and 24 elephants,to a position next to the Flavian Amphitheater.

This building took the name "Colosseum" in the Middle Ages, after the statue nearby, or, as some historians believe, because of the sheer size of the building.



Link: www.mejplacehostel.com
City: Rome
Country: Italy
By: M&J Place Rome Hostels
Published on 15-Dec-2010
Section City Live
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