/ / The Porta del Popolo: photo description (Porta del Popolo)

The Porta del Popolo: photo description (Porta del Popolo)

The Porta del Popolo is a gate in the Aurelian walls in Rome. Was formerly the port of Flaminia because after they took the road via Flaminia (as indeed now). In the 10th century the gates were called Porta San Valentino in the title of Basilica and catacombs located at the beginning of the alley Viale Pilsudski. The origin of the current name as the homonymous square, is still not completely clear. According to one version, it comes from the many poplars (“populus” in Latin), growing in the area. On the other - it is associated with the name of Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo was built in 1099 by order of the Pope, the Paschalia II and at the request of many residents of Rome (“del Popolo” is literally translated as “people”).

Given the importance of the via Flaminia, Porta del Popolo from the very beginning of its existence played a special role not so much in the defensive system of the city in the distribution of urban traffic. This has led to the emergence of unconfirmed speculation that originally the gate consisted of two arched openings and two cylindrical side towers and that only in the Middle ages in connection with the reduction of traffic flow due to the demographic crisis of the gate was reduced to a single opening. During the reign of Pope Sixtus IV the Porta del Popolo was half buried under the ground and seriously affected by the temporary disruption. Today the gate still partly submerged in the ground, sediments from numerous floods, as well as the slow but inexorable destruction of the Pincio hill lifted the surface level, so lifting the gate longer be delayed.

The present shape of Porta del Popolo - the result of the restoration undertaken in the 16th century, when the gate regained its former importance due to the increased flow of people coming to Rome from the North. The exterior facade was to design a Michelangelo, but he gave the job to Nanni di Baccio Bijoy. Last worked on the gate between 1562 and 1565 the years, drawing inspiration from the arch of Titus. Four columns of the facade taken from the former building of St. Peter's Basilica - they're the only frame the arched doorway, above which rise the memorial stone and the papal coat of arms. The original round towers were replaced by two powerful square watchtowers, and the entire structure was adorned with elegant prongs. In 1638 between the pillars were placed the statues of saints Peter and Paul, the work of Francesco Moki.

Over the inner face of the Porta del Popolo worked Gian Lorenzo Bernini - he had to transform the ancient building to the arrival in Rome of the Swedish Princess Christina in 1655. This event is immortalized in the inscription on the attic.

In 1887, due to the increasing urban traffic were opened two side archway (on the site of the destroyed towers). Then it was discovered some remains of ancient buildings of the age of Aurelian.