Terrace of Castel Sant'Angelo

Over the great terrace, the large statue of the archangel Michael, which gives the castle its name, is particularly dear to the Romans; it’s a reminder of the terrible plague that hit Rome in 590 AD and, according to a legend, ended thanks to the miraculous appearance of the angel.

Pope Gregory the Great had just been elected and did all he could to end the pestilence; he entrusted salvation to prayer and processions, as was usual in those days whenever similar disasters befell the city.

Right as the faithful were passing along the Tiber, the archangel Michael appeared and landed on the castle, conceding grace and ending the plague the moment he put his sword back into its scabbard.