Does the Arch of Constantine in Rome have an interior? (I'm not speaking of the empty space formed by the arch itself, but rather of the massive stone structure which forms the arch.)

The Wikipedia article on the Arch claims, without citing any sources, that "[a] staircase within the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, on the west side, facing the Palatine Hill." If this is true, what is at the top of the staircase? Does it lead directly to the roof, or are there any interior rooms? Is there a corresponding staircase down the other column? Where can I see photographs of the door and of the interior?


1 Answer 1


Well, there is little doubt about the door. This image of the South face taken in late afternoon (from here) clearly shows the entrance in the lower left:

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Here is another image of the NW corner of the arch, showing the entrance in the West side:

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This scholarly article on the design of the Arch of Constantine by Mark Wilson Jones argues that the interior of the Arch is, an older Triumphal Arch dedicated to Hadrian.

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    I don't think the Wilson Jones is arguing that a pristine Hadrianic Arch occupies a separate space inside the Arch of Constantine. Rather, he is saying that an existing Hadrianic Arch was recut, extended, and repurposed in dedication of Constantine. That said, Figure 5 of his article does show a cross-section of the Arch, through the central passage, with what looks like an interior passageway in the upper area. I'm interested to see what this looks like, and to know whether it leads to any rooms.
    – Psychonaut
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 12:39
  • @Psychonaut: Did you not see my tongue firmly in cheek? Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 13:14

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