Photographer's Note

A Cherub inside the the Santa Maria in Aracoeli near the Capitol.

Santa Maria in Aracoeli ("St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven") is a titular basilica church in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. It is still the designated Church of the Italian Senate and the Roman people (Senatus Populusque Romanus).

Originally the church was named Santa Maria in Capitolo, since it was sited on the Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio) of Ancient Rome; by the 14th century it had been renamed. According to a medieval legend presented in the mid-12th-century guide to Rome, Mirabilia Urbis Romae, which claimed that the church was built over an Augustan Ara primogeniti Dei, in the place where the Tiburtine Sibyl prophesied to Augustus the coming of the Christ. "For this reason the figures of Augustus and of the Tiburtine sibyl are painted on either side of the arch above the high altar".A later legend substituted an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

In the Middle Ages, condemned criminals were executed at the foot of the steps; there the self-proclaimed Tribune and reviver of the Roman Republic Cola di Rienzo met his death, near the spot where his statue commemorates him.

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Additional Photos by Mike Foster (teacozie) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 28 N: 136] (1377)
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