The Sistine Chapel (; Latin: Sacellum Sixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina [kapˈpɛlla siˈstiːna]) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, and most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.
The Apostolic Palace (Latin: Palatium Apostolicum; Italian: Palazzo Apostolico) is the official residence of the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishop of Rome, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, Palace of the Vatican and Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the present form of the palace.
The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani; Latin: Musea Vaticana) are Christian and art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City. They display works from the immense collection amassed by popes throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display, and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments.
Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the historical site of the Circus of Nero, began during the reign of Emperor Constantine I. The name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings.
The Vatican Railway (Ferrovia Vaticana) was opened in 1934 to serve Vatican City and its only station, Vatican City (Città del Vaticano [tʃitˈta ddel vatiˈkaːno], or Stazione Vaticana [statˈtsjoːne vatiˈkaːna]). The main rail tracks are standard gauge and 300 metres (0.19 mi) long, with two freight sidings, making it the shortest national railway system in the world. Access to the Italian rail network is over a viaduct to Roma San Pietro railway station, and is guaranteed by the Lateran Treaty dating from 1929. The tracks and station were constructed during the reign of Pope Pius XI, shortly after the treaty.
The Cappella Paolina (Pauline Chapel) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City. It is separated from the Sistine Chapel by the Sala Regia. It is not on any of the regular tourist itineraries.
Vatican Hill (; Latin: Mons Vaticanus, Italian: Colle Vaticano) is a hill located across the Tiber river from the traditional seven hills of Rome. It is the location of St. Peter's Basilica.
Scala Regia (Latin pronunciation: [ˈskaːla ˈreːɡia] and Italian pronunciation: [ˈskaːla ˈreːdʒia]; English: Royal Staircase) is a flight of steps in the Vatican City and is part of the formal entrance to the Vatican. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The Vatican Pharmacy (Latin and Italian: Farmacia Vaticana) is the only pharmacy in the Vatican City, founded in 1874 by Eusebio Ludvig Fronmen, a Fatebenefratelli monk. According to Vatican sources, it is the busiest pharmacy in the world, with 2,000 customers per day. Half of those customers come from outside the Vatican for medicines that are not available in Italy or are difficult to find.
The Church of Saints Martin and Sebastian of the Swiss (Italian: Santi Martino e Sebastiano degli Svizzeri) is a Roman Catholic oratory in Vatican City. The church was built by Pope Pius V in 1568 to serve as private chapel for the Pontifical Swiss Guards, whose barracks are located next to Porta San Pellegrino, close to the Apostolic Palace. It is considered the national church of Switzerland in Rome.
Vatican City Heliport (Latin: Portus helicopterorum Civitatis Vaticanae, Italian: Eliporto di Città del Vaticano) consists of a 25 × 17 m (82 × 56 ft) rectangular concrete landing area linked with a circular parking area. It is used for short journeys from or to Vatican City by the pope and visiting heads of state.
The Vatican Necropolis lies under the Vatican City, at depths varying between 5–12 metres below Saint Peter's Basilica. The Vatican sponsored archeological excavations (also known by their Italian name scavi) under Saint Peter's in the years 1940–1949 which revealed parts of a necropolis dating to Imperial times. The work was undertaken at the request of Pope Pius XI who wished to be buried as close as possible to Peter the Apostle. It is also home to the Tomb of the Julii, which has been dated to the third or fourth century. The necropolis was not originally one of the underground Catacombs of Rome, but an open air cemetery with tombs and mausolea.
Saint Peter's tomb is a site under St. Peter's Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of Saint Peter's grave. St. Peter's tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. The complex was partially torn down and filled with earth to provide a foundation for the building of the first St. Peter's Basilica during the reign of Constantine I in about AD 330. Though many bones have been found at the site of the 2nd-century shrine, as the result of two campaigns of archaeological excavation, Pope Pius XII stated in December 1950 that none could be confirmed to be Saint Peter's with absolute certainty. Following the discovery of bones that had been transferred from a second tomb under the monument, on June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI claimed that the relics of Saint Peter had been identified in a manner considered convincing.
