Gardens of Vatican City

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Gardens of the Vatican City
Vatican Gardens
The Vatican Gardens
Vatican City map EN.png
Type Botanical
Location Vatican City
Coordinates 41°54.2′N 72°27.2′E / 41.9033°N 72.4533°E / 41.9033; 72.4533
Area 23 hectares (57 acres)
Owned by The Pope as Bishop of Rome
Status Active

The Gardens of Vatican City (Latin: Horti Civitatis Vaticanae), also informally known as the Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani) in Vatican City, are private urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the country, located in the west of the territory and owned by the Pope. There are some buildings, such as Radio Vatican and the Governor's Palace, within the gardens.

The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West. The gardens and parks were established during the Renaissance and Baroque era and are decorated with fountains and sculptures.

There is no general public access, but guided tours are available to limited numbers.[1] The gardens also enshrine 16 Marian images venerated worldwide at the designation of the Roman Pontiff, who is the owner of the gardens.


Empress Saint Helena of Constantinople carrying the One True Cross laying the grounds for the gardens using the sacred soil from Mount Calvary.

Pious tradition claim that the foundation site of the Vatican Gardens was spread with sacred soil brought from Mount Calvary by Empress Saint Helena[2][3] to symbolically unite the blood of Jesus Christ with that shed by thousands of early Christians, who died in the persecutions of Emperor Nero Caesar Augustus.[2]

The gardens date back to medieval times when orchards and vineyards extended to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace.[4] In 1279, Pope Nicholas III (Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls.[5] He planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridarium).[5]

The Little Flower, Saint Therese of Lisieux is the official Patroness of the gardens.

The site received a major re-landscaping at the beginning of the 16th century,[4] during the pontificate of Pope Julius II.[6] Donato Bramante's original design was then split into three new courtyards,[6] the Cortili del Belvedere, the "della Biblioteca" and the "della Pigna" (or Pine Cone)[4][6] in the Renaissance landscape design style. Also in Renaissance style, a great rectangular Labyrinth, formal in design, set in boxwood and framed with Italian stone pines, (Pinus pinea) and cedars of Lebanon, (Cedrus libani).[2] In place of Nicholas III's enclosure, Bramante built a great rectilinear defensive wall.[6]

Today's Vatican Gardens are spread over nearly 23 hectares (57 acres), they contain a variety of medieval fortifications, buildings and monuments from the 9th century to the present day, set among vibrant flower beds and topiary, green lawns and a 3 hectares (7.4 acres) patch of forest. There are a variety of fountains cooling the gardens, sculptures, an artificial grotto devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes, and an olive tree donated by the government of Israel.[7]

Patroness of the Gardens

Pope Pius XI designated Saint Therese of Lisieux The Little Flower as the official Patroness of the gardens on 17 May 1927, according her the title as "Sacred Keeper of the Gardens" and within the same year a small temple dedicated to her was built within the gardens near the Leonine walls.

List of Marian images enshrined

The following are the official list of venerated images of the Blessed Virgin Mary enshrined at the Vatican Gardens:

16 Marian images permanently enshrined in the Gardens of Vatican City
Image within the Gardens Place of Devotion Nation Year of Devotion Date of Installation Feast Day
Lourdes, France France 1858 1 June 1902 February 11
Monte Figogna Italy 1490 2 May 1917 August 29
Tepeyac, Mexico Mexico 1531 14 October 1939 December 12
Our Lady of Fátima Pontevedra, Portugal Portugal 1917 29 May 1983 May 13
The Madonna of Schoenstatt Vallendar, Germany Germany 1914 1992 October 18
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa Jasna Góra, Poland Poland 1382 1994 August 26
The Virgin of Mercy Savona Italy 1536 10 May 1995 March 18
Our Lady of Divine Love Via Ardeatina Italy 1740 10 May 1999 Monday of Pentecost
Our Lady of Sacred Heart of Taggia Rome Italy 1855 21 March 2006 March 11
Our Lady of Good Counsel Genazzano, Italy Italy 1467 11 July 2009 April 26
Virgin of Suyapa Honduras Honduras 1747 20 September 2013 February 3
Nuestra Senora de La Antigua Panama Panama 1513 26 October 2013 September 9
Our Lady of Charity Cuba Cuba 1612 28 August 2014 September 8
Our Lady of Penafrancia Philippines Philippines 1434 3 December 2015 3rd Saturday in September
Our Lady of Aparecida Brazil Brazil 1717 3 September 2016 December 8
Virgen de Copacabana Bolivia Bolivia 1583 25 September 2017 February 2
August 5


See also



  1. ^ "Vatican Museums - Online Ticket Office".
  2. ^ a b c "MO Plants: Vatican Gardens". © 2006]. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Archived: 8 March 2012.
  3. ^ Patron saint of archaeologists
  4. ^ a b c "Al Pellegrino Cattolico: The Vatican Gardens". © 2008 Al Pellegrino Cattolico s.r.l. Via di Porta Angelica 81 (S.Pietro) I- 00193 Roma, Italy. Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  5. ^ a b "Official Vatican City State Website: A Visit to the Vatican Gardens". © 2007–08 Uffici di Presidenza S.C.V. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  6. ^ a b c d "Vatican Gardens". © 2008 Cooperativa IL SOGNO, Viale Regina Margherita, 192 – 00198 ROMA. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  7. ^ Hofmann, Paul (6 July 1997). "Glorious Gardens of the Vatican". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-01.


  • Nichols, Fiona (1 August 2006). Rome and the Vatican. New Holland Publishers. pp. 85–. ISBN 978-1-84537-500-3. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  • Ricci, Corrado. "Vatican: Its History Its Treasures" Contributor Ernesto Begni. © 2003 Published by Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 0-7661-3941-7, ISBN 978-0-7661-3941-1
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Vatican City Gardens". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.


The initial version is based upon the article it:Giardini Vaticani of the Italian language edition of Wikipedia. Data concerning the measures of lengths were taken from the article de:Vatikanische Gärten of the German language edition of Wikipedia.

External links

  • current and historical layouts
  • Official website
  • The Vatican: spirit and art of Christian Rome, a book from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on the gardens (pp. 155–164)

Coordinates: 41°54′11″N 12°27′2″E / 41.90306°N 12.45056°E / 41.90306; 12.45056

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