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Villa Romana del Casale

Villa Romana del Casale

Roman exploitation of the countryside is symbolized by the Villa Romana del Casale (in Sicily), the centre of the large estate upon which the rural economy of the Western Empire was based. The villa is one of the most luxurious of its kind. It is especially noteworthy for the richness and quality of the mosaics which decorate almost every room; they are the finest mosaics in situ anywhere in the Roman world.

Villa romaine du Casale

L'exploitation de la campagne à la période romaine est symbolisée par la villa, centre du grand domaine sur lequel était fondée l'économie rurale de l'empire d'Occident. Sous sa forme du IVe siècle, la villa romaine du Casale est l'un des exemples les plus luxueux de ce type de monument. Elle est particulièrement remarquable par la richesse et la qualité des mosaïques qui décorent presque chaque pièce, et qui sont les plus belles encore en place dans tout le monde romain.

فيلاّ كازالي الرومانية

تشكل الفيلاّ رمزًا لاستثمار الريف في الحقبة الرومانية وهي مركز الميدان الكبير الذي ارتكز عليه الاقتصاد الريفي لامبراطورية الغرب. فهذه الفيلاّ هي بشكلها العائد إلى القرن الرابع أحد الأمثلة الأكثر فخامة عن هذا النوع من النصب. وهي تتميّز بالغِنى والجودة في الفسيفساء التي تزيّن كل غرفة تقريبًا والتي تعتبَر الأجمْلَ حتى في العالم الروماني بأسره. 

source: UNESCO/ERI

卡萨尔的罗马别墅

位于西西里的卡萨尔罗马别墅是罗马大庄园的中心,西罗马帝国农村经济就依赖这些庄园。卡萨尔的罗马别墅是众多同类建筑中最奢华的一个。卡萨尔的镶嵌工艺水平和质量尤其值得关注,几乎装饰了每一个房间的马赛克,时至今日仍然是罗马世界的一朵瑰丽的奇葩。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Древнеримская вилла Дель-Казале (остров Сицилия)

Символом ведения хозяйства в сельской местности может служить древнеримская вилла Дель-Казале - центральная усадьба крупного поместья. Помещичье землевладение было основой сельского хозяйства в Западной Римской империи. Вилла представляет собой одно из самых роскошных владений подобного рода. Её главной достопримечательностью являются богатство и качество мозаик, которые украшают почти каждую комнату; эти мозаики являются превосходными образцами этого вида искусства, где-либо сохранившимися in-situ в древнеримском мире.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Villa romana de Casale

Centros de las vastas haciendas en las que se basaba la economía rural, las villas eran el símbolo por excelencia de la explotación agraria en el Imperio Romano de Occidente. Uno de los ejemplares más suntuosos de estas edificaciones es la villa de Casale (Sicilia), que ha conservado su configuración del siglo IV. Por su abundancia y calidad, los mosaicos que ornamentan casi todas las habitaciones son los más bellos de todo el orbe romano conservados in situ.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ヴィッラ・ロマーナ・デル・カサーレ

source: NFUAJ

Villa Romana del Casale

De Romeinse uitbuiting van het platteland wordt in het bijzonder gesymboliseerd door de Romeinse Villa del Casale op Sicilië, het centrum van een groot landgoed waarop de plattelandseconomie van het westerse Keizerrijk was gebaseerd. De villa is één van de meest luxueuze in zijn soort. Ontworpen in de traditie van de Romeinse villa, maar op een niveau van luxe waarvan binnen het Romeinse Rijk geen equivalent bestaat. Het uitgegraven gedeelte – ongeveer 4.000 vierkante meter – is slechts een deel van de volledige vestiging en kan worden onderverdeeld in vier zones, of groepen kamers, allemaal versierd met mozaïekvloeren van een superieure kwaliteit.

Source: unesco.nl

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© UNESCO
Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (i), (ii) and (iii), considering that the Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina is the supreme example of a luxury Roman villa, which graphically illustrates the predominant social and economic structure of its age. The mosaics that decorate it are exceptional for their artistic quality and invention as well as their extent.

Long Description

Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina is the supreme example of a luxury Roman villa, graphically illustrating the predominant social and economic structure of its age. Its decorative mosaics are exceptional for their artistic quality and invention as well as their extent.

