"Formation of Lateran Palace to Vatican Historical Museum" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 15th July 2011
Pope Sixtus V commissioned the construction of the Lateran Palace (Palazzo Laterano/ Palazzo Lateranense) at the end of the 16th century to stand in for the ancient building that used to be the Papal residence ever since the 4th century. The building is highly decorated inside with frescoes portraying scenes of the Old Testament and houses the Vatican Historical Museum that contains tapestries, armours, clothing and papal ceremonial objects.
When Pope Gregory XI returned to Rome after the popes’ period in Avignon he found that the palace had been gutted by fire and he was obliged to install his household in the Vatican. From the fourth century the Palace of the Lateran on Piazza San Giovanni in south-east Rome was the principal residence of the Popes, and continued so for about a thousand years.
The Lateran Treaty was signed in the Sala della Conciliazione on February 11, 1929 between the Holy See and the Italian State. Since then the palace is part of the state of the Vatican city and enjoys the privileges of extra territoriality. Since 1991 the Museo Storico Vaticano (Vatican Historical Museum) has been housed here. Also called Pontifical Museum of Christian Antiquities.
In the nineteenth century Gregory XVI founded the Lateran Palace (Palazzo Laterano/ Palazzo Lateranense) to a museum of religious art and pagan culture for overflow from the Vatican galleries, which developed into the Museo Storico Vaticano. In 1926 Pius XI established an ethnographic museum devoted to artifacts sent back by missionaries. On 11 February 1929 the Lateran Treaty were signed here, at last regulating the relations between the Holy See and the Italian State and establishing that the basilica and Lateran Palace were integral exclaves of the Papal State.
John XXIII returned to the palace some pastoral functions by fixing here the seat of the Vicariate and offices of the diocese of Rome.
The Vatican Historical Museum was founded in 1973 and transferred in 1987 to the Pope’s Apartment on the first floor of the Lateran. The apartment was restored under Paul the Fourth and consists of ten halls frescoed in the Mannerist Age (the hall called of the Conciliation decorated with views and allegories related to the papacy of Sixtus the Fifth is outstanding) and presents French tapestries (eighteenth century Gobelins, partly donated by Napoleon the First to Pious the Seventh), Roman tapestries (of St. Michael papal manufacture), furniture (fourteenth-nineteenth century), arms (sixteenth-seventeenth century), and wooden sculptures (thirteenth-fifteenth century).
Instead the Collections include a set of portraits of the Popes from the sixteenth century to our days, a documentation of the papal ceremonial no longer in use and sixteenth-seventeenth century relics of the Papal Military Corps. The Coach Pavilion is arranged in a room below the Square Garden annexed to the Museum. In addition to the coaches that belonged to popes and cardinals it exhibits also the first automobiles used by the Popes.
Walking through the various environments in which houses a rich collection of tapestries from various periods and schools, from the ancient papal collections, access to the loggia of the courtyard where, since 1987, is home to the Vatican Historical Museum consists of three sections: History Popes, Papal Ceremonial Armoured Corps and Papal and inaugurated in 1991.
Note: To visit Lateran Palace (Palazzo del Laterano) you must purchase the admission ticket to the Vatican Historical Museum (Museo Storico Vaticano). On the right is the entrance to the Museo Storico Vaticano in the Lateran Palace.
Formation of Lateran Palace to Vatican Historical Museum
Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Monti (Colosseo - S.Giovanni - S.Maria Maggiore) (Roma centro)/ Rione Esquilino (Termini - Via Nazionale) (Roma centro)
Formation of Lateran Palace to Vatican Historical Museum is Shown By "Map L Zone" As "12"
Hour: Full: €5.00, Reduced: €2.00
Entrance: Guided tours for groups: Mon-Sat 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm. Closed Sunday, 1 and 6 January, 11 February, 19 March, Easter and Easter Monday, 1 May, 29 June, 14 and 15 August, 1 November, 8, 25 and 26 December.
Getting to Formation of Lateran Palace to Vatican Historical Museum:
Get off Manzoni Station (2nd stop from Termini, Subway Line A) or San Giovanni Station (3rd stop from Termini, Subway Line A), and walk a few minutes from either station. The site is the west of the "Palazzo Laterano" (Lateran Palace), and the north of Bacilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, which was the center of the medieval Catholicism. Ask anybody with saying "Obelisco" if you don't know the direction.
Bus: 16 - 85 - 87 - 117 - 186 - 218 - 714 - 650 - 673 - 850
Metro: Metro A San Giovanni
Telephone: 0039 06 69886386 - 69886376 - 69884947
Fax: 0039 06 69886394
Web site: http://mv.vatican.va/2_IT/pages/z-Info/MV_Info_Orario.html