Palazzo di Domiziano (Palace of Domitian), Rome

Palazzo di Domiziano (Palace of Domitian), Rome

The Palace of Domitian, constructed between 81 and 92 AD, served as the official residence of Roman Emperor Domitian and was subsequently used by other emperors. Perched atop the Palatine Hill in Rome, the palace remains a commanding presence, surrounded by other palatial structures.

The palace is a vast complex that can be divided into three main areas, which reflect the separation of public and private affairs to be conducted simultaneously. These areas are known today as the Domus Flavia, the Domus Augustana, and the garden or "stadium." The Domus Flavia represents the public wing of the palace, while the Domus Augustana is believed to have been the private wing.

The so-called "Hippodrome" or "Stadium" of Domitian, stretching across the entire eastern side of the Domus Augustana, measures 160 x 48 meters. While it resembles a Roman circus, it is too small to accommodate chariots. In reality, it was an elaborate sunken garden, and many of the statues found in the nearby Palatine Museum originate from this stadium. Some parts of the palace remain hidden beneath more recent structures.

The Palace of Domitian was just one of the architectural endeavors undertaken by the emperor. The palace itself was designed by the architect Rabirius and was built atop earlier structures, notably Nero's Domus Transitoria and the Republican House of the Griffins, both of which have yielded significant remains.

During the reign of Septimius Severus, a substantial extension was added to the southwestern slope of the hill, offering a view overlooking the Circus Maximus. However, the majority of the palace, as originally constructed under Domitian, remarkably survived intact throughout the remainder of the Roman Empire. It served as the official residence of the Roman Emperors until the Western Roman Empire's decline in the 5th century AD.

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Palazzo di Domiziano (Palace of Domitian) on Map

Sight Name: Palazzo di Domiziano (Palace of Domitian)
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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