Amphitheater Castrense (Anfiteatro Castrense/ Amphitheatrum Castrense)

"Amphitheater Castrense (Anfiteatro Castrense/ Amphitheatrum Castrense)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 11th July 2011

Amphitheater Castrense (Anfiteatro Castrense/ Amphitheatrum Castrense)

This elliptic construction of not big dimensions (diameters 88m and 76m) served for the performances staged privately by the Imperial family and court. The name of the construction comes from Latin word "castrum" which means "court" and constructed entirely of brick and brick-faced concrete on three orders of arcades, it can be at the present time reconstructed only by antique views made before the pontificate of Paul IV (century XVI), when, for defensive need, the amphitheatre was reduced to the first order. For the lowering of the surrounding level, moreover, the foundation of conglobated concrete is, at present, uncovered.

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Most likely the construction of Amphitheater Castrense (Anfiteatro Castrense/ Amphitheatrum Castrense) was ordered by Emperor Elagabalo (218-222) as a court amphitheatre annexed to the sessorian imperial residence (castrum=imperial residence) and it was the only monument of this type realized in Rome after Colosseum was built. When amphitheater was incorporated in the Aurelian city walls by Honorius, everything that didn't serve for the defense was destroyed, especially in the internal part.

The Aurelian city walls (Mura Aureliane) haste in building the defensive system caused some large size buildings, such as the Praetorian Camp, the Castrensis Amphitheater, the Caestian Pyramid, the wall enclosing the Acilii Gardens ("Muro Torto") and some stretches of aqueducts, to be incorporated within the boundary wall.
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It is the second ancient amphitheater of Rome after the Colosseum. This miniature version of the Colosseum hides an interior garden blessed with some of the freshest fruit and vegetables in the capital and the unlikely urban farmers are actually white-habit-with-black-aproned, Benedictine-Cistercian monks whose monastery and church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, are now part of the amphitheatre complex.

Amphitheater Castrense (Anfiteatro Castrense/ Amphitheatrum Castrense)
Piazza di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 3
Next to the Church/ Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Holy Cross in Jerusalem)
00185, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Esquilino (Termini - Via Nazionale) (Roma centro)
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