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  CAELIAN HILL
CAELIAN HILL
Image of the Caelian Hill
The Caelian hill, originally known as Mons Querquetulanus (hill of the oak trees, because it was a forest of oak trees) is the southernmost of the seven hills on which Rome was founded; subsequently it was called Mons Caelius because, according to a legend, it was conquered for the first time by the Etruscan military leader Caelius Vibenna.
The side of the hill which faces towards the Colosseum is the place where the Temple of the divine Claudius (Templum Divi Claudii) was built. After excavations it has been proved that the area went through a conspicuous building period during the second century and the erection of Domus in the fourth century that transformed the area in one of the most aristocratic districts of the ancient Rome, whereas in the outskirts many barracks were built; the hill was moreover crossed by four aqueducts of whom it is worth to mention: the Aqua Appia, the Aqua Marcia and the Nero Aqueduct; three of these water supplies, used to take water to the imperial dwellings over the Palatine Hill, were underground aqueducts, whereas the fourth one was an arched aqueduct of whom a few remains are still visible.
The buildings of the Caelian hill were heavily damaged during the sack of Rome by Alaric; after the sack, an abandoning period began but it was followed by a new building phase when many churches and monasteries had been erected (the Basilica of San Clemente, the Santi Quattro Coronati Church and the Santo Stefano Rotondo Church are located in the Eastern part of the hill). Anyway the area remained quite uninhabited until 1870, when the new town-planning project (called "Roma Capitale") began; it provided many works such as for example the building of the Military hospital. In 1931, the Navicella street was widened in order to join the top of the hill to the Porta Metronia.
The Navicella square, with the homonymous fountain and the monumental portal of the Villa Celimontana, is located just on the top of the Caelian hill; nearby the Santi Giovanni e Paolo square with the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.
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