Originally the Castel Sant’Angelo (also known as Castle of the Holy Angel) was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for him and his family. It was once the tallest building in Rome.
At the beginning of the 14th century, the popes converted the building into a fortress. The building was connected to St Peter’s Basilica with a secret passageway. Later on, it was also used as a prison. Nowadays it is a museum.
The Ponte Sant’Angelo was built at the same time as the mausoleum. On both sides of the bridge, you will find 10 angels sculptured by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. These statues were added in 1669 during reconstruction. Each of them bears an item referring to the Passion of Christ.
More information: www.castelsantangelo.com