Domus Aurea

Domus Aurea was a vast magnificent palace complex built by Caesar Nero. It was so vast that people in it times said it covered nearly half way the city. Therefore people needed to go from south around it to reach northern part of city. It is said it was built only in four years. That is very unbelievable! If it was so there had to be also a vast number of workers and experts to take responsibility of details. We know what was Nero – not the brightest star of Claudian family. More like misplaced person who could not control the unlimited power of Rome and person who was Ceasar only because his mother – empress herself – murdered his man. Poor poor Claudius. Therefore it is not wonder that time of Nero was short in top of Rome and he was thrown down and forced to die. He was worthless to be as emperor. But the short time he had he used also vast sum of money and nearly bankcrupted Rome. He used much money for many crazy purposes but maybe the most useful was Domus Aurea. However after Nero’s death Flavian dynasty – especially Vespasianus – tried to destroy Nero’s achievements. If there was any. Anyways he was declared as damnation by senate and his name was wiped out everywhere. Also Domus Aurea was sacked and partly destroyed and buried under ground. Later on Trajan used it as a foundation of his bath complex.

After several centuries – nearly 2000 years – Domus Aurea was discovered again under ground level. When it was discovered and understood what is was, they started to move sand and dust away from big corridors and halls. So after lot of work we can see again part of Domus Aurea after so many years. Still one can see some colors and observe shapes of structures to understood their purposes. There were fountains, halls, terraces etc to make living comfortable for Nero. Actually one thing we can not see anymore is the artificial lake and gardens that were on the place of Colosseum. Because Nero robbed Roman citizens Colosseum was built on top of Nero’s lake to give people what was belonging to people – Roman wealth! Of course Colosseum proved to be a bright move from Roman Caesars and brought lot of joy for Roman mob and it was also a nice way of controlling people for Caesar’s. Of course gladiators may have thought different way.

I had opportunity to see Domus Aurea in July 2017 and here are some photos below of it. I have understood that Domus Aurea was closed long time (relating to big floods in Rome) but can be seen again nowadays.

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1. This is the entrance into halls of Nero – down under ground. Just some 100 meters from Colosseum. Above lies foundation of Trajans baths.

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2. First hall after entrance is not yet Domus Aurea but space where some stories and video movie is shown about palace.

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3. Below are some illustrations about what Domus Aurea might have looked. There must have been very colorful frescoes.

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4. Here is the drawings of the palace complex.

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5. There must have been nice facades with many columns – covered my marvel.

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6. Inside the building there have been yards and fountains.

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7. Inside must have been nice decorations with detailed masterpieces.

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8. Now we are entering to first found hall. Of course many bricks are used to built this vast palace. This was only for Nero’s spare time.

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9. After 2000 years there are still some colors that can be seen on the walls. One can see also that all rooms are built to be very high – they are creating a majestic type of influence.

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10. Here we can see also nice brick-works and arches – very high corridor…

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11. Very nice mosaic works from past times – done nearly 2000 years ago.

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12. Some nice paintings and frescoes in this room. Here still red and yellow colors can be seen.

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13. Here also squares made from red-brown and blue-grey shades.

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14. In this ceiling there are still rather well preserved paintings left.

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15. All rooms and halls have names and those can be read from tablets.

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16. Here are also some decorations that can be still very well seen.

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17. Some corridors are very long and describes how vast building was.

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18. This corridor has been full of decorations – probably giving nice feeling for people passing by …

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19. This very nice painting is found in one room near dining hall.

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20. This is maybe the most impressive space – a dining hall.

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21. One can actually still sense how comfortable this room has been. There are also nice decorations on the ceiling.

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22. The hole in middle of the dining room have let light to enter room very nicely – like in pantheon.

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23. Here more views how nicely light comes from upwards into dinner room.

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24. Here very nice mosaics from room near dinner room.

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25. Here outside from excavations – probably ruins of Trajans bath.