Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Palatine Hill - Stadium

Stadium on Palatine Hill

This view over the Stadium on Palatine Hill is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

Full 360° panorama of the Domitian's Stadium

Palatine Hill is central, even foundational, to the history of Rome. It was here that, according to legend, Roma all began: Having been thrown over a bridge into the Tiber the twins Romulus and Remus were washed up onto the banks of the Palatine Hill and adopted by a she-wolf. The were suckled by the wolf and grew up in a cave in the hill. Later they were found and raised by a shepherd who was grazing sheep on the same hill as the wolf’s den. Remus and Romulus argued over where their city should be founded and Romulus won, killed his brother and started Rome on the Palatine Hill.

In reality the earliest archaeological findings are Iron Age huts from the 9C BC. The hill has been built up over time with one layer of buildings built upon another. The mound stands about 40m above the Roman Form and became a very desirable place to live with several Roman Emperors having palaces up here. Augustus was born here and lived in quite a modest home, which can not be said for the palaces built by Caligula, Tiberius, Nero and Domitian.

The most excavated areas on the hill include the Domus Augustana, Domus Flavia (home of Flavia, wife of Augustus), parts of Domitian’s Palace and the palace and baths of Septimius Servus.

Here you can see the Stadium, built at the same time as the Palace of Dimitian, possibly as a private garden, though it is thought that some horse racing may have occurred here. It is 160m long, well below ground level with semi-circular ends reminiscent of a hippodrome. Scattered around the Stadium are the remains of granite columns, a marble altar and various figures of gods.

Palatine Hill stands next to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum and yet, unlike the other two, it is not crawling with people even though it has some spectacular views to offer. Unlike the Roman Forum, entry to the Palatine Hill is not free, but the ticket also covers entry to the Colosseum. In fact getting your ticket to the Colosseum at the entrance to Palatine Hill can save quite a bit of time.

A full panoramic image showing the more of Domitian’s Palace is found on the Rome tour by PanoramicEarth.com. There is an enlargement of this Domitian's Stadium photo on Flickr.

For more articles on Rome see the Rome Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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