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Monday, March 31, 2014

Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli

Hadrian’s villa was not simply one structure, but many different buildings, gardens, and lakes created in about a half square mile area during 125-135 CE, during the Early Roman Imperial period.  Like many pleasure palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Versailles or Sans Souci, Hadrian’s villa was strictly for pleasure and enjoyment.  The architects recreated their favorite places throughout the empire such as buildings from Alexandria, the Athenian Grove of Academe, and the Painted Stoa from the Athenian Agora, and even recreated some famous Greek sculptures, for the gardens and lakes including the Caryatids from the Erechtheion (link).  A large reflecting pool, called the Canopus, was framed by a colonnade with arches springing from the top, which would be a form incorporated into many later architectural works.

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