Unione-Europea.jpg Unione-Europea.jpg

European Union - Santa Maria in Ara Coeli

On the hill of the Campidoglio in central Rome, at the top of a steep staircase of no less than 124 steps, stands the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. The present church was built in the 12th century, but a church had been present on the site since the 9th century, built on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Juno Moneta.

Legend has it that on these very slopes the female prophetess known as the Tiburtine Sybil predicted the coming of Christ to the Emperor Augustus: "HAEC EST ARA FILII DEI," – “here is the altar of the son of God” … hence its modern name Ara Coeli (heavenly altar).