Gardens of Vatican City

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The Gardens of Vatican City (Latin: Horti Civitatis Vaticanae), also informally known as the Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani) in Vatican City, are private urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the country, located in the west of the territory and owned by the Pope. There are some buildings, such as Vatican Radio and the Governor's Palace, within the gardens.

Gardens of Vatican City
Vatican Gardens
The Vatican Gardens
Location Vatican City
Coordinates41°54.2′N 12°27.2′E / 41.9033°N 12.4533°E / 41.9033; 12.4533
Area23 hectares (57 acres)
Owned byThe Pope as Bishop of Rome

The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres), about half of the city. The highest point is 60 metres (197 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South, and West. The gardens and parks were established during the Renaissance and Baroque era and are decorated with fountains and sculptures.

Pope Francis opened the Vatican Gardens to the public in 2014.[1] Individuals and pre-formed groups, considered to consist of sixteen or more people, may visit the Gardens with the presence of a tour guide.[2] The gardens also enshrine eighteen Marian images venerated worldwide at the designation of the Pope, who is the owner of the gardens.

History edit

Empress Saint Helena of Constantinople carrying the One True Cross laying the grounds for the gardens using the sacred soil from Mount Calvary.

Pious tradition claim that the foundation site of the Vatican Gardens was spread with sacred soil brought from Mount Calvary by Empress Saint Helena[3][4] to symbolically unite the blood of Jesus Christ with that shed by thousands of early Christians, who died in the persecutions of Emperor Nero Caesar Augustus.[3]

The gardens date back to medieval times when orchards and vineyards extended to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace.[5] In 1279, Pope Nicholas III (Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls.[6] He planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum), and a garden (viridarium).[6] Firstly, they appeared near the hills of Sant'Egidio where today the Palazzetto del Belvedere and the Courtyards of the Vatican Museums are located.

The Little Flower, Saint Therese of Lisieux is the official Patroness of the gardens.

The site received a major re-landscaping at the beginning of the 16th century,[5] during the pontificate of Pope Julius II.[7] Donato Bramante's original design was then split into three new courtyards,[7] the Cortili del Belvedere, the "della Biblioteca" and the "della Pigna" (or Pine Cone)[5][7] in the Renaissance landscape design style.[8] Also in Renaissance style, a great rectangular Labyrinth, formal in design, set in boxwood and framed with Italian stone pines, (Pinus pinea) and cedars of Lebanon, (Cedrus libani).[3] In place of Nicholas III's enclosure, Bramante built a great rectilinear defensive wall.[7]

In 1921 a fire broke out inside the sanctuary of the Basilica of Loreto and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, known as Our Lady of Loreto. The statue was commissioned by Pope Pius XI in 1922. It was carved from cedars of Lebanon from the Vatican Gardens. The sculpture, designed by Enrico Quattrini and painted by Leopoldo Celani, is still one of the most venerated today in the Basilica of Loreto, in the Marche region.

Since the end of 2014, the Vatican Museums and the Directorate of Technical Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State have been running the project of restoration and conservation[9] of various stone artifacts in the gardens. The goal of the project has been to prevent the deterioration of the objects of art-historical interest.

In October 2017 the professionals involved in the restoration conducted a study to consider, from a scientific point of view, modern methods and eco-sustainable techniques in application to the conservation of the artifacts over time. After a careful study, they opted for non-toxic and environmentally friendly products, such as oregano (Origanum vulgare) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris), along with other plant protection products used individually or combined.[10]

Today's Vatican Gardens are spread over nearly 23 hectares (57 acres), they contain a variety of medieval fortifications, buildings and monuments from the 9th century to the present day, set among vibrant flower beds and topiary, green lawns and a 3 hectares (7 acres) patch of forest. There are a variety of fountains cooling the gardens, sculptures, an artificial grotto devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes, and an Olive tree donated by the government of Israel.[11]

Both the Vatican and Castel Gandalfo gardens became open to the general public in 2014.[12]

In 2019, Rafael Tornini, head of the Garden and Environment Service of the Vatican, announced the gardens had been transitioning to organic lawn management since 2017.[13]

Patroness of the Gardens edit

Pope Pius XI designated Saint Therese of Lisieux The Little Flower as the official Patroness of the gardens on 17 May 1927, according to her the title as "Sacred Keeper of the Gardens" and within the same year, a small chapel dedicated to her was built within the gardens near the Leonine walls.

