Vatican Palace


Vatican Palace
Pope's residence since the late 14th century, located north of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

First enclosed in 850, the irregularly walled compound contains gardens (begun by Nero), courtyards, living quarters, galleries, the Vatican Museums and Library, and other facilities. The residence, with more than 1,400 rooms, was begun in the 13th century by Pope Nicholas III. Nicholas V founded the Vatican Library. Under Julius II, Giovanni dei Dolci built the Sistine Chapel, noted for its spectacular interior artwork including Michelangelo's ceiling; Donato Bramante completed the palace's northern facade and planned the immense Belvedere court; and Raphael painted his masterpieces in the palace. Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, employed by Paul III, designed the Sala Regia (Royal Hall) and Pauline Chapel, decorated by Michelangelo. Several chapels, along with Ottaviano Mascherino's famous Gallery of Maps, date from the late 16th century. Domenico Fontana added a wing of apartments and the present library building under Sixtus V. In the Baroque period, Urban VIII built the Matilda Chapel and, under Alexander VII, Gian Lorenzo Bernini built the Scala Regia (Royal Stairway).

* * *

▪ papal residence, Vatican City, Europe
      papal residence in the Vatican north of St. Peter's Basilica. From the 4th century until the Avignonese period (1309–77) the customary residence of the popes was at the Lateran. Pope Symmachus built two episcopal residences in the Vatican, one on either side of the basilica, to be used for brief stays. Charlemagne built the Palatium Caroli on the north of St. Peter's to house his subjects during their visits to Rome. Other buildings added by Leo III and Eugenius III were modernized by Innocent III, who gave them added protection when he built a second fortified wall within that of Leo IV. Nicholas III began the first of the many buildings known today as papal palaces.

      In the Renaissance Nicholas V rebuilt the north and west walls of the palace of Nicholas III and founded the Vatican Library (see Vatican Apostolic Library), making use of such architects as Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino. He also commissioned Fra Angelico to paint the stories of St. Stephen and St. Lawrence in the Chapel of Nicholas V.

      Under commission from Sixtus IV, Giovanni dei Dolci built the Sistine Chapel. He also remodelled and decorated the Vatican Library. The rooms remodelled by Alexander VI are called the Borgia Apartments. Under Julius II, Bramante completed the north facade, two of the so-called logge (to which Raphael added a third). Raphael was commissioned to decorate the rooms of the Segnatura and of Heliodorus as well as the loggia overlooking the Courtyard of the Maresciallo.

      Among the things built for Paul III were the Sala Regia and the Pauline Chapel, both designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The painters Giorgio Vasari, Taddeo Zucaro, and Daniele da Volterra decorated the Sala Regia; Michelangelo painted the martyrdom of St. Peter and the conversion of St. Paul in the Pauline Chapel (1542–50). The Casino of Pius IV was the work of Pirro Ligorio and Giovanni Salustio Peruzzi; today this building is the seat of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The three chapels of St. Stephen, of St. Peter, and of St. Michael, with paintings by Vasari and with stuccoes by Guglielmo della Porta, and the chapel of the Swiss Guards, painted by Giulio Mazzoni and Daniele da Volterra, date from the time of Pius V. Gregory XIII (1572–85) was responsible for the wing closing the north side of the present Courtyard of S. Damaso, containing rooms decorated by Antonio Tempestà and Mathys Bril and for the famous Gallery of Maps, designed by Ottaviano Mascherino, with maps of the regions of Italy from designs by Ignazio Danti. The present apartments along the eastern side of the Courtyard of S. Damaso were built in the time of Sixtus V by Domenico Fontana, who also made a new wing for the Vatican Library including the Sala Sistina, thereby cutting the Belvedere Courtyard in half.

      In the Baroque period Urban VIII built the Hall of the Countess Matilda, today called the Matilda Chapel, which was decorated by Pietro da Cortona. Under Alexander VII, Bernini built the Scala Regia. In the late 18th and 19th centuries many of the additions and alterations had to do with the development of the Vatican Museum.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vatican Palace — noun the residence of the Catholic Pope in the Vatican City • Syn: ↑Vatican • Instance Hypernyms: ↑residence • Part Holonyms: ↑Vatican City, ↑Citta del Vaticano …   Useful english dictionary

  • Vatican Suite Palace — (Рим,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Via Premuda 14 , Ватикан, 00192 Рим, Итал …   Каталог отелей

  • Vatican — may refer to:*The Holy See, the central governing body of the Catholic Church, consisting of the Pope and the Roman Curia *The Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus of the Holy See *Vatican City, the sovereign state *Vatican Hill, a hill in… …   Wikipedia

  • Vatican Council — • The twentieth and up to 1912, the last ecumenical council, opened on 8 December, 1869, and adjourned on 20 October, 1870 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Vatican Council     Vatican Council …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Vatican Secret Archives — Coat of arms of the Holy See The Vatican Secret Archives (Latin: Archivum Secretum Vaticanum), located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having… …   Wikipedia

  • Vatican City — an independent state within the city of Rome, on the right bank of the Tiber. Established in 1929, it is ruled by the pope and includes St. Peter s Church and the Vatican, 1000; 109 acres (44 hectares). Italian, Città del Vaticano. * * * in full… …   Universalium

  • Vatican — /vat i keuhn/, n. 1. Also called Vatican Palace. the chief residence of the popes in Vatican City, now also including a library, archives, art museum, apartments, and administrative offices. 2. the authority and government of the pope… …   Universalium

  • Vatican Radio — Infobox Radio Station name=Vatican Radio Radio Vaticana area = airdate = 1931 frequency = format = News, religious celebrations, in depth programs, and music owner = flagcountry|Vatican City website = [http://www.radiovaticana.org/inglese/enindex …   Wikipedia

  • palace — palaced, adj. palacelike, adj. palaceward, adv. /pal is/, n. 1. the official residence of a king, queen, bishop, or other sovereign or exalted personage. 2. a large and stately mansion or building. 3. a large and usually ornate place for… …   Universalium

  • Vatican Museums and Galleries — Institutions and papal palaces in Vatican City housing the art collections of the popes since the beginning of the 15th century. Among the many separate museums are the 18th century Pio Clementino Museum, which exhibits the collection of… …   Universalium