Even if to this day the famous ‘Hanging Gardens’ of Semiramis, one of the seven world wonders, are not securely located and reconstructed, their description in Greco-Roman literature had an enduring influence on antique landscaping architecture. This paper will argue that the image of a flourishing, artificial garden, rich with water, in a metropolis simmering in the desert heat fascinated such, that it had been the source of inspiration for the building not only of villas in the Roman Empire but also imperial palaces on the Palatine in Rome.
The ability and audaciousness of the architects and engineers to artificially create what nature refused, which blames Tacitus for the construction of the Domus Aurea of Nero, are among the most important features of Roman architecture. To exploit the natural conditions, and even to strengthen and to exaggerate with the construction of high substructures has not only influenced Roman villas, but also the Roman palace. The main floor of the palaces on the Palatine stood on a high basement and so dominated not only the surrounding city, but also offered a privileged view of the city. By integrating a variety of water installations in these large platforms, the aspect of creating an artificial landscape in form of a ‘hanging garden’ was increased. The paper aims to show how the construction and design of this ‘hanging gardens’ together with water luxury and bathing facilities were developed as elements from the villa architecture into the palace architecture.