Villa Barberini, one of the Pontifical Villas, was erected on the Roman villa of the emperor Domitian. The villa consisted of a huge complex that was developed on three terraces of which the monumental ruins remain. The magnificent villa with three courtyards, some water features which looked out on the Avenue of Nymphaea, a cryptoportico (covered passage), a theatre and a circus. Many parts of the Roman villa were brought to light in 1929 with the work of remodelling wanted by Pope Pius XI as a result of the Lateran Pacts. At the circus of the villa they held pharaonic venationes (grand competitions between animals and men), hunting games, and also festivals in honour of Demeter, sister of Zeus, and goddess of grain and agriculture.