Katharina Rotté


  • 2009–2017 Studies in Rhetoric, International Literatures, Renaissance Studies, Art History / Tübingen, Rome, Florence, Bonn
  • 2017–2019 Occupation at Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz / Bonn
  • 2019 12-month Travel Grant DAAD / Italy; 2021/2022 Fellowship HAB / Wolfenbüttel


Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik
DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 2227 „Identität und Erbe“
D-99421 Weimar

Office: Prellerhaus | 3. OG | Raum 303
Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 6 | D-99423 Weimar

The Travertinisation of Urban Rome c. 1466–1547

Travertine is a mostly light-coloured limestone that obtained its name from the quarries of Tivoli. Most of Rome’s cityscape-defining buildings exhibit this natural stone. This is why it is frequently referred to as the Roman stone ‘par excellence’. Travertine use in urban Rome since the Roman Republic shows cyclical booms and troughs. In my doctoral project I examine a period of upswing from the second half of the 15th to the first half of the 16th century, shortly before the baroque heyday of travertine-clad church façades. The central research interest of my thesis is the historical processes that made travertine the most sought-after building material in Renaissance Rome. The success of this natural stone was fostered by many factors, such as advancements in building logistics and the study of antique architecture. I explore these different factors and their material consequences by analysing a variety of artefacts and discourses related to travertine. The picture that emerges as a result of my study is that of a hybrid building culture, in which travertine entered as a new building material that strongly shaped urban Roman architecture.