Today we went on a trip to visit the Aurelian Wall. The Aurelian Wall is a series of fortifications about 12 miles long that was built from 270-272. There are towers every 15 yards, and the height of the wall is about 60 feet. It was intended to defend Rome from the barbarians flooding across the Germanic frontier. There are numerous arrow slits in the wall, along with a barracks for the Praetorian Guard. We had a great time. We got there in the morning, and there was hardly anyone there the entire time we were there. Here is a picture of the kids climbing up the gate to the wall.
A picture of everyone on the stairs, actually facing the camera :)
Augustin standing beside an arrow slit. The arrow slits were amazing, such a variation in the placing and height of them.
Alex and Augustin standing at the entry to the barracks of the Praetorian Guard, the Imperial elite soldiers.
One of the towers seen from the middle level of the wall.
Anthony standing on the wall.
Everyone sitting on some steps within the wall.
During medieval times the wall was abandoned and became the abode of a single hermit who painted this fresco of the Madonna and Child. Although peeling and flaking, it still was an amazing thing to see.
These arrow slits were placed on battlements extending out, so that the defenders could shoot attackers scaling the wall.
Mom standing near an arrow slit.
This is a diorama of the wall as it originally appeared. Much of it has been destroyed by barbarians or time, but some segments remain.
The Aurelian Wall was under the maintenance of the Catholic Church after the collapse of the Roman Empire, until Pius IX ceded it to the Comune of Rome in 1896. This stone has a cross and Greek letters carved on it and was taken from a destroyed section of the wall to the museum where it rests today.