The church of Santa Maria in Scala Coeli stands in the complex of the abbey of the Tre Fontane to the right of the church of St Vincenzo and St Anastasio. It was designed by Giacomo Della Porta who rebuilt it at the end of the 16th Century on the site of an earlier church in one of the three points touched by the head of St Paul. The purpose of the church was to commemorate the miracle of the three springs gushing forth where St Paul's head had touched the ground. The name given to the church records another event: the vision of St Bernardino who saw a long staircase that carried souls to Purgatory. The name also commemorates the 10,000 Christians who were martyred under Emperor Diocletian. The octagonal church contains various works of artistic and historical value, like the 12th-century floor in the basement.
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