Scala Sancta

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Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, Rome, Italy

Scala Sancta Rome Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
112 reviews
Scala Sancta Mar 11, 2013
I stumbled upon the Sacred Stairs on my last day in Rome. The building which contains them is next to the Basillica of St. John Lateran, the highest ranking church in Catholicism. I confess that I had never heard of the Scala Sancta before. Did Jesus Christ, Pontius Pilate, and Martin Luther really climb them? Who knows. Luckily I read the sign in English that you can only climb the steps on your knees since I was about to walk up them! I opted to take a few photos instead and spare my knees (and probably a lightning bolt on the way out). A unique little place to check out if you don't mind all the beggars outside.
No walking!
Sparing my knees
Pilgrims on the Scala Sancta
The regular staircases to the left…
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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tj1777 tj1777
379 reviews
The sacred steps - Scala Sancta Dec 27, 2011
1961 the discovery of the Pilate Stone

Fact about the Pilate Stone "One of the most infamous persons in the history of the world is Pontius Pilatus. There are several mentionings of him in the gospels and he is commonly named as the man responsible for the cruxifiction of Jesus. Though up until 1961 there were no evidence a man with this name had ever been the prefect of Israel - or were actually a historical figure at all. There was no role, no official letters to Rome, no tablets or anything in the ruins in Israel indicating a connection to a man named Pontius Pilatus. Not until an Italian archeologist during his excavations of the ruins of a stadium in Caesarea in Israel discovered a stone 82 by 68 cm was a historical mentioning of the name finally discovered. The stone is currently in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem."

The Scala Sancta is a small stair leading up through a room which is built around the stair. The building is fairly unimpressive building by the standard of churches in Rome. But the building is one of the most important places of worship in the Catholic world since these steps are thought to have been the stair within the house of Pontius Pilatus in Jerusalem and the last stair Jesus walk on prior to his death on the cross.

To preserve the stair the original 28 marble steps they have been encased in walnut wood. And you are not allowed to walk the step on your feet - you may only climb it on your knees. According to legend you can still see the blood of Jesus through glass on some of the steps - I do not know if this is true since i didnt climb the stair on my knees instead i went to the top of it using one of the two stairs to either side of the Scala Sancta.

According to legend the Scala Sancta was brought to Rome in 326 by the mother of Constantine - the later Saint Helena. The stairs has been in their current location since 1589 when pope Sixtus V decided to move it here and build the surrounding buildings.

Several popes have climbed the steps on their knees during history - and Martin Luther has done it as well.
The building from the outside
The building from the outside
The sacred steps
The sacred steps
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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