The Domus Aurea ( "Golden House" in Latin) was the urban villa built by the Roman emperor Nero after the great fire ravaged Rome in AD 64.
The Domus Aurea, as the entire historic center of Rome, the extraterritorial zone of the Holy See in Italy and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.
Built in brick, in the few years between the fire and the death of Nero in 68, the extensive cast-iron coatings that gave it its name were not the only extravagant elements of furniture: there were stucco ceilings encrusted with semi-precious stones. precious and ivory foils.
Pliny the Elder watched it being built.
The emperor's residence came to understand the Palatine, the Esquiline slopes (Opium) and part of the Celio, for an extension of about 250 hectares.
Most of the area was occupied by gardens with pavilions for parties or stay.
At the center of the gardens, which included woods and vineyards, in the small valley between three hills, there was a pond, partly artificial, on the site of the Coliseum which was built later.
Nero also commissioned a colossal bronze statue of 35 meters representing himself, dressed in the garb of a Roman sun-god Apollo, the Colossus Neronis, which was placed in front of the main entrance of the palace on the Palatine.
The Colossus was later readjusted heads of several successive hill emperors before Hadrian moved to make way to the Temple of Venus and Rome, and Flavian Amphitheater then took the Colosseum in the Middle Ages, from this statue.
The true residence of Nero, however, remained in the imperial palaces on the Palatine.
Map showing the layout of the Baths of Trajan compared to the Domus Aurea
The partially preserved under successive baths of Trajan on the hill Opium was essentially a villa for holidays, with 300 rooms and a bedroom and not even have been discovered kitchens or latrines.
The rooms lined with finely polished marble composing intricate floor plans, consisting of niches and exedras that concentrated or dispersed sunlight.
There were pools in different areas, and fountains in the hallways.
Nero took an interest in every detail of the project, according to the Annals of Tacitus, and supervised directly Celere architects and Severo.
After Nero's death, the land of the Domus Aurea was "returned to the Roman people 'by successive emperors.
In about a decade, the abode of Nero was stripped of its precious finishes: the construction site for the Baths of Titus were already under Vespasian in AD 79 used the space where it had been dug the artificial lake to build the Flavian Amphitheater, with Colossus in Neronis its vicinity.
Even the Baths of Trajan and the Temple of Venus and Roma residing in the land occupied by the Domus.
In forty years, the Golden House was completely buried under new construction, but paradoxically this saw to it that the "grotesque" paintings could survive; sand functioned as the volcanic ash of Pompeii, protecting them from their eternal enemy, the humidity.
When a young Roman accidentally fell into a slot on the side of the hill Opium at the end of the fifteenth century, he found himself in a strange cave, full of painted figures.
The discovery, however, also provoked moisture ingress in the salt, and this started the slow process, inevitable decay.
In the heavy rain was also attributed the collapse of part of the ceiling.
The reopening of a part of the complex, closed soon after the collapse, was scheduled for January 2007, but the monument continues to suffer from a risk situation, due to traffic, the roots of the trees in the garden and other problems concerning ' area, preventing to continue the excavation and exploration.
The March 30 2010 collapses the input time to a tunnel leading to the Terme Traianee, built above the neroniana structure Emperor Trajan year 104.
The Italian text is taken from: Wikipedia