The Holy Stairs Jesus ‘climbed before being sentenced to crucifixion’ are unveiled after 300 years as pilgrims flock to see marble steps ‘stained with Christ’s blood’.
The marble was covered some 300 years ago on the orders of pope Innocent XIII amid fears it was getting worn down by the hands and knees of worshipers, who caused a dip in the stone of 15cm in some parts.
The 28 steps were believed to be part of Pontius Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem and were moved to Rome in the fourth century AD by Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Now, after a year-long restoration, the staircase has been opened to pilgrims. It will stay open to the public for 60 days, covering the Easter period, ending on June 9.