Posted by: danielfee | July 26, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 07-26-2012

Capitoline Hill – Rome, Italy

The Capitoline Hill (Capitolino) is one of the seven hills of Rome. Throughout Rome’s history, hopes for Italy’s future have centered on this hill. In 509 BC the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus sat upon the hill and watched over the city. In the Middle Ages, the hill’s sacred function was obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome, revived as a commune (municipality) in the 11th century. The city’s government was now to be firmly under papal control. In 1144 a revolt by the citizens against the authority of the Pope and nobles led to a senator taking up his official residence on the Capitoline Hill. In 1300 the poet Petrarch was crowned laureate here. The Capitoline was the scene of movements of urban resistance in 1347, with the dramatic scenes of Cola di Rienzo’s attempt to revive the Roman Republic.

In the 16th century, the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by the artist and architect Michelangelo, restoring it to the status as the architectural focal point of the city. In the middle of the piazza stood the original equestrian statue of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and Michelangelo provided an unassuming pedestal for it. Today a bronze copy is in its position and the original is in the Palazzo dei Conservatori nearby. The building at the rear is the  Palazzo Senatorio (“Senatorial Palace”) which was built during the 13th and 14th centuries and which had once housed the archives of ancient Rome.

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