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The Apostolic Palace, also called the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace or the Palace of the Vatican, is the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican Citymarker. It adjoins St. Peter's Basilicamarker.

The palace is a complex of buildings that includes the Papal Apartments, some of the Catholic Church's government offices, a handful of chapels, the Vatican Museumsmarker and the Vatican Librarymarker. In all, there are over 1,000 rooms with the most famous including Raphael's Rooms and the Sistine Chapelmarker with its renowned ceiling frescoes painted by Michelangelo (restored between 1980 and 1990).

The other papal residences are at the Lateran Palacemarker, and the Castel Gandolfomarker outside Romemarker. The Vatican Palace displaced the Lateran Palace in prominence during the fifteenth century; but it was eclipsed for an extended period by the Quirinal Palacemarker.

Before 1871, the Quirinal Palacemarker was the Pope's official residence. After the final overthrow of the Papal Statesmarker in 1870, the King of Italy confiscated that palace in 1871, making it the King's official residence. After the abolition of the Italian monarchy in 1946 it became the residence of the President of the Italian Republic.

See also


The Vatican–its History–its Treasures (New York, 1914) was written by various scholars connected with the Vatican and edited by Ernesto Begni and others. Briefer and more popular accounts M. K. Potter's The Art of the Vatican (new edition, Boston, 1903), and D. B. W. Sladen's, How to See the Vatican (New York, 1914).

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