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17 December 2017

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Vatican's marvelous gardens

Category: Travel

27 November 2017
Vatican is very unique. Its area is only 0.44 square kilometres. So why should you plan the trip here? Well, there are not so many city-states in the world, which territory is more than half occupied by gardens. Gardens consist of orchids, trees, vines, flourishing grounds, papal shrines, ancient grottos, sculptures, fountains etc. There are even some medieval buildings that was restored during the XX century. By the legend, the place, where Vatican gardens stands, were sprinkled with sacred soil from Mount Calvary by St. Helena, mother of Constantius Chlorus. It symbolizes union of Christ and early Christians, who were chased and killed before.

The Gardens were founded in 1279 by Pope Nicholas III and then, during the end of XV century, they were significantly changed. Bramante transformed gardens into three parts: Viewpoint Courtyard, Library Courtyard and Pine Cone Courtyard. But if you take a private tour to the gardens, you will see that parts of garden differ from each other, despite the fact they were all done in Renaissance style. Some people believe that difference between parts of the gardens represents Renaissance national features of Italy and France. All that fancy masterpieces you will see is Renaissance's children. For example, Fountain of the Eagle or Lourdes Grotto that you will able to visit. During this period there were also constructed other great things.

For, example, the Sistine Chapel that appeared in the end of XV century. Here the Pope provides most of his public activity. So you have probably seen this place on the TV or on the internet. However, it wasn't built on the empty place. There was the Greater Chapel or Capella Maggiore before. While Pope Sixtus IV was ruling the Holy See there could be invasion on Rome. The most dangerous for him were the Florentine Lord Medichi and Turkish emperor Mahmud II. So, the chapel conceived as a fortification, however, the interior was decorated anyway.
Another great thing that was built during Renaissance is Saint Peter's Basilica which is renown for its size, beauty and importance in the world. Everyone has already seen it on the pictures or, at least, have heard about it. It is the place where the most important Catholic ceremonies provided. The basilica was designed by Bramante, Michelangelo and others. Saint Peter in the Vatican is a sacred place for pilgrims and parishioners.

Alongside with Renaissance you will find an old medieval Saint John's Tower, that was restored in the third decade of XX century. During the same time there were also built a radio and a train station.

Not so long ago Israel government made a gift to Vatican. They donated a very old oil tree from Nazareth to the Holy See.


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