Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Domus Aurea

Immediately after the fire of 64 AD, which destroyed most of the centre of Rome, Nero built a new imperial residence. This was far bigger and more luxurious than the previous one, the Domus Transitoria. Its walls were decked with gold and precious stones, giving it the name the Domus Aurea or Golden House. Designed by the architects Severus and Celeres, the new palace was immense: it covered the Palatine, Velia and Oppian hills and the valley where the Colosseum was later built.
The astronomic orientation of the building confirms the theory that Nero saw himself as the sun god and therefore frequently used symbolism of the stars and sun. The head of his colossal statue, too, was surrounded by a corona. 
Nero’s successors constructed other buildings within the unfinished complex, such as the Colosseum on the site of the artificial lake and the Baths of Trajan, which replaced palace buildings that burned down in the year 104. During the Renaissance, parts of the substructure and ground floor rooms of Nero’s palace were exposed, revealing many ancient works of art, including the Laocoön group in 1506. (Read more.)

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