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2009

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the roman Colosseum • the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, it is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture. Originally capable of seating around 80,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial games and puBlic spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous Battles, and dramas Based on Classical mythology. After the medieval era it was reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

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the State of the Vatican City • is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of around 800, it is the smallest independent state in the world by both population and area. Vatican City is an elected monarchy that is ruled by the Bishop of Rome – the Pope. Because millions visit the state each year, the crime rate within the territory measured against the resident population of some 824 persons would seem enormous – The most common crime is petty theft – purse snatching, pick pocketing and shoplifting.

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Angels of Sant’ Angelo bridge • In times past, pilgrims used this bridge to reach St Peter’s Basilica, hence it was known as the “bridge of Saint Peter”. In the seventh century, under Pope Gregory I, the bridge took on the name Sant’Angelo, explained by the legend that an angel appeared on the roof of the castle to announce the end of the plague. In 1669 Pope Clement IX commissioned replacements for the aging stucco angels and replaced them with ten angels holding instruments of the Passion of Christ.

Angel with the Sponge (with vinegar)

Angel with the Crown of Thorns

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Angel with the Cross Angel with the Nails

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The temple of Castor and Pollux • an ancient edifice in the Roman Forum, originally built in gratitude for victory at the battle of Lake Regillus (495 BC). According to legend, Castor and Pollux, the twin sons of Zeus, appeared on the battlefield as two able horsemen in aid of the Romans. And, after the battle had been won they again appeared on the Forum in Rome watering their horses at the Spring of Juturna thereby announcing the victory. The temple stands on the supposed spot of their appearance.

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The Temple of Saturn • a monument that stands at the western end of the Forum Romanum in Rome. It represents the oldest surviving structure in that area, having been established between 501 and 498 BC. The temple’s chief use was as the seat of the treasury of the Roman Republic, storing the Republic’s reserves of gold and silver. Also the state archives, the insignia and the official scale for the weighing of metals were housed in the temple.

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the Panthenon • Originally built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome. It is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. Since the 7th century, the Panthenon has been used as a Catholic church. Since the Renaissance the Panthenon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi.

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The 16 gray granite columns ordered for the Panthenon’s entry way are each 39 feet tall, five feet in diameter, and 60 tons in weight. Hadrian had these columns quarried at Mons Claudianus in Egypt’s eastern mountains, dragged on wooden sledges to the Nile, floated by barge to Alexandria, and put on vessels for a trip across the Mediterranean to the Roman port of Ostia.

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Spanish steps • This monumental stairway of 138 steps was built in 1723–1725, now linking the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by Trinità dei Monti, the church above. The steps are without a doubt the longest and widest staircase in all Europe.

In front of the church stands the Obelisco Sallustiano, one of the many obelisks in Rome, moved here from its position in the Gardens of Sallust and erected in 1789.

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