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number 105 in the city

Basilica of Our Lady of the Heaven Altar

Local name: Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Heavenly Altar is a church dedicated to the Senate and Roman people. It is divided into three naves by 22 mismatched columns from various ancient buildings. You can find here frescoes of Pinturicchia depicting scenes from the life of Saint Bernardine of Siena as well as sculptures and statues by Donatell. The most famous, however, is the 15th-century figurine Baby Jesus (Santo Bambino). Apparently, it was made of olive tree, originating from Ogrójiec. Currently, a copy is displayed in the church, the original was stolen in 1994 and has not been found so far.

The church was built in the 13th century, most likely on the site of the ancient temple of Juno. From 1250 it belongs to the Franciscan order. According to legend, the temple rises in the place where the emperor Octavian August saw the Madonna and Child, and the Tibetan Sibyl predicted that Jesus would be born. At that time, the ruler ordered the altar to be built here.


Attractions inside

    Basilica of Our Lady of the Heaven Altar map
    Scala dell'Arce Capitolina 1200186 Rome , Italy