Palatine hill

The credle of Rome

The Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome. He is also the most famous of them. It is close to the Colosseum and the Forum, but at the same time it is far from the city markets, from the crowds, from the marshes and in general from the noise of the city. It was believed that even the air there was cleaner, as the hill rose 70 meters above the level of the city. All this made it a preferred place to live, and after Emperor Augustus, the rest of the Roman rulers followed his example and built magnificent residences on the hill. In fact, in many languages the word “palace” comes from the word “palatine”.

The Palatine Hill is associated with the founding of Rome. According to legend, this is where Romulus and Remus were found and rescued by the she-wolf. The brothers were raised by a shepherd and his wife. When they grew up they killed their great-uncle and decided to build a new city on the Tiber River. At that moment a quarrel broke out between them as to the place on which the new city should be erected. Romulus wanted it to be the Palatine Hill, while Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. During this quarrel, Romulus killed his brother Remus.

In the 10th century, many of the rich buildings were looted and gradually abandoned. During the Middle Ages, many churches and monasteries were built on it. The hill was later purchased by Cardinal Alexander Farnese, who built an impressive villa surrounded by exotic trees and plants.


Description: the House of Livia /picture source: Shutterstock/;

Today, the entire hill is covered by the ruins of various buildings. The palace of Septimius Severus once stood in its southern part, and the emperor’s baths were located next to it. North of it, the remains of a stadium are clearly visible, for which it is not known whether it was public or private.

Emperor Vespasian was popular among the Roman population for his modest lifestyle. His son Domitian, however, was different from his father. He liked to stand out, to demonstrate his wealth and power. In 90 he commissioned his architects to design a grand palace on the Palatine Hill. The palace had three separate parts. The first consisted of public rooms where the emperor met with ambassadors and other statesmen. His throne room was also located there. The second part of the palace has a more private character. Its halls were used for less formal meetings and events. An artificial lake was created in the center of a large courtyard with a small island in the middle and a bridge that connected the island to the surrounding land. The quarters of the emperor and his family were located in the third part of the palace.



Description: frescoes in the House of Augustus /picture source: Shutterstock/;

In 2008 the house of Augustus was opened for visitors. Magnificent frescoes can be seen in it, which after 2000 are still colorful and bright. Near the house of Augustus is the house of Livia. Livia was the third wife of Augustus and mother of the future emperor Tiberius. Although it looks simple, the two-storey building hides beautiful paintings in the Pompeian style, and in its walls there are ceramic pipes, which are thought to have been central heating.

The Palatine Hill is part of the Roman Forum complex and exploring the forum you can also reach the hill.

Address: Via dei Fori Imperiali;

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