Apartments in Rome, Sicily and in the Amalfi coast.

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Artemisia, Queen of Halicarnassus, wife of King Mausolus, became immortal through the magnificent tomb, one of the wonders of the world, which she erected for her husband. It was called Mausoleum, and this name has been used ever since for tombs of large dimensions. The Mausoleum of Hadrian surpassed in dimensions and magnificence every other tomb. We get no idea of it from what remains. It would require too great an effort of imagination to re evoke all its splendour. Procopius, the Byzantine historian of the 6th century, left us a description of it in his time. The Mausoleum had square foundations above which rose a big tower adorned with Doric columns, statues and spaces for epitaphs of the dead. On the top was a colossal group representing Hadrian in a chariot drawn by four horses. All the enormously thick walls were faced with Parian marble. It was, after the Colosseum, the most splendid example of Roman architecture. At the death of the Emperor, the Mausoleum was not yet finished; his successor Antoninus Pius brought his remains to Rome. His successors and princes of Imperial families were buried here up to Caracalla. The history of Hadrian"s Mausoleum follows the history of Rome and both saw the struggles and treachery of the Middle Ages, the splendour of the Papal Court in the Renaissance, the horrors of the Sack of Rome in 1527, the furious bombardments during many sieges, and inoffensive fireworks of festivities. Under Aurelian (275) but more probably under Honorius (403) it was strongly fortified and incorporated in the city walls in order to form a real bastion, in defence of the banks of the Tiber. This strategic function came into evidence in the first invasion of the barbarians led by Alaric in 410. It was probably transformed into a castle in the 10th century, when it fell into the hands of Alberich and his mother, Marozia, powerful figures in Rome at the time, whose alternating fortunes reflect the city's contemporary history. It then passed to the Crescentius and in 1277 it was occupied by Nicholas III who connected it to the Vatican by the famous corridor, a safety passage which runs along the top of the encircling wall of the Vatican. Henceforth, it remained under the control of the Popes who used it as a fortress, to impress, but also as a prison and a place for torture. Its dedication to the Angel dates from the 12th century, but owes its origin to a legend which is far older. During a solemn procession made in 590 by St. Gregory the Great, to implore the Virgin to put an end to the plague which was devastating the city, an angel appeared in the sky and came to rest on the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign of grace granted. A chapel was subsequently erected in honour of the Angel and later a statue to recall the miracle; the building was then renamed in memory of the event.
The castle is steeped in memories of bloodshed and crime. Famous prisoners were shut up in it. Arnaldo da Brescia, ardent adversary of temporal dominion, was accused by St. Bernard of following the doctrines of Peter Abelard; denounced, he bad to leave Paris and carne to Rome where he began a campaign against the clargy. In July 1148, Eugene III excommunicated Arnaldo and his followers.
A cardinal was killed and the Pope placed Rome under an interdict. Amaldo was burned and his ashes thrown into the Tiber.
Clement VII was besieged in this fort, while the city was occupied by invaders led by the Prince of Orange. From the 6th of May to the 3rd of June 1527, the poor Pope from the corridor of the Castle witnessed the horrible saturnalia of blood and licence, theft and sacrilege, in terrible excesses after the Constable of Bourbon entered the city with his ferocius troups (Sack of Rome). Benvenuto Cellini, the famous Renaissance artist who found himself imprisoned here during the seige, accomplished various services for Clement VII and he himself tells of having beaten the Bourbon to death, and then Philibert, Prince of Orange. The Ponte S. Angelo was built by Hadrian as an approach to his mausoleum. It is decorated with beautiful figures of angels, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and accomplished by his pupils.