Rome city walls

Over the centuries, Rome has known 3 different city walls, the oldest of which, however, have completely disappeared. The walls of which entire sections can still be seen are known as the Walls of Servius Tullius and the Aurelian Walls.

Rome city walls

History

Aurelian Wall Rome (next to Porta Latina)
Stretch of the Aurelian Wall next to the Porta Latina.

The very oldest defensive walls around Rome used to protect the Palatine Hill and have been completely lost over the centuries.

Walls of Servius Tullius

Some pieces of the Wall of Servius Tullius, which were built in the time of King Servius Tullius, can still be seen. In fact, for many tourists arriving in Rome, it is the first monument they come across, although they probably won’t even notice it. In the bus square in front of Termini central station, there is another 94-meter-long piece of this wall.

The total length of the Wall was about 11 kilometers and they included the hills Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Oppio, Celio and Aventine.

Aurelian Wall

At some point, the Roman empire became so powerful that the need for walls around the city no longer seemed to exist, and it was not until the third century of our era that they were built again. The need for a new defensive structure had become necessary because of the increasingly frequent Barbarian invasions.

Aqueducts

Large parts of the Aurelian walls made use of already existing aqueducts. This can clearly be seen in the area around the Porta Maggiore.

Porta San Sebastiano – Museo delle Mura

The Porta San Sebastiano is a large city gate at the beginning of the Via Appia Antica. This gate is wide enough to house a museum dedicated to the history of Rome’s city walls. The museum is aptly called Museo delle Mura.

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