The Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella in Rome is a big funerary monument, built in the 1st century B.C. It is located along the ancient Appian Way in the southern part of the city, about 5km outside the city borders. The mausoleum’s location, on top of a hill, made it an important landmark for people traveling to Rome from the south.
Cecilia Metella Mausoleum Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Appia Antica, 161 – Rome (tel. +39 06 7844271). Opening hours: From 09.00 until one hour before sunset. Closed: Mondays, January 1, May 1, December 25. Admission: 5 Euros (includes the Villa dei Quintili and Santa Maria Nova); EU citizens age 18-25: 2,50 Euros; all nationalities age 0-17: Free. The monument is free for everybody on the first Sunday of the month.
History and description
The tomb bears an inscription saying it was constructed for Cecilia Metella, daughter of the consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus and wife of Marcus Licinius Crassus.
The 11m high tomb is raised on a square pedestal and is cylindrical in shape. This architect of the tomb got the inspiration for its round shape from the Etruscan so-called tumulus graves, as can be seen in the Necropolis near the city of Cerveteri.
It is covered with travertine marble and the freeze is covered with bull’s heads.
The sarcophagus of Cecilia Metella herself is at present in the Piazza Farnese.
During the Middle Ages the tomb came to be the main tower of a fortress defending the southern access road into Rome. Construction of this fortress was begun in the 11th century, but it was not until the year 1302 that the tomb was equipped with merlons.