The Cappella Paolina
The Cappella Paolina is a chapel within the apostolic Palace in the Vatican City. The chapel was built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger between 1538 and 15340 as part of the major reconstruction of the ceremonial rooms of the papal residence which was sponsored and commissioned by Pope Paul III Farnese. The Cappella Paolina is located just behind the portico of St. Peter’s Basilica and it literally fills the gap between the Basilica and the palace.
The Cappella Paolina and the papal palace are bound together to signify the dual seat of the papal power and they are joined together to demonstrate the papal authority, ritual and ceremony. Despite the several changes and renovations that were done on the papal residence, no changes were made on the parts connecting between the Cappella Paolina and the papal palace.
The Cappella Paolina is surrounded by several other magnificent structures and rooms such as Portone di Bronzo, Sala Regia,Sistine Chapel, Sala Ducale, Capella Sistina (Sistine Chapel), and St. Peter’s Basilica, among others.
Pope Paul III wanted to build a magnificent building built at the site that was meant to become the Cappella Paolina. It is for this reason that great architects and artists were selected to work on the building. With the need for great decorations, the great Michelangelo was chosen for the job. Therefore all the frescoes of the Cappella Paolina were painted by Michelangelo. Other artists who contributed to the Cappella Paolina were Federico Zuccari and Lorenzo Sabbatini.
The Cappella Paolina has been used for several purposes. For instance, it was used for the papal conclave which led to the election of Pope Julius III. The structure is among the most impressive ones in Vatican City and a very special one. Many tourists visit this place to enjoy the great artworks, decorations and paintings.
There were renovation works done on the Cappella Paolina from 2004. The main purpose of the renovation was to restore the frescoes in Cappella Paolina. The renovation changed the general look of Cappella Paolina and it was completed in 2009. It has made this papal chapel the most preferred venue in which papal meetings are hosted.
Rome is known for its magnificent buildings, art and culture. Vatican City, and the papal residence in particular are among the most popular sites in Rome, Cappella Paolina continues to attract many visitors because of its wonderful artworks and decorations. The atmosphere in the Cappella Paolina is very cool and relaxing and that is why cardinals prefer spending most of their time there during conclave elections.
The founder of the Cappella Paolina, Pope Pius III dedicated it to the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, which was a festival to which he showed specific dedication.