Piazza Colonna & Colonna di Marco Aurelio (Column Square & Column of Marcus Aurelius), Rome

Piazza Colonna & Colonna di Marco Aurelio (Column Square & Column of Marcus Aurelius), Rome

Part of the historic heart of Rome, the Column Square derives its name from the colossal 30-meter marble column of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Constructed in the Doric style and adorned with intricate carvings, it was erected in the 2nd century AD following Marcus Aurelius' death. However, during a 16th-century restoration, Pope Sixtus V ordered the placement of a statue of St. Paul atop the column. The motive behind this decision remains a mystery. It is uncertain whether it was to eradicate any remnants of paganism or to mirror Trajan's Column nearby (on Via dei Fori Imperiali), where the same pope had a statue of St. Peter installed.

If you possess a long-lens camera or binoculars, be sure to examine the reliefs near the top of the column, as they are in superior condition compared to those at ground level. Notably, you will encounter intriguing depictions of a supernatural figure summoning a miraculous storm that once saved the Roman army during a battle.

While the column undoubtedly commands attention, the square also houses a small fountain that was originally constructed in the 16th century to provide clean drinking water to the residents of Rome. Fashioned from pink marble sourced from the Greek island of Chios, it features an oval basin adorned with 16 intricately carved white marble lion heads. At each end of the basin, two 19th-century groups of dolphins entwine their tails around seashells, spouting water from their mouths.

The square is enclosed on three sides by imposing buildings erected between the 16th and 19th centuries. One such structure is the Chigi Palace, built in 1562 and currently serving as the official residence of the Italian Prime Minister. Another notable building is the Wedekind Palace, constructed in the 17th century on the site once occupied by the Temple of Marcus Aurelius. The magnificent columns adorning the palace's ground floor were acquired from the Etruscan city of Veii, which the Romans conquered in the 4th century BC.

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 Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 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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Piazza Colonna & Colonna di Marco Aurelio (Column Square & Column of Marcus Aurelius) on Map

Sight Name: Piazza Colonna & Colonna di Marco Aurelio (Column Square & Column of Marcus Aurelius)
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.
EUR Sightseeing Walking Tour

EUR Sightseeing Walking Tour

The Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR), located in the southern suburb of Rome, was originally constructed for an international exhibition that was planned by Mussolini as a grand celebration of Fascist Italy. However, due to the outbreak of World War II, the exhibition never took place. The architecture of EUR was designed to glorify Fascism and showcases a distinct style that sets it apart...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 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
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Consisting of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the Vatican is the world’s smallest sovereign state, as well as a symbol (and headquarters) of the Roman Catholic faith. Although only 44 hectares in surface, one is amazed by the vastness of this place and the sheer size of everything. When gazing around in all directions, you realize how much can be achieved by people working in faith for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Fountains and Squares Walking Tour

Fountains and Squares Walking Tour

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 or 2.5 Miles
Palatine Hill Walking Tour

Palatine Hill Walking Tour

Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome and the most ancient part of the capital. Based on Roman mythology and archaeological evidence, this hill is considered the birthplace of the city – a place where legendary Romulus founded it in 753 BC. Furthermore, the very word “palace” – indicating the emperor’s residence (“Palatium”), much as that of other dignitaries and prominent...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

A movie beloved by generations of people, "Roman Holiday" (1953) was filmed entirely in Rome and starred two of Hollywood's greatest icons: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The romantic comedy would go on to earn three Oscars, including the best actress trophy for Hepburn, who is entirely sympathetic in a role that could have been off-putting. The main storyline centers on a day of...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles

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