Basilica of Saint Mary of the Altar of Heaven - Rome


The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Altar of Heaven is a medieval church on the Capitoline Hill. Legend has it that it is built over the spot where the Tiburtine Sibyl prophesied to Augustus the coming of the Christ. The first thing visitors will likely notice about the church when they approach it is the 124 marble steps leading up to its main entrance. Added in 1348 as a thanksgiving for deliverance from the plague, it is said that if you climb the stairs on your knees, your sins will be forgiven. Inside, the Basilica of Saint Mary is arranged as three naves divided by 22 Roman columns which all originate from several Roman buildings. Originally the church would have been adorned with beautiful frescos but sadly only a few remain today. A number of other exquisite artworks can also be admired here, including a tomb designed by Michelangelo and a Transfiguration painted on wood by Girolamo Siciolante da Sermone. Moreover, the church is also famous for its wooden statue of the Santo Bambino carved from olive wood from the Garden of Gethsemane during the 15th century. It was believed that the statue could heal the terminally ill and could even raise the dead. Today a replica of the jewel encrusted statue is used as the original was stolen in 1994. At Christmas time, the statue is bought to the high altar during the popular Christmas Eve mass.

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Address : Scala dell'Arce Capitolina 12 - 00100 Roma 100 Rome Italy

Subway : Metro B : Colosseo

Bus : Bus : C3, 40, 46, 63, 70, 81, 87, 95, 160, 170, 271, 628, 630, 716. Tram 8 : Argentina, Arenula

Phone : +39 066798155

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