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The “House of Gold” of Emperor Nero gets a face lift, 20 centuries later

2014-11-09

No one would think that underneath this peaceful park in Rome is one the most unique buildings of the Eternal City.

According to tradition, Emperor Nero burned Rome in the year 64 and decided to build this palace afterward. It was so spectacular that it was quickly nicknamed the "Domus Aurea,” or House of Gold. Visiting its remains feels like walking through the streets of Rome, just like it was 2,000 years ago.

IDA SCIORTINO
Archaeologist, Domus Aurea
"What we see is a limited portion of what was built then. The Palace covered three of the seven hills of Rome and also the Roman Forum. So, we can say that it occupied almost the entire center of the city.”

For centuries the Domus Aurea has been buried underneath a garden, which combines both the good and the bad.

The water and nearby roots harm its structure. But at the same time they  also create the perfect environment for its conservation, including more than 90,000 square meters of...paintings.

MARIA BARTOLI
Chief Restorer, Domus Aurea
"It's not possible for us to return the structure to its original state. If we did that, we would have to get rid of the humidity of this place, which means losing all the paintings.”

After years of restoration, the western area of the palace is opened to the public.

With this new tour, visitors will be able to admire even more details of this jewel of time and history.


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