The Quirinal Palace (Palazzo del Quirinale), Rome

"The Quirinal Palace (Palazzo del Quirinale), Rome " submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

The Quirinal Palace (Palazzo del Quirinale), Rome , Italy

The result of a series of adaptations that enlarged the original nucleus dating back to the end of the 15th century, the Quirinal Palace rises on one of the four elevations of the highest and largest of Rome's seven hills.

Ancient papal residence until 1811, imperial residence under Napoleon, then royal palace from 1871 and finally seat of the president of the Republic since 1948, the Quirinal houses an artistic patrimony of exceptional value.

The Palazzo Quirinal, official residence of the President of the Italian Republic on the Quirinal Hill, overlooks the city from atop the hill for which it is named.It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome, and is one of the most important palaces of Rome, for its historical, political and artistic features. It housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic. It was also used as the location for papal conclaves in 1823, 1829, 1831, and 1846. It served as a papal residence and housed the central offices responsible for the civil government of the Papal States until 1870.

This area was already inhabited during ancient Rome. Below the Corazzieri Barracks that are attached to the palace, traces of the Servian Walls – the oldest in the city – have been found, along with a temple podium. Emperor Vespasian's house may also have stood here.
Palazzo Quirinal, official residence of the President of the Italian Republic
Many great architects worked on the palace, before it assumed its present form in the 1730s. Domenico Fontana designed the main facade, Carlo Maderno the huge chapel and Bernini the narrow wing that runs the length of V ia del Quirinale . After the unification of Italy in 1870, it became the official residence of the king , then in 1947 of the president of the republic.

On the piazza stands the imposing Monte Cavallo Fountain with the two giants, Castor and Pollux, the Dioscuri. Originally from the Baths of Constantine, the statues are Roman copies of the Greek originals. The obelisk, though, came from Augustus' Mausoleum. Created in 1818, the fountain and the statues initially faced the Palazzo della Consulta but were re-oriented towards the Quirinal.

Opposite the Quirinal Palace is the sumptuously decorated Palazzo della Consulata, built by Ferdinando Fuga in 1734 for Pope Clement XII to house the Papal court, the Tribunale della Sacra Consulta. The palace is now occupied by the Corte Costituzionale, the Italian supreme court.

Hours: Open to the public on Sunday 8:30am-12:30am. Tickets €5 (free for visitors under 18 years old, over 65 and for school groups). Closed: Jan 5, April 20, June 1, Dec 21 and 28 and from July 6 to Sept 7.

Piazza del Quirinale.
Colosseo - Piazza Venezia, Roma centro
Metro: Barberini
Tel: 0646991

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After the Palazzo del Quirinale was finished the necessity to create the square in front of it appeared. In 1722 Innocent XIII ordered A.Specchi construction

Palazzo della Consulta (Constitutional Court/ Corte Costituzionale)

This elegant beautiful palace was erected by order of Clement XII with the goal to make an adequate conclusion of the space around the Palazzo del Quirinale.

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It occupies the summit of the Quirinal (60m), one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The square's creation was begun by Gregory XIII in the end of the 16th century.