An alchemist’s “magic door” stands in the middle of a Roman park
Atlas Obscura - September 15 2009
While this “magic door” is famous to Romans, it is barely noticed by tourists visiting Rome. But in the central district of Piazza Vittorio, inside the Park, the remains of an old Villa reveal a Magic or Alchemist Door, a portal into the real and secretive world of 1600s alchemy.
Full of symbols and inscriptions, it was built during the early 1600s by the Roman marquis Massimiliano Palombara, a member of a group of people known as “The Alchemists of Palazzo Riario,” who congregated around the Roman court of Christina of Sweden the Queen Regent of Sweden. Christina was an ardent supporter of alchemy and science and thinkers and science luminaries like Decarte and Athanasius Kircher were often found in her Italian court, along with alchemy enthusiasts like Massimiliano Palombara.