"Our Lady of the Altar of Heaven" Top 5 Page for this destination Basilica Santa Maria in Aracoeli Tip by von.otter
Basilica Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome: 20 reviews and 41 photos
?The grandest loafing place of mankind?
? Henry James (1843-1916) his assessment of the 137 steps leading to Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Because it sits on the highest summit of the Capitoline Hill this basilica-styled church was first called Santa Maria in Capitolo. By the 14th century, the Church of the Italian Senate and the Roman people (Senatus Populusque Romanus), had been renamed Santa Maria in Aracoeli (Our Lady of the Altar of Heaven).
A Byzantine abbey, dating from as early as AD 574, forms the foundation of the church. By the 9th century the church had been given to the Benedictines, then by order of the pope to the Franciscans, who operate it today. During the Middle Ages this church was the center of Rome?s religious and civil community. Condemned criminals met their end at the foot of the church?s steps during that period.
Today's stark fašade contrasts to the rich mosaics, and later frescoes, that originally decorated it. The relics of Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, are housed here; and Pope Honorius IV is buried in the church.
Address: Piazza del Campidoglio
Phone: +39 06 6976 3839
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