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Castel Sant'Angel

Castel Sant'Angel (Illustration) Social Studies World History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Geography

Castel Sant'Angelo (Castle of the Angel Saint) had its beginnings in 135 A.D. when the Emperor Hadrian decided to build himself a grand mausoleum.  Throughout its history, however, the great castle has been more than a tomb.  It also served as a prison and state fortress.

When Rome was attacked by plague, in 590 A.D., Pope Gregory the Great believed the scourge was caused by sins of the people.  He ordered penitential processions to the papal fortress, but many citizens dropped dead en route.  

As the pope, leading the survivors, reached the bridge, he believed he saw the Archangel Michael on the summit of the fortress, sheathing his sword.  The plague ended soon thereafter, a new chapel was built on the spot and the place itself was given a new name - Castel Sant'Angelo.

Thereafter, the Archangel Michael was thought to protect people against disease.  His image, used as a talisman, was appealed-to whenever individuals were threatened by pestilence or illness.

The castle is connected to St. Peter's Basilica by the Passetto di Borgo (a fortified, covered corridor).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5139stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 23, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 16, 2015


Media Credits

Photo by Andreas Tille, online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

LICENSE - This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License, 3.0 and all earlier versions.  In short, you are free to adaopt the image, or to copy, distribute and transmit it, provided that you give attribution and use it as required under the terms of the referenced licenses.

 

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"Castel Sant'Angel" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 23, 2013. Dec 15, 2017.
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