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Castel Sant' Angelo

Castel Sant' Angelo (kästĕlˈ säntänˈjālō) [key], Hadrian's Mausoleum, or Hadrian's Mole, massive round construction on the right bank of the Tiber in Rome. Originally built (A.D. 135–39) by Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his successors, it was later decorated and fortified as a place of refuge for the popes and was connected to the Vatican by a secret passage. It was used as a fortress and prison until 1870 and is now a museum.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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