Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lost Rome: the old papal gardens of the Quirinale Palace...

A rare look as photos of these old papal gardens just don't exist and the gardens are closed to the public. These gardens are surprisingly extensive and are attached to the old papal summer palace on the Quirinale Hill.
One of the best things I ever did while in Rome was the two times in my life I got into the palace and gardens with rare VIP tours. In the palace we saw the truly magnificent chapel where Pius IX was elected Pope (the ceiling is tremendous!) as well as the old throne room which in recent years had the throne and its backdrop torn out (sometime after the war).
See a map of Rome and you'll have an idea of how large the gardens are. While in the gardens I had but one thought: such a pity this was stolen from the Popes in 1870!
While there one can even feel a breeze, as on the top of the Palatine or Vatican Hills, coming from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The view of Rome and St. Peter's from the Quirinale Palace is out of this world. The loss of the palace and its gardens was a major loss for the Church and Her Popes.


Anonymous said...

This is truly a great loss. The Quirinal Palace should be returned to the Papacy-- it is only fair.

Anonymous said...

As a peace offering Pius XI gave it up 80 yrs ago!

conte rezzoni said...

From Gregory XIII onwards the pontiffs mainly (not just in summer)resided in the splendid quirinal palace when in Rome. It was said in the 17th and 18th century the pope enters the Vatican just as a dead (to be exposed in St Peter´s in the case he is buried there), after a immense nocturnal torchlight funeral cortege leaded by the roman clergy and nobility, the papal guards (papal Lanze Spezzate, Cuirassiers, Swiss)accompanied by loud rumble of gunfire and the bells of the churches of Rome.
Before the Savoyards occupied Rome papal servants managed at least to save the most precious furnishings and brought it to the Vatican Palace, which at first in 1870 by no means was unapplicable for housing a pope.
Unfortunately under Vittorio Emmanuele II and his successors large parts of the Quirinal Palace were modified and adapted for the usurpators and so inestimable works of art were irretrievably were wrecked.

Sid said...

I'm told the gardens are open once a year to the general public. Sometime in June, if memory serves right. The palace's public rooms are open Sunday mornings. With the rooms I wasn't all that impressed. I've never seen in gardens.

First the pope's palace, then the King of Italy (1870), now the President of Italy.

BL said...

another pictures if it's possible ?