Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wednesday search challenge (11/6/13): What's the significance of where I'm standing?

No real surprise to regular readers of this blog, but I'm travelling again.  This time, I'm in a very well-known city, a place you've seen many times before. 

When I first arrived, I went for a walk, and found this rather well-known building. 

I know you can identify that without any problem.  But that's not the challenge.  

Today's question is about where I'm standing when I took this photo.  In many ways, the place I'm standing is just as interesting as that gigantic building in the pic. 

I'll save you the effort of searching for the lat/long here:  I took this with my regular camera, which doesn't record that information, so you'll have to work where I'm standing in another way.  

Today's questions are: 

1. I'm standing on a pathway that's named for the building that was once the glory of this hill.  What's the name of that building?  
2.  Once you know that, who built this amazing building near where I'm standing, and why do only 1% of the people who visit the building shown above, actually walk across the street and visit the equally remarkable building that was once here.  (That is, why is this building near where I'm standing so much less popular?)  

Search on!


  1. Went to Google Maps and search [ Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Italy ] to get this view
    Tilting and turning I figure you are on viale della domus aurea.
    Search [ domus aurea ] for the knowledge panel for the "Golden

    1. Domus Aurea (Golden House)

    2. The Wikipedia page for Domus Aurea says
    that due to decay it is no longer considered safe to visit the Golden House that Nero built.

    Did a quick double check [ colosseum tourists per year ] = approx. 4 million
    [ 1% of 4000000 ] = 40000
    [ domus aurea tourists per year ] averages 1,000 tourists a day and allow for rounding up to 40,000 a year.

  2. Domus Aurea? If yes, then the remaining questions are answered here http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/en/archaeological-site/domus-aurea

  3. Having been there fairly recently, i had a pretty good idea from where the picture was taken.

    1. A search on Google Maps - Colosseum Rome (http://goo.gl/axYtrR) - and using streetview to pinpoint the exact location, I learned that the pathway is called "Viale Della Domus Aurea" (translated to english "Avenue of the Domus Aurea"). Domus Aurea being Emperor Nero golden palace, which once stood on the hill.

    2. It is apparently closed due to safety concerns (Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domus_Aurea)

  4. It looks like the Palatine Hill, where emperors and other celbs of Ancient Rome built their palaces. Searched for 'hill near colluseum, rome. Found this link: http://www.aviewoncities.com/rome/palatinehill.htm, There was also a famous garden there in the Middle Ages built there by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.

  5. I just searched for "colosseum rome" in Google Maps. Within Maps I switched to Earth-View and rearranged my position so that the perspective matches with your photo. Then switched backed to Map-View and it shows I'm standing on a pathway named "Viale della Domus Aurea". A quick Wikipedia-search for "Domus Aurea" gave all the answers.

    1) The name of the building is Domus Aurea

    2) It was built by Emperor Nero. I guess the building is not very popular as it still lies under the ruins of the Baths of Trajan an additionally was closed for the public in 2008 because of saftey concerns and restoration work.

    Took about 5 minutes.

  6. Temple of the Divine Claudius
    The path is near or on Palantine Hill which is the place were Romulus and Remus were raised. So the origins of the city of Rome begin with that myth

  7. I went to street view for the Colosseum and looked until I found the building that looked like the one to the left of your picture. That gave me the angle where you stood. I then just searched that area for clues and decided that the building was the Basilica of Maxentius. http://sights.seindal.dk/sight/177_Basilica_of_Maxentius.html I suspect that although the original structure was magnificent, there isn't that much to see anymore. Many of the decorations were removed and some are in other location. Much of it was destroyed in earthquakes. It is in the area of the Roman Forum and people visiting that area might see the building but not pay much attention to it.

  8. Good day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers


    [Colosseum] Google Maps- Earth View to find the side your image shows. Tilt image and then Google Street view. Found: Via Labianca and Viale della Domus Aurea.

    [Domus Aurea]

    In Wikipedia: "...The Domus Aurea was a large landscaped portico villa buit by Emperor Neron after the great fire in 64 AD..."

