Drone flight over the Mausoleum of Augustus

After so many centuries of hardship and an arduous restoration, the Mausoleum of Augustus finally reopened in March. The response was huge. Tickets, which were limited by pandemic measures, sold out immediately. Things were looking up for the largest circular tomb in the world, and then it hit the wall of the latest lockdown.

Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi commemorated the one-month anniversary of the all-too-brief reopening by posting a cool new drone video of the mausoleum on her Facebook page. It starts as an overhead of the exterior, then flies into the tomb itself. The footage conveys the scale and dimension of the site far more effectively than still photographs. As usual, I just wish it were longer.


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Comment by Renee
2021-04-06 08:25:53

Is the body of Augustus in the tomb? And I wonder if there were any paintings or decorations?

Comment by Hicsunt Leones
2021-04-06 10:58:02

Hard to tell, how thoroughly its contents have been checked, but it is highly unlikely that anything is still left in there. All the marble has gone, and presumably Romes very own nobility sacked way much more than even the Visigoths in 410AD :skull:

Thus, a lot in collections elsewhere (mostly still in Rome) might originally have been in there. In case decorations were left, a considerably amount may have been carried away in the ‘Sacco di Roma’ from 1527.


In addition to himself, 20+ other notable people buried in there:


…which annotates:

The traditional story is that in 410, during the sack of Rome by Alaric, the pillaging Visigoths rifled the vaults, stole the urns and scattered the ashes, without damaging the structure of the building. Platner and Ashby, however, posited that “The story of its plundering by Alaric in 410 has no historical foundation”. By the end of the 10th century, the mausoleum had become largely buried under earth and overgrown with trees, to the point where it was referred to as the Mount Augustus. Atop the Mausoleum stood a chapel built to the Archangel Michael, while alongside was the Church of St. Maria (or Martina) in Augusto (transformed into San Giacomo degli Incurabili). By the 12th century, the tumulus was fortified as a castle – as was the mausoleum of Hadrian, which was turned into the Castel Sant’Angelo – and occupied by the Colonna family. After the disastrous defeat of the Commune of Rome at the hands of the Count of Tusculum in 1167, the Colonna were disgraced and banished, and their fortification dismantled. Throughout the Renaissance it passed through the ownership of several major Roman families, who used it as a garden; at the beginning of the 19th century it was in use as a circus.

Comment by Renee
2021-04-10 09:02:39

Thank you!

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December 2021


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