Emotions run high as Holy Staircase reopened in Rome

Emotional pilgrims climb the Scala Santa or Holy Staircase on their knees, for the first time since 1723 when the steps were covered in wooden planks to preserve them. The marble staircase of 28 steps is believed in the Roman Catholic tradition to have been the staircase Jesus Christ walked before his judgement before the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. The steps are open to pilgrims for a short time only, and in two months will once again be covered in wood to protect the soft marble.