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With virtual reality, it's possible to live inside Nero's Golden House for six minutes

2017-03-26

It's six minutes inside the very heart of ancient Rome's most ostentatious villa, where one can see something very similar to what Nero saw. 

Thanks to these glasses, we can feel like the eccentric emperor in his Golden House; the huge palace that covered the Palatine and Esquiline Hills, a total of 123 acres.

Today, the Domus Aurea is 40 feet underground, but this was not the case when Nero constructed it in 64 AD, after the burning of Rome.

However, centuries of abandonment condemned it to oblivion, and constant looting stripped its walls of marble, ivory, gold, and precious stones that covered it. 

FRANCESCO PROSPERETTI
Director of archaeological work
"I realized and knew, when I visited the Domus Aurea, that it was not possible to perceive the essence of this place by only visiting the remains, because it's now very different from what it was when it was first constructed. These conditions could only be reached through a virtual mechanism, and today current technology permits that.”

The emperor only enjoyed it for a few years. In 109 AD, Trajan wanted to erase all traces of Nero, and covered it with dirt and debris.

FRANCESCO PROSPERETTI
Director of archaeological work
"The history of the Domus Aurea, as incredible as it may seem, is very brief because it was built in a very few years and was used for even less time. Then, it fell into oblivion. But from 1400, it became a true myth".

It was in the fifteenth century when this House of Gold was rediscovered. Although its 300 rooms minimally resemble what was, intuition did the rest. 

Now, virtual reality has made it possible to see how magnificent this luxurious villa was. Just as one of the most eccentric characters in history exclaimed when he saw the finished Domus, "Now I can finally live as a man.” 


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