"Palace of Chancellery/ Palazzo della Cancelleria - Extraterritorial Property Of The Holy See" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 5th June 2011
In the past the palace was attributed to Bramante, but for chronological stylistic motives this opinion was changed and now Palazzo della Cancelleria is attributed to A.Bregno, leaving to Bramante the merit of a perfect courtyard and a church incorporated in construction. The palace is considered to be the masterpiece of patronage of the family of pope Sixtus IV della Rovere, as it was realized by the order of cardinal Raffaele Riario, who spent all his money on construction of Palazzo, and of Julius II della Rovere, who's coat-of-arms is placed on the palace and who's rule finished at the same time when the palace was completed.
The prototype Renaissance architecture of the Palazzo della Cancelleria (Italian for "Palace of the Chancellery", meaning the Papal Chancellery) is a palace in Rome, Italy, situated between the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Campo de' Fiori, in the rione of Parione. It is designated as one of the extraterritorial Properties of the Holy See. The ancient marbles of Colosseum, of Villa dei Gordiani and other monuments were used for the building. It took 28 years (1485-1513) to create this pearl of Roman Renaissance architecture.
Speaking about the decoration of the palace should be noticed: a graceful facade; magnificent courtyard with double loggie with antique columns; great staircase; 15th century entrance door; Sala Riaria (or Aula Magna); Salone dei cento giorni (named after the fact that G.Vasari, who decorated this hall with the series "Fatti della vita di Paolo III Farnese" promised to finish work in only 100 days; which was ironically commented by Michelangelo "And it is obvious !"). The cardinal's apartment is decorated by P.del Vaga. There is also a hall adapted for a little theatre by cardinal Pietro Ottoboni; in 2nd half of the 17th century the palace became vivid center of theatric and musical life, where the greatest artists of the epoch made performances.
In 1517 the palace was confiscated from the R.Riario for his participation in conspiracy against Leo X, and it passed to cardinal Giuliano de'Medici (future Clement VII), who leaded here his activity of vice-chancellor of the Holy Church. After he became pope, the Chancellor's office remained in palace till our days.
In 1798-1799 the palace housed the seat of Tribunal of Roman Republic; in 1810 an Imperial Court of Napoleon; in 1848 Roman Parliament; in 1849 Constitutional Assembly of Roman Republic. On November 25, 1848, Pellegrino Rossi, a Minister of Home Affairs, was murdered in the hall of the palace.
The general restoration of the palace took place in 1880 by V.Vespignani. The further reconstruction works took place after a grave fire of September 31, 1939, when the ceiling of the incorporated church S.Lorenzo (pavement of the Sala dei cento giorni) dropped down.
Excavations beneath the courtyard in 1988-1991 revealed the 4th-5th centuries remains of the huge basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso, founded by pope St Damaso I, and one of the most important early Christian churches in Rome. A cemetery in use from the 8th century to the 15th century was also discovered here, as well as numerous shards of the 15th century ceramics.
The palace still belongs to the Vatican with according to the right on extraterritoriality under the terms of the Lateran Treaty, and is now the seat of the three Tribunals of the Vatican, including the Sacra Rota (court of the Rota), the Pontificia Commissione per i Beni Culturali della Chiesa and the Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia. The broad smooth surfaces, the straight lines and the shallow pilasters of the travertine façade, give it a majestic quality. After archaeological surveys in 1940s many important finds now in the Vatican Museums, a mythreum and the sepulchre of consul Aulus Hirtius.
The extraterritorial properties of the Holy See that make up this World Heritage site comprise a series of unique artistic achievements - Santa Maria Maggiore, St John Lateran and St Paul Outside the Walls. These properties exerted considerable influence on the development of architecture and monumental arts throughout the centuries in a large part of the Christian world.
The Lateran Treaty concluded in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See established that a number of properties termed 'extraterritorial' and situated on Italian soil remained the exclusive property of the Holy See. In addition to the three great churches, there are several remarkable palaces: the Palazzo della Cancelleria (1483-1517), the Palazzo Maffei, the Palazzo di San Callisto and lastly, the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, renovated by Bernini and Borromini.
Palace of Chancellery/ Palazzo della Cancelleria - Extraterritorial Property Of The Holy See
Piazza della Cancelleria, 1
Next to Piazza Campo de’ Fiori
00186, Rome, Lazio, Vatican City State (VA), Italy
Zone: Rione Parione (Navona-Campo de' Fiori) (Roma centro)
Palace of Chancellery/ Palazzo della Cancelleria - Extraterritorial Property Of The Holy See is Shown By "Map H Zone" As "27"
Bus: 40Exp, 46, 62, 64, 116, 571, 916.
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