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Typology: Small Basilica


Address: Scala dell'Arce Capitolina, 14
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano- Campidoglio-P.Venezia) (Roma centro)
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Telephone: 06 69763837 - 39

Opening times

For the timetable of the masses and visiting conditions, please consult the contacts.

Scheduled events


SANTA MARIA IN ARA COELI was built on the ruins of the Tempio di Giunone Moneta during C.VI, and it raises on the highest peak of the Campidoglio hill. Its name derives from a legend according to which a sibyl supposedly forecasted to Augusto the advent of God’s son, saying "Haec est ara filii Dei": this is where the name Ara Coeli comes from. Already existing during C. VII, it became a benedictine abbey in the year 1000 to then shift to the Friars Minor, which still manage it. The latter ones started its reconstruction according the Romanesque and Gothic styles. During the Middle Ages it endorsed a very important role, since it became the meeting place for the counselors that discussed the "Res Publica". It still treasures the olive wooden child by Getsemani. The 124 steps long marble stairwell was built during C. XIII, according to the legend as a thanksgiving for the end of the pestilence. Its carrying out is due to the will of the Tribune Cola di Rienzo who, upon turning into a tyrant, here spoke to the crowd. During C. XVII foreigners used to sleep on the stairway, until Prince Caffarelli chased them out by making barrels full of rocks roll down the stairs. Standing on top, one avails from a nice panorama on Rome with the domes of Sant'Andrea della Valle and San Pietro.
HERITY certification: www.herity.it/33596-a.html

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Culture and leisure › Cultural heritage › Architectural and historical heritage
Last checked: 2021-12-14 9:49