Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps (Piazza of France in the seventeenth century), with the Spanish Steps, is one of the most famous squares in Rome. It owes its name to the palace of Spain, Embassy of the Iberian been to the Holy See. And also very well known for shopping as it is close to Via del Corso.

At the center of the square is the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers, which dates from the early Baroque, sculpted by Pietro Bernini and his son, the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Right on the corner of the staircase there is the house of the English poet John Keats, who lived and died in 1821, now converted into a museum dedicated to his memory and that of Percy Bysshe Shelley, full of books and memorabilia of English Romanticism . left corner there is, however, by Babington’s tearoom founded in 1893.

The side of Via Frattina is the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, owned by the Holy See. In front of its façade, designed by Bernini (while the front side instead of Borromini), stands the Column of the Immaculate Conception, which was built after the proclamation of the dogma by King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies in thanksgiving for an escapee attack, and inaugurated on December 8, 1857. Since 1923 the fire department offer an acrobatic floral tribute to the statue, making use of their scales; in 1953 the same Pope Pius XII wanted to attend the ceremony, but it was with John XXIII (1958) that the papal presence at this ceremony became a real tradition, faithfully maintained by all the popes.

Currently the floral tribute to the Spanish Steps – always accompanied by a Marian prayer the Pope – is one of the most popular religious ceremonies and popular in Rome.

The square is quoted in a popular poem by Cesare Pavese, called “I will pass by Piazza from Spain”, the text of which was reproduced in full on a plate next to Babington’s Tea Room.

the staircase

The monumental stairway of 135 steps, commissioned by Cardinal de Tencin, was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII on the occasion of the Jubilee of 1725; it was realized (thanks to the French financing of 1721-1725) to connect the Spanish embassy (in which the square is named) to the Trinita dei Monti church.

It was designed by Alessandro Mirrors is that Francesco De Sanctis after generations of heated discussion over how the steep slope on the side of the Pincio should be urbanized to connect it to the church. The final solution chosen was to De Sanctis: a grand staircase decorated with many terrace-garden, that in spring and summer is beautifully decorated with many flowers. The sumptuous, aristocratic staircase, placed at the apex of a long road that led to the Tiber, was designed so that approaching stage effects would increase gradually. Typical of the great Baroque architecture was in fact the creation of long, deep perspectives culminating with wings or monumental character backgrounds. [2]

The stairway was restored in 1995.

The staircase has undergone a restoration ended September 21, 2016 due to the contribution of the fashion house Bvlgari.

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