    Domus Aurea "Nero´s House"
    Shows image and information about this place

    Nero´s Golden House Mentions:

    One house took up the whole city of Rome.
    After Nero's suicide in 68 A.D., the artificial lake was drained. The resulting amphitheater would later be called the Colosseum, not because of its size but because of the colossal 120­foot statue that stood outside. This statue that had represented Nero was renamed Helios in honor of the god of the sun lest Nero receive posthumous honor.

    Nero´s House information Found also link in which you can get updates on the progress of the restoration

    Domus Aurea Site

    ["Domus Aurea"]

    The Colosseum resourceful site Information about The Golden House and mentions "Amphitheatrum Flavium" as the probable original name of the Colosseum.


    1. I'm standing on a pathway that's named for the building that was once the glory of this hill. What's the name of that building?
    A: Domus Aurea. It was built by Nero after 64 the great fire in Rome.

    2. Once you know that, who built this amazing building near where I'm standing, and why do only 1% of the people who visit the building shown above, actually walk across the street and visit the equally remarkable building that was once here. (That is, why is this building near where I'm standing so much less popular?)

    A. It has been closed for many years because of restoration due to collapsed areas caused by heavy rain and flooding.

    1. Ramón, am curious about how you found the tickitaly/domus aurea site - good source info, but I don't see how to get there off their home page…
      did you go directly from a serp page?
      DA still closed
      in Italian
      the Goo Trans to english
      tried Yahoo to compare and found these -
      Y result
      restoration - in Italian
      Y serp
      interior 2007
      Ms. Mayer's SERP

    2. Hi Remmij.

      To find Tickitaly I used [Domus Aurea] and [domus aurea tourist stats]

      To find Domus Aurea Site: [domus aurea visits] Found link to "The Domus Aurea(reidsitaly)" site and there mentions " The Domus Aurea closes (again)...You can get updates in the progress of the restoration at: Domus Aurea Risanamento There right click translate to English.

      Reading your post tried [Domus aurea restauration proccess]

      This query links to both: Reidsitaly site and to The-Colosseum.net:Domus aurea in which a map of the Domus with Baths of titus and Trajan is shown in addition to links to the Official site of the Domus Aurea (that you mention in your post) and the site to follow the "Risanamento")

  9. Fred, matutinus avis gets vermis Romano - enda Dan videtur vobis opus cedula...

    found the Panoramio map feature here helpful:
    Severus and Celer, architects
    Domus Aurea

    also find Flickr & You Tube handy for this type of query… (note to self:) and an alarm clock to keep up with roaming Dan & Fred…
    gathering more Lupa Capitolina data (that's a tough bone to drop)?
    in the Rome of the Georgia kind…
    "This statue of the Capitoline Wolf, as a forecast of prosperity and glory, has been sent from Ancient Rome to New Rome during the consulship of Benito Mussolini in the year 1929."
    guess this would be one time when it was appropriate to say 'ciao', Dan. /;^)
    (much better results adding [rome] to the search query in Flickr — try it without to see what I mean…
    an interior shot from 2005 -
    as to the popularity question - perhaps because Nero wasn't pals with Russell Crowe?
    Tell Francis howdy for me if you cross paths in the Googleshere, gratias.

    1. That's a good point, Remmij. Often adding a term will really improve the results of image search (even, maybe especially, in Flickr).

  10. My first thought was to make sure that this The Coliseum in Rome not a replica in Peoria, so: IMAGE search on your pix suggested to me that this is indeed the real deal.

    SEARCH [famous buildings coliseum] finds www.famous-historic-buildings.org.uk/italy_3.html which has lots of words which I skipped thru. Literate trick here: On pages like this I scoot over the whole thing first to get an idea of whats there. I found a nifty link at the very bottom right away to
    Which has Earth and Street View and Map all on one page ! A few seconds of spinning around shows you are standing on the path Viale della Domus Aurea SEARCH [domus aurea] shows Wikipedia entry: The Domus Aurea was a large landscaped portico villa built by the Emperor Nero in the heart of ancient Rome, after the great fire in 64 AD had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine Hill. Upon his death it was nearly totally destroyed by Vespasian http://www.the-colosseum.net/history/domusaurea.htm
    http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/cantieredomusaurea/ says its closed for restoration work after flooding and trees damaged whats left of the Golden House. TRANSLATE was useful here Italian to English

    Five minutes or so


    1. @ unknown jon,
      enjoyed checking out the mapchannels site, their streetcities page (street view safari — show random street view)
      is a hoot - like a mini blindfold, surprise vacation with each click… I'm easily amused.

