Domus Aurea Nero’s Golden Palace

What comes to mind when Emperor Nero is mentioned?  Of course, fiddling while Rome burns. Well there was  huge fire in 64 AD during his reign, but I  don’t think it has been proven that  he set the great fire. But he did benefit from the aftermath.  The site is just near the Colosseum,  prime location in ancient Rome. After the  fire and the ruins of the aristocratic dwellings on the slope of the Palatine Hill were cleared away, Nero began building his dream house on a huge site. It was a large landscaped portico villa  which you saw in the model above.

After Nero’s suicide in 68 AD subsequent emperors were embarrassed  by his stories and slowly the Domus Aurea became covered by other buildings. It was rediscovered in the 15th C.  My  architect was thrilled to go on a more or less private tour in 1999 before it was opened to the public. I remember the students being so excited as they  had studied this ancient building in school. It was opened in 2007, closed in 2008 and there was a partial collapse in 2010.  But if you are in Rome, it is possible to tour it now.   The one thing the students especially  wanted to see was the rotating banquet table.  This circular room rotated to replicate the earth’s rotation.  This was built in  ancient Rome. . . . . . imagine.

Enjoy the images from the inside ruins of the Domus Aurea. The gold and marble are long gone ,but you will get a glimpse into the lifestyle of this infamous man.  Adjectives that will come to mind are:lavish, depraved, wealth, opulence , luxurious, excessive, extravagant, yet  historically significant.

images (5)

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ITALY GOLDEN PALACERuins of the banquet hall. . . . .


It is amazing that in  Rome, which has been excavated and visited by millions for years has discovered  more ruins after thousands of years.  I do wonder what is left to unearth?

Suetonius, the historian, claims this of Nero and the Domus Aurea:

When the edifice was finished in this style and he dedicated it, he deigned to say nothing more in the way of approval than that he was at last beginning to be housed like a human being.
Wikipedia, Google Images, Public Domain 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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11 Responses to Domus Aurea Nero’s Golden Palace

  1. lauramacky says:

    Incredible photos and interesting!


  2. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


  3. YellowCable says:

    Very interesting. The place was well organized considered how old it is.


    • annetbell says:

      The Romans were incredible builders and plumbers. I will write about the water system soon. Organization certainly was a part of the whole thing. Actually that aspect is hard to imagine in Italy today!


  4. kyangel17 says:

    So interesting. There is still a lot of the teacher in you Anne. My only trip overseas was to Germany, Bavaria, and Austria, following my paternal roots, which turned up in Bavaria. We visited the “Cinderella Castle”, which I once knew the German name for, and it was still well maintained, with all of the gold intact. The fact that the mad king Ludwig had bankrupted the country building that, and another minor castle, was almost bragged about. Buildings are still standing centuries after being built, and are all well kept and maintained, and then we came home to a place where they are tearing down 50 year old buildings because it’s cheaper to tear them down than to take care of them. And everywhere we went, we could see where the Americans had been, leaving their trash behind, while the Bavarian’s would bring their cows home from the pastures every evening, with someone behind cleaning up the streets. It made me ashamed to be the Ugly American.


    • annetbell says:

      We were in Bavaria , too, and loved it. I loved waking in the morning hearing the bells of the cows ringing as they were going to their day jobs! That castle is Neuscchwanstein Castle. I bought post cards and sent them to each of my class from the year before. I knew when I saw the castle , that was what they would enjoy. ( I have to admit I had to google it just now as the name is a stinker to remember. )

      Where did you go in Austria? Husband loves Vienna and it is monumental , historical , elegant but even years ago it was anti-Semitic and I didn’t like that . They are also rather arrogant people which I also didn’t like. Hope that doesn’t offend you. I do tend to make sweeping generalizations! I realize that that everyone is . . . . .


      • kyangel17 says:

        We took the “Sound of Music” tour, and also visited the Olympic site, the name escapes me now. And I remember the name of the castle now that you mention it. I made a counted cross stitch picture of it when I got home. Thought I would go blind doing it, because of the huge dimensions of the picture, then gave it to my sister who was our host during the visit. We didn’t go to Vienna, but Sis was not able to go to Salzberg with us (morning sickness) so mom and I muddled through alone.

        I think I will have to blog about that trip, now that I think about that visit. It was too hilarious to believe, and I had the time of my life, while mom went through every emotion imaginable all in one day. Oh, yeah, there was also the man who drove the wagon up to the castle. When he heard our last name — Goetz, he cozied up to mom and was talking to her while occasionally taking his arm from around her shoulder to grab his bottle from under the seat for another belt. Yeah, that’s definitely a blog. Just wish I could find the photos, but they were in an old album that was not acid free and mostly destroyed.

        Don’t worry about your generalizations. You should meet my family some time. Both sides of the family at that. Actually I think the Irish/Scot side might be worse than the German. I do know my cousins avoid my mom like the plague, since she wants to run the entire show while telling the younger generation they should be in charge now.


  5. Pingback: Nero’s revolving room | Karavansara

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