The "Holy Stairs" in Rome, otherwise known as the Scala Sancta, have been uncovered, restored and opened to visitors without the wood enclosure for the first time in nearly 300 years. It is believed that Jesus of Jerusalem climbed the stairs.
The "Holy Stairs" consist of 28 marble steps and are believed to be part of the palace in Jerusalem that housed Pontius Pilate during his time as governor of Judea. They were then brought to Rome by St. Helen, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, in 326 A.D. after she had converted to Christianity.
The stairs remained exposed for years until Pope Innocent XIII had the stairs covered and encased in wood in 1723. He ordered this done to protect the stairs from potential damage from the number of pilgrims that were coming to Rome to climb them.
At the top of the staircase is a room known as the Holy of Holies. It originally served as one of the Papacy's private chapels and currently houses relics of Catholic saints and one of the oldest icons of Jesus Christ that dates back to the 5th Century.
This also marks the first time the stairs have been open to the public since 1723, recently undergoing a large scale restoration project by the Catholic Church. The project also restored many of the frescos along the walls and ceilings around the stairs before they were opened.
However, many scientists do not believe these are the original stairs from the Jerusalem Palace. Instead, they believe the stairs are part of what can be considered legend or are simply replicas of the original steps in Jerusalem.
The steps will be open until June and then once again sealed and covered.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.