Friezes in relief arranged in a spiral that cover the column shows the crucial moments of the victorious battle of Marco Aurelio a> against the Germanic peoples.
The column originally stood at a level lower than at present. About 4 meters are still buried under the road surface. Nevertheless, the overall height (including the base) is 42 meters.
Inside there is a spiral staircase lit by loopholes. The statue of the emperor was lost in the Middle Ages and in 1589 Pope Sixtus V Sisto V by commissioning the restoration to Fontana, put it on top of the current bronze statue of St. Paul, the work of Leonardo da Sarzana and Tommaso Della Porta.