Why are the Spaniards called Spaniards

The Spanish Steps of Rome: What its name is all about

A “Spanish Steps” in Rome, the Italian capital: why they are called that and how they got their name, everyone has surely asked themselves at least once. In this article we not only give you the answer, but also a lot more information about the Spanish Steps - and explain why the French are also involved in addition to the Spanish.

In 1723 the center of Rome was already densely built up. The fallow, wildly overgrown slope at the foot of the magnificent Trinità dei Monti church was one of the few exceptions that disrupted the harmonious cityscape. So ordered Pope Innocens XIII. personally that the slope should be accessed with a magnificent staircase that was to connect the cathedral with the open space at the other end of the slope: the Piazza di Spagna.

If you want to admire more baroque architecture and buildings of the Renaissance, you can register here for a trip into the past!


Why the Spanish Steps are named after them

The staircase owes its name to that Spanish placewhich was the extorial area of ​​Spain for a long time. This in turn is due to the fact that the Spanish embassy is located at the southern end of the square. However, this name has established itself in German and English usage, but the Italians name "their" staircase after the monument at the other, upper end:Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti.

The Spanish Steps in Rome in numbers

  • The Spanish Steps were made by 1723 to 1725 built
  • it consists of 3 Share that through 2 Terraces can be separated from each other
  • The stairs lead over 138 Levels in 23 Meters in height
  • She is total 68 Meters long and up to 40 Meters wide

The construction of the Spanish Steps: a story full of conflict

The construction and planning of the stairs were anything but smooth. However, this had nothing to do with the Spanish, but the French crown. Because: The Trinità dei Monti is a French church, for which the French King Louis XII. flowed a lot of money at the time.

When Pope Innocent XIII. decided to build the staircase, Louis XIV, the Sun King, was in power in France. He stated straight away that France would fund the stairs. However, he wanted a French-style staircase that should end with a somewhat unpretentious equestrian statue of himself.

Of course the Pope could not and would not tolerate this out of his own power. The staircase was built in the Italian style and ends with an obelisk - and ultimately led to the rift between the Vatican and the French king. An inscription still bears witness to this today:

OPUS AUTEM VARIO RERUM INTERVENTU (translated: 'The completion of the work was delayed by various things')

Our tip: Evening tour of the Spanish Steps!

Especially in the evening the atmosphere on the streets and squares in the historical center of the city is unique! The ideal time to take part in a guided city walk and learn more about the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and of course the Spanish stairs to experience!


Very close by: that's all around the Spanish Steps in Rome

Regardless of the time: Italian life is raging around the Spanish Steps in Rome - a glance at the webcam makes that clear. Since August 2019, however, there has been a decisive change: Sitting on the steps is now prohibited. It is unfortunately no longer possible to linger on the stairs for a longer period of time.

Around the Piazza di Spagna there are numerous noble shopping streets, in which you can find the stores of Gucci & Co and the well-known chains. That's why spectacular fashion shows on the Spanish Steps are not uncommon in summer! You should also not miss out on three particularly beautiful buildings:

  1. The Trinità dei Monti church

    Religious places inHistorical Center in Rome
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    The church of the "Holy Trinity from the Mountain" is enthroned with both of them snow-white towers high above the Spanish Steps. The French King Louis XII. Commissioned construction was completed in 1587. The 14 meter high Sallustiano obelisk based on the Egyptian model was built in 1789 under Pope Pius VI. placed in front of the church.

  2. Fontana della Barcaccia fountain

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    Almost 100 years before the construction of the Spanish Steps Bernini designed the beautiful fountain on the Piazza di Spagna. It is designed in the shape of a boat. Allegedly it is supposed to remind of a flood of the Tiber, in which such a flood was washed up to the place in front of the Spanish embassy.

  3. Villa Medici Rome

    Historic buildings inHistorical Center in Rome
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    Behind the inconspicuous, yet timelessly beautiful facade of the magnificent Villa Medici in Rome, visitors both await interesting art exhibitions as well as a splendid one Garden area. In addition, the view from here is 54 meters over the city Pincio hill spectacular!


A visit to the Spanish Steps is an absolute must on any trip to Rome!

Walking tour to fountains and squares of Rome

Do you fancy more of the historical core of the city? Fans of baroque architecture can sign up for a tour to get to know Rome better. Admire the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, numerous churches and many other buildings of the Renaissance with a guide who is open to your questions and lets you immerse yourself in the history of Rome

  • Language: German, English or Italian
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: Adults from € 129 / children from € 49 up to 10 years old (tour with or without pick-up :)
  • Collection: Pick-up from your accommodation inside the Aurelian Wall.
  • Small group tour: Maximum 25 people
  • Not accessible to prams and wheelchairs


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