/ / Piazza del Popolo: photo description (Piazza del Popolo)

Piazza del Popolo: photo description (Piazza del Popolo)

Piazza del Popolo — a large square in Rome, the title of which the modern Italian language means "people's square". In fact, its name comes from the Latin word "populus" - "Topol". The same name is the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, standing in the North-Eastern part of the square.

Piazza del Popolo is located in the Northern gate of the Aurelian Walls (in ancient Rome they were called Porta Flaminia, now the Porta del Popolo). It is from here began the road of via Flaminia leading to Rimini and the former major road in a northerly direction. On the same road, the travelers came to Rome before the era of Railways. For centuries Piazza del Popolo was a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826.

The current neoclassical appearance of the area from 1811 to 1822 years worked as the architect Giuseppe Valadier. He was removed from the square, the modest fountain of Giacomo della Porta in 1572 and ordered to demolish several buildings and high walls remaining from a plan by Bernini for the construction of St. Peter's square. This plan Valadier preserved large areas of green space.

In the center of Piazza del Popolo stands the Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh SETI I, which was brought from Heliopolis. Known as the Obelisco Flaminio or the Popolo obelisk, is the second oldest obelisk in Rome and one of the highest in the city (about 24 m in height). It was brought to Rome by order of Augustus and originally set in the circus Maximus, and the Piazza del Popolo, he was in 1589, the year by order of Pope Sixtus V. Once the square is also decorated with a fountain, who in 1818, the year was moved to the Piazza Nicosia.

If you look on the North side, you can see that from Piazza del Popolo in different directions three streets — via del Corso in the centre, via del Babuino on the left and via di Ripetta to the right. Church twin of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto, built by architects Carlo Rainaldi, Bernini and Carlo Fontana, say connecting streets. A careful study of the two churches will notice that they are not identical to each other and differ in details.

The main street, via del Corso, in ancient times was known as the via Lata. It connects with Flaminia road to the North, outside the city gates. The via di Ripetta leads to the mausoleum of Augustus, and then by the Bank of the Tiber, where once was located the port of Ripetta (destroyed in the late 19th century). Via del Babuino (Baboon Street"), overlooking Piazza di Spagna, named for the grotesque sculpture of the ancient deity Silenus.

To the North of the square is Porta del Popolo, beyond which lies a small area of Piazzale Flaminio. The old gate was altered in 1655 by the architect Bernini — through them to Rome was supposed to arrive the Swedish Queen Christina after her abdication.

In the East and West sides of Piazza del Popolo you can see the fountains of the work of Giovanni Ceccarini (1822-1823.), framed by neoclassical statues of the seasons (1828). Neptune's fountain is on the West side of the square is the Neptune with a Trident with two dolphins. On the East side of the square is the fountain of Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene" - the goddess Roma with spear and helmet and the she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. And in the center of the square stands the Fontana del Obelisco — a group of four small fountains surrounding the obelisk of Theodosius.

It is worth to say that until recently, the Piazza del Popolo was literally paralyzed daily car traffic, but today the area has been a pedestrian zone.