Arch of Constantine, Rome

Arch of Constantine, Rome (must see)

The Arch of Constantine is the last triumphal arch erected in Rome, but also the largest and, arguably, the most beautiful of them all. It is named after the Roman Emperor Constantine, best known for his political transformation of the Roman Empire and support for Christianity.

The 3rd century AD was a turbulent period in Roman history, seeing the empire split into several belligerent fractions. In 312 AD, Constantine took over the western part of the empire by defeating his rival Maxentius and eventually established himself as the supreme ruler, thus bringing the much-needed stability to Rome.
The arch was built in memory of Constantine's victory, portrayed back then as the rightful ruler, over the largely outnumbering his army troops of Maxentius, presented as the tyrant. The latter ended up driven into the Tiber River, the moment of which is depicted in the arch frieze.

Constantine believed that this improbable victory resulted mainly from the help of the Christian Messiah. Subsequently, under Constantine's reign, no persecution of Christians continued and Christianity itself eventually became the official religion of Rome. Whether intentional or not, this was a brilliant political move as, by that time, Rome was already being overthrown by Christian masses.

The arch is free to access – standing amid the public road, once known as Via Triumphalis – the former triumphant passage into the city taken by emperors. Although fenced off, the arch is well visible from the outside, any time, day or night.

Why You Should Visit:
Largest and arguably most beautifully sculpted of all triumphal arches in Rome. Remarkably well preserved, you can feel history just by looking at it.
Has three openings instead of just one, and depictions of some of the first Early Christian examples of sculpture.

Tip:
Take the time to marvel at the carving details, or at least snap a photo to enjoy them later.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Arch of Constantine on Map

Sight Name: Arch of Constantine
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk I   Ancient Rome around Colosseum  

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state consisting of an enclave within the city of Rome, it is the smallest recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican is one of the most sacred places in Christendom, it attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. Although only 44 hectares in overall surface, the Vatican features several worthwhile places to see, such as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Undoubtedly, Rome's ancient past has been the main Roman attraction for centuries, drawing millions of tourists to the Eternal City each year. The Colosseum and the surrounding sights, like the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Imperial Fora, Roman Forum and other monuments – or rather what's left of them now – are the stately reminders of what was once the center of one of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

The historic center of Rome is packed with numerous landmarks and genuine works of art, to see all of which may take days if not weeks. This Rome Orientation Walk Part II highlights some of the key sights emerged during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, comprising some truly magnificent marvels of architecture. Among the featured landmarks here are the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Food Walk in Historic Rome

Food Walk in Historic Rome

Whether it’s a long lunch or a stop-off for an ice cream on an evening stroll, eating in Rome is a very social activity. Culinary traditions run deep in Rome, and it may well be one of Italy’s most pleasurable cities in which to eat. Most restaurants exclusively serve Italian or Roman cuisine – either traditional or “with a touch of creativity” – with more and more choosing organic...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Fountains and Squares Walk

Fountains and Squares Walk

In Rome there is a lively piazza round almost every corner, each with its own unique atmosphere and its own story to tell. These public squares have been the center of Roman culture for centuries, and some of the city’s most popular attractions are located within them.

Most piazzas have a fountain in the center and a lot of cafes around. In fact, Rome holds the largest number of fountains in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Rome Shopping Streets Walk

Rome Shopping Streets Walk

You may come to Rome for the ancient history, stunning architecture or out of this world gelato, but you shouldn’t leave the city without discovering the variety of shops it has to offer. From big brands to artisanal boutiques, there’s enough to keep even the most discerning shopaholics happy. Amid the lack of one-stop shops or malls in downtown Rome, if you really want to indulge in retail...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km

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