List of Marian images enshrined edit

The following are venerated images of the Blessed Virgin Mary enshrined at the Vatican Gardens:

18 Marian images permanently enshrined in the Gardens of Vatican City
Image within the Gardens Place of Devotion Nation Year of Devotion Date of Installation Feast Day
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Lourdes, France   1858 1 June 1902 February 11
Our Lady of the Watch
Monte Figogna   1490 2 May 1917 August 29
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tepeyac, Mexico   1531 14 October 1939 December 12
Our Lady of Fátima
Fátima, Portugal   1917 29 May 1983 13 May
The Madonna of Schoenstatt Vallendar, Germany   1914 1992 October 18
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa
Jasna Góra, Poland   1382 1994 August 26
The Virgin of Mercy Savona   1536 10 May 1995 March 18
Our Lady of Divine Love Via Ardeatina   1740 10 May 1999 Monday of Pentecost
Our Lady of Sacred Heart of Taggia Rome   1855 21 March 2006 March 11
Our Lady of Good Counsel Genazzano, Italy   1467 11 July 2009 April 26
Virgin of Suyapa Honduras   1747 20 September 2013 February 3
Nuestra Senora de La Antigua Panama   1513 26 October 2013 September 9
Our Lady of Charity Cuba   1612 28 August 2014 September 8
Our Lady of Penafrancia
Philippines   1434 3 December 2015 3rd Saturday in September
Our Lady of Aparecida Brazil   1717 3 September 2016 October 12
Virgen de Copacabana Bolivia   1583 25 September 2017 February 2
August 5
Virgin of Presentation of El Quinche Ecuador   1580 17 May 2019 February 2
Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá
Colombia   1560 9 July 2021 February 2

Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ "Visiting the Vatican Gardens - How to book, what to see".
  2. ^ "Guided tour of the Vatican Gardens for individuals and groups".
  3. ^ a b c "MO Plants: Vatican Gardens". copyright 2006]. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Archived: March 8, 2012.
  4. ^ Patron saint of archaeologists
  5. ^ a b c "Al Pellegrino Cattolico: The Vatican Gardens". copyright 2008 Al Pellegrino Cattolico s.r.l. Via di Porta Angelica 81 (S.Pietro) I- 00193 Roma, Italy. Archived from the original on April 13, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Official Vatican City State Website: A Visit to the Vatican Gardens". copyright 2007–08 Uffici di Presidenza S.C.V. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d "Vatican Gardens". copyright 2008 Cooperativa IL SOGNO, Viale Regina Margherita, 192 – 00198 ROMA. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
  8. ^ "Vatican Gardens – Discover the Most Beautiful and Secret Gardens in the World". March 2, 2022. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  9. ^ "The restoration of the works of the Vatican Gardens". Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  10. ^ Rizzi, Cinzia (October 4, 2017). "Il lifting ecosostenibile dei Giardini Vaticani". euronews (in Italian). Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  11. ^ Hofmann, Paul (July 6, 1997). "Glorious Gardens of the Vatican". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Are Vatican gardens worth visiting?". May 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Caldwell, Zelda (August 2, 2019). "The Vatican Gardens are going "green"". Aleteia — Catholic Spirituality, Lifestyle, World News, and Culture. Retrieved March 6, 2020.

Bibliography edit

Sources edit

The initial version is based upon the article it:Giardini Vaticani of the Italian language edition of Wikipedia. Data concerning the measures of lengths were taken from the article de:Vatikanische Gärten of the German language edition of Wikipedia.

External links edit

41°54′11″N 12°27′2″E / 41.90306°N 12.45056°E / 41.90306; 12.45056