Column of the Immaculate Conception

La Colonna dell'Immacolata

The column, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, was erected on Piazza di Spagna in 1854 right after Pope Pius XI adopted the dogma of Immaculate Conception, which had never existed in the Catholic religion before. The Catholic Church, unlike the Orthodox one, believes that it was not only the Savior who was immaculately conceived, but His mother, Virgin Mary, as well. King Ferdinand II initiated the construction of the monument, with a very important event preceding it – the closure of the dispute between the Papal States and Naples, which abolished a yearly tribute offered to the Pope. Luigi Poletti became the author of the monument. He used several types of marble when making the monument, and the 11-meters high column was delivered from a Benedictine monastery near the Campus Martius.

The figures of such Biblical prophets as Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel and of the great King David are placed on the marble pedestal. They do not simple decorate the column, but also serve as additional support. The statue of Virgin Mary is placed on the upper part of the monument: she is standing on the sphere and the crescent – the symbols of the top of the world, stomping a serpent, which has been associated with the original sin since ancient times. There is always a real flower wreath on her right arm. The Pope comes to this square every year on December 8th bringing a wreath of natural flowers – white lilies, as a rule, as they symbolize purity. The flowers are mounted on Virgin Mary’s arm with the help of the crane, hanging there for the whole year until the next ceremony.

Address: Piazza di Spagna
How to reach: Spagna
Coordinates: 41.905003, 12.482965