The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V.
The palace is more accurately a series of self-contained buildings within the well-recognised outer structure which is arranged around the Courtyard of Sixtus V (Cortile di Sisto V). It is located North-East of St Peters Basilica and adjacent to the Bastion of Nicholas V and Palace of Gregory XIII.
Rather than a traditional palace (a residential building surrounded by support buildings) the Apostolic Palace houses both residential apartments and support offices of various functions as well as administrative offices not focused on the life and functions of the Pope himself.
Together the paintings make up the greatest pictorial scheme of the Renaissance. Individually, some of Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling are among the most notable works of western art ever created. The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and in particular the ceiling and accompanying lunettes by Michelangelo have been subject to a number of restorations, the most recent taking place between 1980 and 1994. This most recent restoration had a profound effect on art lovers and historians, as colours and details that had not been seen for centuries were revealed. Read more...