VATICAN, THE, the most extensive palace in the world, and, as the residence of the Pope, and the storehouse of valu able literary and art collections, one of the chief attractions of modern Rome. A building of the kind was erected on the Mons Vaticanus by Pope Symmachus about the year 500, near the anterior court of old St. Peter's and it was re built by Eugene III. and enlarged by Nicholas III. The vatican did not, how ever supersede the Lateran as the usual residence of the Popes till their return from Avignon in 1377. The first con clave, held in 1378, resulted in the so called Western Schism. In 1450 Nicho las V., with the object of making the Vatican the most imposing of palaces, began the work of combining with it the residences and offices of the cardinals, and the small portion completed by him, afterward occupied by Alexander VI., and named Tor di Borgia, was extended by subsequent Popes. The Sistine Chapel was erected by Sixtus IV. in 1473, and the Belvedere or garden house by Inno cent VIII. in 1490. Bramante, under Julius II., united the latter with the palace by means of a great court, and constructed the Loggie round the Cor tile di S. Damasco. By the erection of the library Sixtus V. divided Bramante's
great court into two parts, the anterior court and Giardino della Pigna. The Pauline Chapel was the work of Paul III. (1534), and the present residence of the Popes was completed by Clement VIII. (1592-1605). The labor of ex tending and adorning the Vatican was continued by Urban VIII., Pius VII., and Gregory XVI.; and even Pius IX., amid the revolutionary struggles of the 19th century, found time to inclose the fourth side of the Cortile di S. Damasco by re constructing the great staircase forming the approach from the colonnade of St. Peter's. The palace now comprises 20 courts and some 11,000 halls, chapels, saloons, and private apartments. Chief among its great art treasures are the Sistine frescoes of Michael Angelo and Raphael's Stanze and Loggie. The picture gallery is one of the richest in Rome, and the collection of antiquities is the finest in the world, including exten sive Egyptian and Etruscan museums, and comprising among its classical sculp tures the Torso of Hercules, the Laocoon, and the Apollo Belvedere. The library now contains 34,000 MSS.