Agenzia DOLCI SOGNI by Coop. Soc. IL SOGNO a r.l.
Autorizzato Prov. Roma R.U. 1333 del 02/04/2012
 
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Viale Regina Margherita, 192 - 00198 ROMA
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GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Vatican Grottoes extend under the nave of the Basilica of St. Peter, three meters below the present floor, from the high altar (the so-called papal altar) to about one half of the nave, forming a veritable underground church that occupies the space between the current floor of the basilica and that of the ancient Constantinian basilica of the fourth century. The cramped area, characterized by vaulted ceilings lowered, were excavated by Renaissance architects to prepare the foundations of the basilica. The plan of the Vatican grottoes, which branch into niches, corridors and side chapels, is that of a three-nave church (the so-called old caves) with chapels housing the tombs of the popes, the 'semi-circular apse of the church, with chapels and funeral monuments, (the so-called new caves) has as its ideal center the chapel of St. Peter, which is above the caves, the papal altar, and in the underground necropolis, tomb of 'Apostle Peter, the first Pope of Rome . The Vatican grottoes are a suggestive monumental complex for many historical memories. In addition to preserving the tombs of several popes, the caves are rich in works of art from the ancient basilica.
Under the caves is located a necropolis with tombs ancient Christians and the sacred area of ​​the tomb of St. Peter. Among the remarkable works of art preserved in the caves should at least remember the fragments of frescoes attributed to Pietro Cavallini, bronze works of Antonio Pollaiuolo (ornaments of the tomb of Pope Sixtus IV, sculpted in 1493) and sculptures by Arnolfo di Cambio (funerary monument Pope Boniface VIII)
The burials Farsi bury in the Vatican Grottoes, near the tomb of Peter, it was the desire of many popes, kings and queens, just as it was for the early Christians and also to the Gentiles. One of the oldest personalities buried in the caves just remember the twenty-five German Pope Gregory V (996-999), Emperor Otto II (died in Rome in 983), and Adrian IV (1154-1159), the only English pope in history; Pope Boniface VIII (1294 - 1303), who proclaimed the first Holy Year of Jubilee and resting under the magnificent sculpture of Arnolfo di Cambio, and Pope Pius VI Braschi (who died a prisoner of the French in 1779) is enclosed in an early Christian sarcophagus, but lives Antonio Canova in marble in which immortalized it in prayer. Among the kings, yet James III Stuart and his sons, as well as Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 - 1689), adjacent to the niche of John Paul II and a short walk from the crypt of the Confession the Polish Pope was so many times to pray, as the Pope Braschi of the Canova. With the exception of the last Popes buried in the Vatican Grottoes (Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul I and II), many Popes of the past, however, preferred to be buried elsewhere: Pius IX, for example, rests in the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Leo XIII in St. John Lateran. Pius XI, who died in 1939, so ardently wished to be buried "as close as possible to the Confession of Peter" that his successor, Pius XII, he ordered a vast archaeological campaign around the tomb of Peter to establish the authenticity of the place.