The square is lined by three palaces, the New Palace and the Conservators' Palace (which house the Capitoline Museums, among the oldest and most important public collection of antique statuary in the world) and the Senatorial palace, centre of political power in Rome.
It was built over the ruins of the Tabularium.
It has a double staircase, adorned with Roman statues at its base. At its corner stands a column upon which there is a copy of the famous bronze statue of the she-wolf, emblem of Rome. In the middle of the square stands the copy of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius.
The original, cast in bronze and then gilded, has survived intact because it was thought to represent Constantine, first Christian emperor.