      Street View Safari
      Map Channels Project Gallery

      was going to comment about the Subura and unknown jons in Rome, but…
      looking for that led me to the Platner info:
      the most detailed description I found -
      U. of Chicago
      houses in the city of Rome
      A 1929 Topography of Ancient Rome
      also of interest:
      A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome

  11. As most people I went to Google Earth, Streetview and walked around the Colloseum to find for viewpoint. It was near the intersection of Labicana and del Colosseo. That helped identify the park and the pathway called 'Viale della Domus Aurea (Avenue of Domus Aurea).

    Then I chose to do this search in Italian using query for Archeological Rome & use Google Translate to English. See link below.

    "The Domus Aurea was built after the big fire in 64 A.D by Nero incorporating gold and precious stones, deserving the name Domus Aurea (latin Golden House). It was designed by the architects Severus and Celer and decorated by the painter Fabullo. Link #1
    On the death of Nero his successors tried to bury and erase all traces of the building."
    However I found that there is a reconstruction going on of the Domas Aurea (which may be why it isn't visited right now). The area has been closed since 2006 and the project costs to date are approximately 17 million euros I believe. You can follow the progress from the excavations on the hill Opium in Oct 2012 to right up to September 2013 updates. ( This blog is edited by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Rome 's Ministry of assets and cultural tourism.)

    Amazing photos & diagrams of this restoration. Go to the bottom of the page and click on--
    "To follow the restoration and consolidation of the Domus Aurea /click here"

    Link #1 http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/siti-archeologici/domus-aurea&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dviale%2Bdella%2Bdomus%2Baurea%2Broma%26newwindow%3D1%26client%3Dchrome-mobile%26espv%3D1

  12. First, Rome has a very long history with virtually every site having had multiple buildings over the centuries.

    Google Search: "hills of Rome"

    The search returned the Seven Hills of Rome; Aventine Hill, Caelian Hill, Capitoline Hill, Esquiline Hill, Palatine Hill, Quirinal Hill and Viminal Hill.

    So, which hill are you standing?

    Google Search: "Rome topography"

    Search returns several image maps, the maps show that the Colosseum lies in a valley between Esquiline to the North and Caelian to the South. The map also shows that this area is also called Oppian Hill?

    Google Search "Esquiline Hill"

    Search returns a wiki page, that describes that three areas of Esquiline HIll are also referred to as hills of their own, interesting... Cispian Hill, Oppian Hill and Fagutal Hill

    Appears that you are standing on Oppian Hill.

    Google Search: "structures of Oppian Hill"

    Search returns this website

    There are 5 important structures that once occupied space on the hill. Which one is a building that is equally remarkable as the Colosseum?

    After reading the descriptions of there are only two structures that could compare to the Colosseum. Trajan's Baths and Domus Aurea (The Golden House)... Which one do you refer to?

    Wait you say that you are on the pathway that is named for this building.

    Returning to Google Maps, it shows two paths, one is Viale della Domus Aurea

    Now that we know that you are referring to the Golden House of Nero, why do so few people visit?

    Searching Google, you find many reasons. First and foremost, there is little of the palace that remains, most of it was destroyed after Nero's death (or suicide) as he was not a fan favorite. Second, Trajan's baths use the building for it's foundation. Third, for the little that does remain, the building is in such bad condition that is is seldom open to the public.

    I might have to argue that Trajan's baths are equal to the Colosseum though...

    1. I'm standing on a pathway that's named for the building that was once the glory of this hill. What's the name of that building?

    You are standing on Viala della Domus Aurea, looking at the Colosseum. The building is commonly called Nero's Golden House.

    2. Once you know that, who built this amazing building near where I'm standing, and why do only 1% of the people who visit the building shown above, actually walk across the street and visit the equally remarkable building that was once here. (That is, why is this building near where I'm standing so much less popular?)

    Nero built this palace. This area of Rome burned in 64 A.D. and he built several large structures. The Golden House being one of them. I would guess that people don't visit this building as much, as very little of it remains. Subsequent Roman Emperors dismantled and built on the remains of the building.

