Capitoline Museums - First Museums In The World

The Capitoline Museums is a complex of archaeological and art museums situated on the Capitoline Hill - the exact place where Rome was born. This hill is the smallest among the others, but one of the most influential historically. The significance of the Capitoline Hill can be traced in many languages through such common words we use today, such as "capital, capitol, capitalize" etc. However, this place gained its fame not only because of its profound history. The Capitoline Museums, which are located on the Capitoline Hill, became the first museum in the world that invited average people to its exhibitions. While being in Rome, you can't miss a place like this as this is the basics of the western culture!

Talking about the museums, there are a lot of interesting things you can explore here. Initially, these museums date back to 1417 when Pope of Rome Sixt IV donated a collection of bronze antique statues to the people of Rome. Since then the collections grew and widened. Nowadays they include a huge amount of antique, medieval, renaissance masterpieces, jewels and coins.

Do you remember the famous symbol of Rome – the Capitoline She-wolf with Romulus and Remus suckling milk from her? The original of this statue is situated right here in the Capitoline Museums.  In addition, one can see such renowned artworks as the Capitoline Venus, the Dying Gaul, the statue of Constantine and of course, no museum in Rome can live without Bernini’s works! There are also big collections of Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Titian and many more.

There is something else that makes this sight a unique place. Not only it is the oldest museum in the world, but here, too, you can find the oldest artefacts of Rome, which are the oldest walls of Rome that belong to Jupiter’s Temple from the VI century  BC. They say that these very walls are the heart of the Capitoline Hill and Rome itself.

Interesting Facts About Capitoline Museums

  • Among the museums of the complex you can see the Piazza del Campidoglio. This square was designed by Michelangelo and was built after his death in the 16th century.
  • Such words as capital, capitol come from Capitolium, the name of the Jupitor’s Temple on the Capitoline Hill.
  • The legend says that also the she-wolf fed Romulus and Remus right here on the Capitoline hill. 

The Buildings of the Capitoline Museums: Palazzo Nuovo, Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Montemartini

The address: Piazza del Campidoglio 1 – 00186 Rome

Working hours:

  • from 9:30 till 19:30
  • on 31 December – 9:30 – 14:00
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