Portal:Vatican City

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Introduction

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Vatican City (/ˈvætɪkən ˈsɪti/ (About this sound listen); Italian: Città del Vaticano [tʃitˈta ddel vatiˈkaːno]; Latin: Civitas Vaticana), officially the Vatican City State or the State of Vatican City (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent state located within the city of Rome. With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population. However, formally it is not sovereign, with sovereignty being held by the Holy See.

It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.

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Vatican Palace
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Vatican Palace: the gardens from the museum.

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View across St. Peter's Square to the Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V.[1]

The palace is more accurately a series of self-contained buildings within the well-recognised outer structure which is arranged around the Courtyard of Sixtus V (Cortile di Sisto V). It is located North-East of St Peters Basilica and adjacent to the Bastion of Nicholas V and Palace of Gregory XIII.

Rather than a traditional palace (a residential building surrounded by support buildings) the Apostolic Palace houses both residential apartments and support offices of various functions as well as administrative offices not focused on the life and functions of the Pope himself.

The building contains the Papal Apartments, various government offices of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy See, private and public chapels, Vatican Museums and the Vatican library, including the Borgia Apartment now used to house artworks.

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St peters vat distance.jpg
Credit: Rnt20

Via della Conciliazione (Road of the Conciliation[2]) is a street in the Rione of Borgo within Rome, Italy.

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A post-restoration section of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which includes the two panels reproduced above.

The restoration of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel was one of the most significant art restorations of the 20th century. The Sistine Chapel was built by Pope Sixtus IV within the Vatican immediately to the north of St. Peter's Basilica and completed in about 1481. Its walls were decorated by a number of Renaissance painters who were among the most highly regarded artists of late 15th century Italy, including Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and Botticelli. The Chapel was further enhanced under Pope Julius II by the painting of the ceiling by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 and by the painting of the Last Judgment, commissioned by Pope Clement VII and completed in 1541, again by Michelangelo. The tapestries on the lowest tier, today best known from the Raphael Cartoons (painted designs) of 1515–16, completed the ensemble.

Together the paintings make up the greatest pictorial scheme of the Renaissance. Individually, some of Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling are among the most notable works of western art ever created. The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and in particular the ceiling and accompanying lunettes by Michelangelo have been subject to a number of restorations, the most recent taking place between 1980 and 1994. This most recent restoration had a profound effect on art lovers and historians, as colours and details that had not been seen for centuries were revealed.
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Homepage of The Vatican

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  1. ^ Vatican Press Office guide - buildings of the Vatican
  2. ^ The name finally settled upon for the project was chosen by journalist Franco Franchi after World War II; Delli, Sergio (1975). Le strade di Roma. Rome: Newton & Compton. p. sub vocem. 
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