    1. Great job Chris. Thanks for making it easy to follow your search path.

  13. Not sure how coincidental this is but looking at the Google Maps Lat Long Blog posting of Nov 6th they are introducing Pegman back and the example is the Colloseum- have a look at this update.


  14. I'm still stuck on this part from the original question "only 1% of the people who visit the building shown above, actually walk across the street and visit the equally remarkable building that was once here."
    I've tried several different searches but can't find numbers to back up this claim.

    Can anyone find where the number of people that visit (tourists) Domus Aurea is stated so it comes to 1% of 4 million?

    1. Hello Fred!

      I am trying to find the answer to your question. While doing it, I found:

      [Domus aurea one percent]

      Domus Aurea Images

      Domus Aurea and the Roman Architectural Revolution PDF

      I lost the query for searching in other Gadget but found: "... Despite its glittering heritage, the Palatine is often ignored by Rome's ten million annual visitors . Part of the reason is the steep climb up from the Forum. Only a tenth of tourists can face the trek after they've toured ancient Rome's large heart and seen the Colosseum. Source for that data: Ansa.

      To verify [Domus Aurea visits ANSA intext:tenth]
      'Emergency' seen after Domus Aurea collapse

      Conclusion: Another reason to answer question B that Dr. Russell made is difficulty to trek.

      Hope that helps you, Fred as it helped me to know more about this Challenge

    2. Fred I searched databases from World Tourism down to Italy>Rome>Architecture and I could not find any data on Domus Aurea. It is likely because the area has been closed off and on over the past 15 years. As well it is such a small percentage that it may be considered insignificant. I suspect that the 1% shown was on a sign at the site.

      Sorry my link above didn't take you directly to the image of Pegman & the Colosseum. I've tried using an URL shortener


      and here it is again.


      If this takes you to the front page click on the"Blog" menu at the top of the page.

      Is anyone getting Google Docs to allow 'linkable text' that can be copy & pasted into this blog? I've asked the question over in Google Docs as well.

      Enjoy your trip Dr. Russell.

    3. WTG Ramón. You got closer than I did with your search expertise.

      +Rosemary M - Blogger comments are very restrictive in the html code they except. Google Docs on the other hand overly complex code in editing mode and then it changes when you publish a document as a web page under FILE > Publish to the web.. The code though even as a web page probably has too much extra for Blogger Comments.
      You can try Online HTML Editor to make links. Don't use it for formatting as again Blogger uses something different code than normal HTML.
      Let me know if you want to Hangout and I can help you with it.

    4. Rosemary, this may be helpful - adding the HTML tag is the only way to add a live link that I know of.
      you can add the HTML tag in the comment box or in whatever text editor (e.g. GOO Docs) you use and then
      copy/paste into the comment box — I try to preview the comment to make sure the link is correct; if there is
      a problem with the tag there will be an alert.

      see:Here's an example scenario:

  15. perhaps it is a fallacy to take Dr.D literally when he may have been speaking figuratively…?
    as Lou Reed's widow said, language is a virus - Laurie Anderson
    hopefully, Dan is enjoying a nice carbonara with a respectable red and not crunching numbers as he fiddles…
    an aside on activities in the "Eternal" —

  16. I agree with remmij, This time the 1 per cent is not to be taken literally.

    If you like the mapchannel link and you are easily amused with geography try this: http://geoguessr.com/


    1. Quyanainni, unknown jon - being a geogasser, will give geoguesser a whirl - still trying to locate this, yellow pegman needs a space suit…:

      P/2013 P5 Flora?
      Asteroid 596 Scheila
      YORP effect
      death from the skies

      the paradox of the world shrinking and expanding simultaneously… maybe Jupiter is sending Dan a message to continue and be a search oracle?

  17. Fred -- Ah.. um... Remmij speaks the truth here. I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote up the question, so I was speaking a bit glibly... or maybe "figuratively" is more correct. But I'm glad you gave the search for real data the college try! (I was really hoping that you'd see the "Site closed for the past 5 years" notice on the web site, and realize what was going on!)

    Moral of this part of the story: Be sure there ARE numbers before investing too much time in a search.

    Thanks for trying, though. AND for letting us know about your attempt!