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A new building: the Quirinal Palace, home to Popes and kings

2015-10-11

This is what the Quirinal Palace looks like from the outside...

...and this is how it looks on the inside. Popes, kings, and presidents have lived within its walls. Construction began in 1583. It was originally meant to be a recreational residence for Pope Gregory XIII, but it's now one of the three official residences for the President of the Italian Republic. 

Within its more than 1,000,000 square feet, it contains art from the Renaissance, from the Napoleonic era, and from the Royal House of Savoy. The palace has more than 1,200 rooms. Among the most famous is the Pauline Chapel.

LUISA MOROZZI
General Secretary of the President of the Republic
"Pope Paul V wanted to build it as an alternative to the Vatican where the same ceremonies could be celebrated.”

It has the same dimensions as the Sistine Chapel, and four popes were elected inside in less than 50  years.

LUISA MOROZZI
General Secretary of the President of the Republic
"We think that in the 19th century four conclaves were held in this chapel. The last person elected as Pope here was Pius IX, who had to abandon the residence in 1870, when the palace was chosen as the seat of the Crown of Italy.”

Now it is used for concerts and Masses for very special occasions

It's also possible to visit parts of it, like the drawing room where the ambassadors would meet during the Monarchical period in Italy, or this apartment, where the Pope lived during the winter

The Quirinal Palace is also open on weekdays and is even giving access to places that used to be closed to the public. For example, the huge palace gardens, which were formed during the 16th and 17th centuries, are now open for all to see.

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