The Aurelian Walls

Constructed by the Emperor Aurelian to defend Rome from the incursions of the barbarians, the Aurelian Walls extended for approximately 19 kms, encompassing the previous fortified town-wall, the so-called Servian Wall, of the IVth C BC.

Their construction was carried out in great haste, making use also of numerous pre-existing monuments, for example the built tomb known as the Pyramid of Cestius.

The Wall, built in brick, is provided with square-plan towers every 100 feet (29.60m) and with numerous entrance gates, often double-arched, flanked by semicircular towers; minor gates (posterulae) gave access in the stretches between towers.


The town walls underwent various restorations and renovations: in the time of the Emperor Maxentius (306-312), when work that was never completed was also started on a ditch; then under Honorius and Arcadius between 401 and 402 to confront the attacks of the Goths; and finally during the VIth century the work of Belisarius (505-565). Thus reinforced and restored the walls have resisted until 1870, as a bulwark for a last time in the conflict between the Pontifical troops and the Italian army.


Other Monuments Nearby

Pyramid of Caius Cestius

Porta San Paolo

Monte Testaccio