The Embassy of Spain to the Holy See celebrates its 400th anniversary in Rome

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What you hear is the anthem of Spain, yet it is not being played in Madrid but in Rome. It is part of the tribute hed by the embassy of Spain to the Holy See for its 400th year. It is the oldest diplomatic mission in the world.

The palace, which has been in Piazza di Spagna since 1622, has been decorated for the occasion. For several weeks it will feature a mural where among others, you can see Velázquez painting Pope Innocent X as if he were the Meninas.

Ambassador of Spain to the Holy See
I asked the artist to look at the 17th century above all and this is what I found most interesting. Why? Because Spain was in full bloom. Spain was the champion of the Catholic world, the safeguard of the Catholic world. The Counter-Reformation against Lutheranism. And Europe had left this task in the hands of Spain.

The mural also presents the Count of Oñate. He was the owner of the house that became the oldest embassy in the world.

Ambassador of Spain to the Holy See
An innovation, by the way, from Spain. Because all the ambassadors up to that moment were ambassadors without a roof, nomadic. And Spain decided to make a permanent representation, demonstrating the importance of Spain.

The mural's creator wants to capture the attention of the Romans. They are so used to seeing monuments that they often do not know, even if there is a big flag in front of it. The artist wants them to know that the Spanish embassy is precisely there.

Visual anthropologist
Many Romans didn't know this place and didn't realize what it is. When we started to set up the mural, they discovered it all at once. My job here has been to create a channel of communication between the inside and the outside, explaining these special moments in history.

Roberto Lucifero says that the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican is in showcase in Rome. In the best location. He celebrates the doors of this embassy that opened 400 years ago.

Visual anthropologist
Piazza di Spagna is the world transported to Rome. Because the biggest international brands are all here. Everybody wants to come to Piazza di Spagna. It is also a point of contact between France and Spain. A little further up France has the Academy and here is the embassy. It has a very strong international vocation, intercontinental, I would say worldwide. Every place in the world is within this square.

The embassy has launched a whole program of cultural activities for this fourth centenary that recalls the close relationship Spain had with the Vatican... and still has today.



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