Apostolic Palace

official residence of the Pope in Vatican City

The Apostolic Palace, also called the Papal Palace or the Palace of the Vatican, is the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City.

View across St. Peter's Square to the Apostolic Palace

The palace is a complex of buildings, with the Papal Apartment, the Catholic Church's government offices, a handful of chapels, the Vatican Museum and the Vatican library. In all there are over 1,000 rooms with the most famous including the Sistine Chapel and its renowned ceiling frescoes painted by Michelangelo (restored between 1980 and 1990) and Raphael's Rooms.

The other papal residences are at the Lateran Palace and the Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

Before 1871, the Quirinal Palace was the Pope's official residence. After the final overthrow of the Papal States in 1870, the King of Italy confiscated that palace in 1871, making it the king's official residence; after the abolition of the Italian monarchy in 1946, it became the President of the Italian Republic's residence.