Lateran Palace

Rome, Italy

The Lateran Palace is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main papal residence in southeast Rome. Located on St. John's Square in Lateran on the Caelian Hill, the edifice is adjacent to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral church of Rome.

From the fourth century, the palace was the principal residence of the popes, and continued so for about a thousand years until the seat ultimately moved to the Vatican. The original palace was destroyed by fires in 1307 and 1361. Due to the damage the ancient building of the Lateran Palace was replaced with the same structure, which is the current Lateran Palace, during the papacy of Pope Sixtus V.

The Sancta Sanctorum chapel is the only building from the old Lateran palace that was not destroyed during its reconstruction. It was the original private chapel of the papacy before it moved to Avignon, and later to the Vatican palace. The chapel contains a wooden reliquary box, which supposedly houses the bones of at least 13 saints.

The palace is now used by the Vatican Historical Museum, which illustrates the history of the Papal States. The palace also houses the offices of the Vicariate of Rome, as well as the residential apartments of the Cardinal vicar, the pope's delegate for the daily administration of the diocese.

Until 1970, the palace was also home to the important collections of the Lateran Museum, now dispersed among other parts of the Vatican Museums.

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Details

Founded: 1586
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org
vatican.com

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Peter Szofka (5 months ago)
Impressive! Monumental!
Mareena Mathilakathu (6 months ago)
Great to visit. Ancient monuments
R R (15 months ago)
Very beautiful on the inside but not open to all
Linda Roe (2 years ago)
Beautiful building. Delightful to walk thru this wonderful area.
Joseph A. de Leon (2 years ago)
Today is the feast day of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, mother of all the churches in the City and in the world. The Lateran Palace is part of the whole complex and today is the Curia of the Diocese of Rome. In a certain sense it is my "home" since I belong to the roman clergy. Welcome! (Since the structure is practically made up of diocesan offices it is not normally open for tourists and visitors.)
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