The Porta Angelica in Rome was named after Pope Pius IV, whose real name was Giovanni Angelo Medici, and was intended for pilgrims entering the city from the north. The actual gate has been demolished, but some parts of it are attached to the wall near the Piazza del Risorgimento.
Porta Angelica Rome
History and description
The Porta Angelica had no battlements and on its smooth top the heads of those condemned to death were displayed in iron cages. In this way, pilgrims entering the city through this gate instead of the pre-existing Porta del Popolo knew what their fate would be if they misbehaved. Only in 1840 was this custom abolished by Pope Gregory XVI.
The Porta Angelica was demolished in 1888, along with the entire wall up to the Castel Sant’Angelo, as part of plans aimed at improving the infrastructure of the district.
Some pieces of the gate are attached to a part of city wall located near the Piazza del Risorgimento. These are the two angels that were on either side of the Porta Angelica. They are holding palm branches, the coat of arms of Pius IV Medici, with the inscription “He has sent you his angels to guard you in all your streets”.