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Nero’s Golden Palace Is An Underground Trip Through History

Nero’s Golden Palace was an urban villa built as a collection of buildings and green spaces used to celebrate his greatness that today lives underground.

Nero’s Golden Palace - Near The Colosseum

Near The Colosseum in Colle Oppio Park

The Great Fire of Rome devastated the city in 64 AD and destroyed a large part of the urban center, which allowed the emperor to expropriate ​about 200 acres and build his palace, which stretched between the hills of Palatine, Esquiline and Celio. The villa was destroyed after Nero’s death, but the surviving part of the Domus Aurea, hidden by the Baths of Trajan, had been included in the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO in 1980.

Emperor Nero and His Golden Palace

As mentioned above, The Great Fire of Rome devastated the city in 64 AD and burned for seven nights and during that time 3 of the city’s 14 regions were destroyed. These were Colle Oppio, Circo Massimo and Palatine. Although there is disagreement over whether or not Nero was actually in Rome at the time of the fire, the expression that Nero fiddled while Rome burned speaks more to his unpopularity and depravity as he is written as having practiced every sort of obscenity, ranging from incest to cruelty to animals to homicide.

For Whom Was Nero’s Golden Palace Built?

After the fire, a large part of the Domus Transitoria, Nero’s first palace on Palatine Hill, was replaced by a larger one, the Domus Aurea. He had a house built that stretched from Palatine Hill to Esquiline Hill which he first called Aurea. The main access to the villa was from the Roman Forum, with access through a huge colossal statue of Nero, inspired by the Colossus of Rhodes.

Nero’s Golden Palace - Multi-Media Presentations Bring It To Life!

Multi-Media Presentations Bring It To Life!

For What Was Nero’s Golden Palace Used?

Everything was covered in gold and adorned with gems and mother-of-pearl. Most of the lands were covered with gardens and pavilions for parties. At the center of the gardens, filled with trees and vineyards, there was an artificial lake where the Colosseum would later be built.

The Domus Aurea was hated by the people of Rome because it had been built by stealing from the wealthiest citizens of the Roman Empire, and by robbing the temples of Rome, Asia and Greece.

Nero’s Golden Palace - Historical Artifacts

Beautifully Presented Historical Artifacts

Helped in large part because of his unpopularity. Nero began to lose support with governors and military leaders no longer recognizing Nero’s authority and pledging their loyalty to the Roman Senate and people. Finally the Senate officially deposed Nero and he fled from his palace without protection. He committed suicide in the year 68 AD by stabbing himself in the throat.

What Happened To Nero’s Golden Palace After He Died?

After Nero’s death, the land of the Domus Aurea was returned to the Roman people by subsequent emperors, although due to its unpopularity this process took some time. As early as emperor Vespasian, who ruled from 69 to 79 AD, the process of destroying the Domus had begun, and after a decade Nero’s home was stripped of its precious coverings. Emperor Vespasian used the space to build the Flavian Amphitheater, a.k.a. The Colosseum. The foundations for the Baths of Tito had begun in 79, and a new palace had been built on the Palatine Hill, which eliminated the remnants of the Neronian buildings.

How Much Do The Tickets For Nero’s Golden Palace Cost?

You can make a visit to the restoration site of the Domus Aurea and enjoy it with Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. The site is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and the tours depart every 15 minutes from 9:15 AM until 5:00 PM. The prices are:

  • Full Price – € 15.00
  • Reduced – € 11.00
  • Free according to the regulation
  • Service Fee – € 1.00
Nero’s Golden Palace - Our Fabulous English Language Tour Guide

Our Fabulous English Language Tour Guide

Other Amazing Sites In Rome To Check Out

While you are in the neighborhood of Nero’s Golden Palace, a.k.a. Domus Aurea, there are some other amazing sites to check out. Take a look at some of these posts to get a sense of what might be right for you:

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