Apostolic Palace

Apostolic Palace in the Vatican

Relished in the beauty of the ancient era and the magnificent walls of the Apostolic Palace is the Pope's official home in Vatican City. The palace where the walls and ceilings will tell you stories of the rulers and the history of the architecture. It is a humongous construction that is spread across 55000 square metres that holds upto 1400 rooms. The Apostolic Palace is one of the largest places in the world that brings together many museums and components which are now accessible to the public.

In honour of Pope Sixtus V, the Vatican now refers to the Apostolic Palace as the Palace of Sixtus V. The palace was placed under the control of the prefect of the Apostolic palace in the 15th century. The title of Apostolic Prefect was held from the 15th century until the 1800s, when the Papal States ran into financial problems.

The palace can be seen as a great collection of magnificent architecture within the outer construction that is quite well known. Six churches are gathered together by the Palace, which is a respectable quantity for one location. These include the Pope's personal chapel and the Pauline Chapel. However, they aren't accessible to the general public. Those who are travelling the path will observe that despite the similarities, each one is distinctive . The visit to the palace is quite simple and covers a large portion to explore, and the signs indicate the course to follow. Don't be afraid of missing a room as you will always return to the main route because the passageways and adjoining rooms are either dead ends or loops. So, go on and Visit the Apostolic Palace and rejoice at the historic architecture and culture of the Vatican City.

Structure of Apostolic Palace

Sistine Chapel

The Apostolic palace floor plan contains the Sistine Chapel, which is well-known for its magnificent frescoes. It, dedicated to Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), is arguably the most well-known of the palace chapels. Numerous Renaissance artists, such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Pinturicchio, Pietro Perugino, and many more, contributed to its renowned décor. The chapel serves as the location for the College of Cardinals' conclave, which elects the next pope. 

Raphael Rooms

The murals in these suites of rooms, which were created by a huge group of artists under Raphael, are well-known. Originally, Pope Julius II was to have a suite of apartments in them. In 1508 or 1509, he commissioned Raphael, an Urbino-based artist at the time, and his studio to completely renovate the chambers' pre-existing interiors. With a view of the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard, they are situated on the second story.

History of The Apostolic Palace

The beauty of the Apostolic Palace History is that it will keep you hooked up to it. The Papal Palace in Vatican City was primarily constructed between 1471 and 1605. Pope Symmachus built a papal palace near the Old St. Peter's Basilica in the fifth century as a backup to the Lateran Palace, which had been their principal residence for a thousand years. The construction of a second fortified palace was financed by Pope Eugene III. In the twelfth century, Pope Innocent III made substantial changes to the palace.

In 1447, Pope Nicholas V demolished Eugene III's original fortified palace in order to construct a new one, giving birth to the modern Apostolic Palace. The Papal Palace underwent substantial renovations and embellishments during the next 150 years. Under Pope Sixtus V, work on the current version of the Apostolic residence began on April 30, 1589. His successors, Pope Urban VII, Pope Innocent XI, and Pope Clement VIII, finished the job. In the twentieth century, Pope Pius XI built an enormous art gallery and museum entrance.

Plan Your Visit to The Apostolic Palace

Essential Information
  • Timing: The best time to Visit the Apostolic Palace is during the off-seasons: November and February are both good months to try to find some calm. The opening time of Apostolic Palace is from 8:30 in the morning and operates till 4:30 in the evening from Monday to Saturday. The palace remains closed on Sundays.

  • Location: It is located in the Vatican palace, papal residence in the Vatican north of St. Peter's Basilica.

Also Read: How to Get to Vatican Museums

  • Dress appropriately-No sleeveless or low cut garments.

  • Make sure your shoulders and knees are covered (women can carry a scarf for convenient protection throughout the attractions).

  • To enter the museums and Saint Peter's Basilica, you must go through airport-style security, so be sure you have nothing harmful in your pockets.

Suggested Read: Dress Code of Vatican

FAQ's of Vatican City

How far is the Apostolic Palace from St Peter's square?

It is a distance of 300 metres which will take around 2 minutes via Largo del Colonnato and Via Sant'Anna.

When was the Apostolic Palace built?

The Apostolic Palace started its construction on 30 April 1589 and was built between 1471 to 1605.

Also Visit: Gallery of Tapestries

Is it important to book Vatican museums tickets in advance?

Yes, it is important to book Vatican Museums tickets in advance to skip long queues, guarantee entry during busy periods, choose convenient time slots, and secure tickets for special exhibitions and events.

Why was the Apostolic Palace built?

Originally, they were meant to be a suite of rooms for Pope Julius II. In 1508 or 1509, the Pope commissioned Raphael, then a relatively young artist from Urbino, and his studio to completely renovate the chambers' interiors.

Must Checkout: St. Peter's Altar

Who lives in the Vatican Palace?

The Pope of the Catholic Church lives in the Apostolic Palace, also known as the Vatican Palace. Apart from them, several officials and members have been spotted working within the Palace for a variety of religious and administrative responsibilities relating to the Vatican.

Must Visit: Pio Clementino Museum

Where is the Apostolic Palace located?

The Apostolic Palace is located in the Vatican palace of the Vatican City, papal residence in the Vatican north of St. Peter's Basilica.

Can I enter the Apostolic Palace?

Yes, you can enter the Apostolic Palace's attractions.They are open from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Sundays are not working days at the Vatican.

Also Read: Vatican Museums Entrances


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