The Casina Pio IV (or Villa Pia) is a patrician villa in Vatican City which is now home to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. The predecessor of the present complex structure was begun in the spring of 1558 by Pope Paul IV in the Vatican Gardens, west of the Cortile del Belvedere. Paul IV commissioned the initial project of the 'Casina del Boschetto', as it was originally called, from an unknown architect; the first mention of the single-storey building can be found on 30 April 1558, and a notice of the following 6 May, says that the Pope spent "two thirds of his time at the Belvedere, where he has begun to build a fountain in the woods".
St. Peter's Baldachin (Italian: Baldacchino di San Pietro, L'Altare di Bernini) is a large Baroque sculpted bronze canopy, technically called a ciborium or baldachin, over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy. The baldachin is at the centre of the crossing and directly under the dome of the basilica. Designed by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it was intended to mark, in a monumental way, the place of Saint Peter's tomb underneath. Under its canopy is the high altar of the basilica. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the work began in 1623 and ended in 1634. The baldachin acts as a visual focus within the basilica; it itself is a very large structure and forms a visual mediation between the enormous scale of the building and the human scale of the people officiating at the religious ceremonies at the papal altar beneath its canopy.
The Gregorian Tower (Italian: Torre Gregoriana) or Tower of the Winds (Italian: Torre dei Venti) is a square tower and early modern observatory located above the Gallery of Maps, which connects the Villa Belvedere with the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. The tower was built between 1578 and 1580 to a design by the Bolognese architect Ottaviano Mascherino (who was credited with building the Apostolic Palace) mainly to promote the study of astronomy for the Gregorian Calendar Reform which was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII and promulgated in 1582. It was then also known as the Tower of Winds. The tower is now called the "Specola Astronomica Vaticana", the Vatican Observatory. Four stages of progressive development have occurred since it was first established. The tower was an edifice of great value for astronomical observations made using a sundial as they provided essential confirmation of the need to reform the Julian calendar.
The Cortile del Belvedere, (Belvedere Courtyard in English) was a major architectural work of the High Renaissance at the Vatican Palace in Rome. Designed by Donato Bramante from 1506 onward, its concept and details reverberated in courtyard design, formalized piazzas and garden plans throughout Western Europe for centuries. Conceived as a single enclosed space, the long Belvedere court connected the Vatican Palace with the Villa Belvedere in a series of terraces connected by stairs, and was contained on its sides by narrow wings.
The Church of Saint Anne in the Vatican (Italian: Sant'Anna in Vaticano), known as Sant'Anna de' Parafrenieri (English: Saint Anne of the Grooms), is a Roman Catholic parish church dedicated to Saint Anne in Vatican City. The church is the parish church of the State of Vatican City and is placed under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of the Vatican City and is located beside the Porta Sant'Anna (Saint Anne's Gate), an international border crossing between Vatican City State and Italy.
The church of Sant'Egidio in Borgo, ...a Borgo, or ...in Vaticano (Saint Giles in Borgo or at the Vatican), is a Roman Catholic oratory in Vatican City dedicated to Saint Giles.
Saint John's Tower (Italian: Torre San Giovanni) is a round structure located on a hilltop in the westernmost tip of Vatican City, near Vatican Radio and overlooking the Vatican Gardens. The Medieval tower is located along an ancient wall built by Pope Nicholas III, but it fell into disuse at the beginning of the 16th century. It was rebuilt by Pope John XXIII in the early 1960s.
The Fontana della Pigna or simply Pigna ("The Pine cone") is a former Roman fountain which now decorates a vast niche in the wall of the Vatican facing the Cortile della Pigna, located in Vatican City, in Rome, Italy.
St. Peter's Square (Italian: Piazza San Pietro [ˈpjattsa sam ˈpjɛːtro], Latin: Forum Sancti Petri) is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered to be the first Pope.
The Financial Information Authority (Italian: Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria, or AIF) is an institution connected to the Holy See and a canonical and Vatican civil juridic person established by Pope Benedict XVI on 30 December 2010. The president of the AIF is René Brülhart, the first lay person in this position.
The Fountains of St. Peter's Square (Italian: Fontane di Piazza San Pietro) are two fountains in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, created by Carlo Maderno (1612–1614) and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1667–1677) to ornament the square in front of St. Peter's Basilica. The older fountain, by Maderno, is on the north side of the square.