Arch of Constantine, Rome

Arch of Constantine, Rome

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.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rome. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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 (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Holy Sites Walking Tour

Holy Sites Walking Tour

As the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's largest organizations, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each of its churches and basilicas represent a significant part of culture and history.

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
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Rome Shopping Streets Walking Tour

Rome Shopping Streets Walking Tour

Loved by tourists for its busy fashionable streets and significant baroque icons, the so-called ‘Tridente’ is one of the Eternal City's most lusted-after areas, formed by Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona, Via Frattina and the adjacent Via del Corso. It is perhaps the most high-end destination for Roman shopping, with a concentration of renowned jewelers and important Italian/international...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Rome Introduction Walking Tour II

Rome Introduction Walking Tour 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 Introduction Walk 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 Navona,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

An established tourist mecca, today's Rome is hardly imaginable without two of its much loved attractions – the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Magnets for tourists as they are, these two sights are connected to a number of other, not less worthy of attention locations, such as the Fountain of the Longboat or Piazza Colonna and its centerpiece, the Column of Marcus Aurelius, to...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Hidden Art Treasures in Rome

Hidden Art Treasures in Rome

Rome is one of the world's top living museums, replete with some of the most iconic pieces of art on the face of the planet. Famous artists, such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Bernini, to mention but a few, had lived and worked here and left indelible marks in the city.

Needless to say that the abundance of masterpieces makes Rome crowded with tourists anxious to see them, causing...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Fountains and Squares Walking Tour

Fountains and Squares Walking Tour

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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 or 2.5 Miles

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