The Scala Sancta is located within a building in Rome near the Lateran Basilica. The steps, long encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are located in a building that incorporates part of the old Lateran Palace. The stairs lead to the Sancta Sanctorum, the personal chapel of the early Popes known as the chapel of St. Lawrence.
According to the Catholic tradition, they are the steps leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during the events known as the Passion. The stairs were, reputedly, brought to Rome by St. Helena in the fourth century. For centuries, the Scala Sancta has attracted Christian pilgrims who wish to honor the Passion of Jesus.