The Altare della Patria ("Altar of the Fatherland"), also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II ("National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II") or Il Vittoriano, is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill.
The eclectic structure was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1925.
The Vittoriano features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The structure is 135 m (443 ft) wide and 70 m (230 ft) high. If the quadrigae and winged victories are included, the height reaches 81 m (266 ft). It has a total area of 17,000 square metres.
Read more about the Altare della Patria (link opens in a new window).
The balcony on the building to the left of the square in front of the Altar was where Mussolini would step out onto the balcony and give his speeches to the people of Italy. It was on this spot in August 1940 that he announced that Italy would be allying with Nazi Germany in World War II.