Built between 1624 and 1626 at the behest of Pope Urban VII Barberini and on a project by Carlo Maderno, the Papal Palace was built on the site occupied by the castle of the Savelli; the completion of the building also participates Gian Lorenzo Bernini which realizes in the gardens a portal today no longer exists and contributes to the achievement of a wing. Inside the Chapel of Urban VIII, and in other adjacent spaces are the frescoes painted by Simone Lagi and by the Zuccari, while the Galleria del Bernini was frescoed by Pier Leone Ghezzi. We also remember the Dining Room of Clement XIV, the Throne Room decorated with tapestries and the Sala dello Scalco with paintings of Salvator Rosa. The papal residence is abandoned in 1870, with the fall of the Papal State until 1929, when with the Lateran Pacts back to again be the summer residence of the Popes. Palazzo Pontificio together at Villa Cybo and Villa Barberini is the complex of the Papal Villas that possess the right of extra-territoriality. The gardens of three residences are the Park of the Pontifical Villas; inside the splendid and manicured green area is placed the Specola Vaticana, the Astronomical Observatory, and there are located the remains of the Villa of the Roman Emperor Domitian, of which you are preserved a great cryptoporticus, the remains of a theater and several exedras and some stretch of road covered by the original paving. The Papal Palace is not open to the public and can be visited only with special authorisation by request at the direction of the Papal Villas.
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