An earlier rural settlement generally thought to have been a farm, although on slender evidence, existed on the site where the late Roman villa was built. Its orientation was the same as that of the baths of the villa, and its foundations were discovered beneath parts of the villa. The existence of baths in the earliest phase of the site suggests that it was the residence of a rich tenant or the steward of a rich landowner. Two portraits were discovered dating from the Flavian period (late 1st century AD) that may represent members of the owner's family. The stratigraphy of this earlier house provides a chronology from the 1st century AD to the Tetrarchy at the end of the 3rd century. There are indications that the earlier house was destroyed by an earthquake in the first decade of the 4th century, by which time it was probably owned by Marcus Aurelius Maximinianus, a Pannonian who had risen from the ranks of the Roman army to become a general, and then was raised to the status of Augustus by Diocletian. On the violent death of Maximinianus in 310 it would have passed to his son and imperial colleague Maxentius, killed at the battle of Milvian Bridge in Rome in 312. The grandeur and lavishness of the structure that arose on the ruins of the house suggests that it was built on the orders, if not of a Roman ruler, then by a rich and powerful landowner, between 310 and 340. It was occupied until the Arab invasion of the 9th century, although in a state of increasing degradation. The final act of destruction was the work of the Norman ruler of Sicily, William I the Bad, around 1155.

This building, which merits the title of 'palace' rather than villa, is designed in the tradition of the Roman villa but on a scale and to a level of luxury with no parallels in the Roman Empire. The area that has been excavated, which is only part of the full establishment and covers about 4,000 m2 , may be divided into four zones or groups of rooms, all of them decorated with floor mosaics of superlative quality.

The villa is built on a series of terraces. The first is the monumental entrance, which opens into a courtyard, on to which faces the elaborate baths complex. The oval palaestra gives access to an impressive octagonal frigidarium (cold room) and thence through the tepidari um (warm room) out of which open three caldaria (hot baths). Next comes the impressive main peristyle with its monumental fountain in the centre, and the rooms opening off it. There is a small apsidal shrine to one side. To the south is the third group, around the elliptical peristyle. The spacious triclinium has apses on three sides and is decorated with mythological scenes, notably the Labours of Hercules. The fourth group lies to the east of the main peristyle, linked by the long Corridor of the Great Hunting Scene.

This monumental area contains one of the finest and deservedly most famous mosaic pavements, depicting the capture of wild animals in Africa, with the master and his assistants directing the activities in the centre. This group also includes the basilica, a large hall for receptions, which is paved in marble rather than mosaics. Most of the small private rooms in this part of the complex contain mosaic floors depicting more peaceful and domestic activities. Particularly well known is the group of young women wearing costumes remarkably similar to modern bikinis, engaged in sporting activities. The mosaics are the glory of the Villa del Casale. They date from the most advanced period of mosaic art and were in all probability the work of artists from North Africa, judging by both the quality of the work and the scenes they depict. On stylistic grounds it is believed that at least two master-mosaicists worked on the villa, one working in a more classical style on principally mythological scenes and the other using a more realistic approach for scenes of contemporary life. The range of subject matter is vast: mythology, hunting scenes, flora and fauna, domestic scenes and much more. The columns and walls of the villa were also decorated, with painted plaster, both inside and out, and much of this survives.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

An earlier rural settlement, generally thought to have been a farm, although on slender evidence, existed on the site where the Late Roman villa was built. Its orientation was the same as that of the baths of the villa, and its foundations were discovered beneath parts of the villa.

The existence of baths in the earliest phase of the site suggests that it was the residence of a rich tenant or the steward of a rich landowner. Two portraits were discovered dating from the Flavian period (late 1st century AD) that may represent members of the owner's family. The stratigraphy of this earlier house provides a chronology from the 1st century AD to the Tetrarchy at the end of the 3rd century. This is an obscure period of Sicilian history, when the traditional latifundia system using slave labour underwent considerable changes.

There are indications that the earlier house was destroyed by an earthquake in the first decade of the 4th century, by which time it was probably owned by Marcus Aurelius Maximinianus, a Pannonian who had risen from the ranks of the Roman army to become a general. and then was raised to the status of Augustus by Diocletian. On the violent death of Maximinianus in 3 10 it would have passed to his son and Imperial colleague Maxentius, who lost his life at the hands of Constantine the Great at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in Rome in 3 12.

The grandeur and lavishness of the new structure that arose on the ruins of the earlier country house suggests that it was built on the orders, if not of one of these Roman rulers, then of a rich and powerful landowner, some time between 310 and 340. It continued to be occupied up to the Arab invasion of the 9th century, though in a state of increasing degradation. It seems that the final act of destruction was the work of the Norman ruler of Sicily, William I the Bad, around 115 5.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation