the papal palace at Rome so called from its situation on the Mons Vaticanus, at the extreme north-western part of the city. It is an immense pile of buildings, composed of parts constructed at different times, and often without due regard to the harmony of the entire structure. There existed a palace adjoining the basilica of St. Peter's probably as early as the time of Constantine, but certainly in the 8th century. In the 12th century this palace was rebuilt by Innocent II, and in the following century it was enlarged by Nicholas III. It became the papal residence on the removal of the see from Avignon to Rome in 1377, when Gregory XI adopted it as the pontifical palace on account of its greater security over the Lateran (which had been the residence of the popes for one thousand years) by the nearness of the Castle of St. Angelo. John XXIII increased this security by building a covered gallery connecting the palace with the castle. Nicholas V, in 1450, began to improve it on a magnificent scale, but died before completing his design. Alexander VI finished the older portion of the edifice nearly as we now see it. No part of the palace except the private chapel of Nicholas V, called the Chapel of San Lorenzc, is older than the time of Alexander VI (1492-1503). The part constructed by Alexander VI is known as the Old Palace, in distinction from the later works. To this structure Sixtus IV, in 1474, added the Sixtine Chapel. Innocent VIII, about 1490, erected the villa Belvedere, and Julius II (150313) connected it with the palace by the celebrated Loggia and a terraced court. In the gardens of the Belvedere, Julius laid the foundations of the Vatican museum. After the death of Julius, Leo X completed the Loggia under the direction of Raphael. Paul III built the Sala Regia and the Pauline Chapel (1534). Sixtus V, near the close of the 16th century, began and Clement VIII carried to completion, a new and more imposing palace on the eastern side of the court of the Loggia, which is now the ordinary residence of the pope and is by far the most conspicuous of all the Vatican buildings. Numerous alterations and improvements were made by succeeding pontiffs. Urban VIII (1623-44) had the celebrated staircase, Scala Regia, constructed from designs by Bernini. Clement XIV (1769-74) and Pius VI (1775-99) built a new range of apartments for the Museo Pio-Clementino. Pius VII (1800-23) added the Braccio Nuovo, running parallel with the library. Leo XII (1823-29) began a series of chambers for the gallery of pictures. Gregory XVI (183146) completed these and placed the Etruscana Museum in its present position. Pius IX (1846-77) enclosed the Loggia in glass, removed the gallery of pictures to the upper part of the palace, erected the magnificent stairs leading to the state apartments, and decorated the apartments formerly occupied by the pictures with frescos to serve as reception-rooms for ladies. It will be seen from this account that the Vatican is rather a collection of separate buildings than one regular structure. It occupies a space 1151 by 767 feet, and has 8 grand staircases, 200 smaller ones, 20 courts, and 4422 rooms.
The Scala Regia, the great staircase by Bernini, consists of two flights; the lower decorated with Ionic columns, and the upper with pilasters. It leads from the extremity of the right-hand portico of Bernini to the Sala Regia built during the pontificate of Paul III, as, a hall of audience for the ambassadors, and covered with frescos illustrating various elements in the history of the popes. It also serves as an ante-hall to the Sixtine and Pauline chapels.
The Capella Sistina, or Sixtine Chapel is a lofty oblong hall, 146½ feet long by 50° wide and decorated with a series of frescos representing the principal events in Scripture history. It also contains, on the end wall opposite the entrance, the great fresco The Last Judgment. Near the Sixtine Chapel is the Capella Paolina, which is only used in great ceremonies, chiefly during Holy Week. It is noted for two frescos by Michael Angelo, The Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter. The great hall leading from the Sala Regia to the Loggia of Bramante is called the Sala Ducale, formerly used by the popes for giving audience to princes, now used for holding the public consistories when the newly created cardinals are admitted into the sacred college.
The Museum is entered at the extremity of the lower Loggia, to the left on leaving the Sala Ducale. It contains numerous apartments. The Gallery of
Inscriptions is a corridor 690' feet in length, containing upwards of 3000 specimens of ancient sepulchral inscriptions and monuments. At the extremity of this gallery is the Museo Chiaramonti, which constitutes the second division of the gallery, and, exclusive of the Braccio Nuovo, or new wing, contains more than 700 specimens of ancient sculpture, arranged in thirty compartments. The Braccio Nuovo was erected by Pius VII in 1817, and is a fine hall 260 feet in length, and well lighted from the roof. In this hall are to be seen the famous statue of Augustus the Athlete and many others. The Museo Pio-Clementino, so called from Clement XIV and Pius VI, from whom it received its most important accessions, is the most magnificent museum of ancient sculpture in the world. It contains the collections formed by Julius II, Leo X, Clement VII, and Paul III. In this museum may be named, among others, the following apartments: Round Vestibule, Hall of Meleager, Cortile di Belvedere, Hall of the Animals, Gallery of Statues, Hall of the Muses. The Gallery of the Candelabra is a fine hall about 300 feet long, erected by Pius VI, and derives its name from several ancient candelabra placed in it. It is situated on the upper floor. The Ettruscan Museum, or Museo Gregoriano, so called from its founder, Gregory XVI, is devoted to the preservation of the Etruscan antiquities accumulated by his predecessors, and is very rich in specimens belonging to this department. The Egyptian Museum is entered from the Museo Chiaramonti, and contains Egyptian antiquities of great interest. From the Gallery of the Candelabra we reach the Arazzi, or Tapestries of Raphael. Then comes the Gallery of the caps, a fine hall 500 feet long, and celebrated for its series of maps of Italy and its islands, painted for Gregory XIII (1572-85). The Stanze of Raphael are a series of four chambers opening out of the second range of Loggie, so called from the fact that the great life-work of Raphael was the decoration of their walls. The chambers are called respectively, Stanza of the Incendio del Borgo, Camiera della Segnatura, Stanza of Heliodorus, Sala of Constantine.
The Capella di San Lorenzo, built by Nicholas V as his private chapel, is interesting for its' frescos by Fra Angelico da Fiesole; it is also interesting as being the only decorated portion of the-Vatican older than the time of Alexander VI. The Pinacoteca, or Gallery of Pictures, contains a small number (less than fifty) of pictures; but they are among the rarest treasures of art to be found in. the world. — The Transfiguration, the Madonna da Foligmo, and the Communion of St. Jerome may be mentioned as examples of these rare works.
The Library was founded by Nicholas V (1447), by transferring to his new palace the MSS. which had been collected in the Lateran; and, at his death, it is said to have contained 9000 MSS. In 1600 there were 10,660 MSS., of which 8500 were Latin and 2160 Greek. It received important accessions in 1621, presented by duke Maximilian of Bavaria; in 1658, the library of Urbino; in 1690, the collection of Christina, queen of Sweden; in 1746, the library of the Ottobuoni family. The Vatican Library is one of the most valuable in the world, though not very large as compared with many others. There are 25,600 MSS. and 220,000 volumes.