Town square with the Colonna di Marco Aurelio
The dominant element and focal point in the Piazza Colonna is the monumental column in honour of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Colonna di Marco Aurelio). After the victory over the Germanic tribes the Senate commissioned the construction of the mighty pillar in honour of the victorious emperor. Between the ancient temples of the Emperor Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius the 42 metre high column was erected, which was formed in addition to base and capital from 29 marble drums. The rising spiral relief shows scenes from the Germanic and Sarmatian wars of the 2nd Century A.D. The well-preserved soldiers and horses shed light on the weapons, uniforms, customs and traditions of that time. Inside the column is a staircase leading up to the top where the statue of the emperor once stood. Since 1589 the bronze statue of the Apostle Paul has adorned the head of the impressive column of honour. The Chigi Palace at the Piazza is the headquarters of the Italian Prime Minister.