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Pilgrims of old visiting the Holy Steps

This illustration from 1867 depicts 19th-century pilgrims climbing the Holy Steps.
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A modern look at the staircase

Here we see a view of the stairs covered by the long boards of wood, and the beautiful art surrounding pilgrims as they ascend on their knees.
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Pilgrims at the beginning

Many of the pilgrims take a long time to make it up the stairs, stopping at each of the 28 steps to say a prayer.
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Pilgrims about halfway up

A closer view of the fresco depicting Christ's Passion, which awaits pilgrims at the top of their climb.
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The deep grooves of the original marble

Set in the stone as a testament to how many pilgrims have ascended the Holy Stairs are deep grooves, scored into the marble from hundreds of years of pilgrimages.
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Jerusalem cross

Under the walnut boards, the restorers found a medieval Jerusalem cross set into the marble.
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Hundreds of years of prayer intentions

When the boards were removed, it was discovered that pilgrims had secreted their prayer intentions underneath. There must be hundreds of years worth of hand written notes and photographs hidden under those 300-year-old boards.
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