12 Instagrammable places in Holy See

12 Instagrammable places in Holy See

Tural Abbasov04 November 20201908 views8 min. read
12 Instagrammable places in Holy See

Listed as one of the must-visit Instagrammable places around the globe, Holy See never fails to completely charm its visitors and make them forget all the places they have ever traveled to. I bet for some of you it is the first time ever you hear the name "Holy See", so where is Holy See? And what is Holy See

The legal authority of the Bishop of Rome, in other words, known as the Pope, is the Holy See. It is also quite famous as the See of Rome, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church worldwide and a self-governing institution regulating the Vatican City under international norms. So, if your friends ask you what is the Holy See? You can say that ever since 1378, the Holy See country has been the seat of the Catholic religion and the Pope's home.

night view of rome

But where is Holy See located? Basically, in Rome, as we would not be lying if we said that Rome surrounds Vatican City, it is like an island, except instead of sea Vatican gets Italy! The Vatican is located west of the Tiber River, between the districts of Prati and Aurelio. Through St. Peter's Square, visitors can enter Vatican City, the tiny state's capital. It is also worth mentioning that the best way to walk from historical Rome to Vatican City is via the Ponte St. Angelo bridge that unites two very close yet beautifully distinguishable countries.

Now that we have basic information about this sacred and interesting spot for tourists, I would love to take you on a different type of trip to the Vatican, where we will be talking about 12 Instagrammable places in the Holy See, so let's get started!

1. Pinacoteca

square garden

By being one of the most famous places in Vatican City, the gallery shows works from the vast collection collected over the years by the Catholic Church and the papacy, including some of the most famous Roman sculptures and the world's most important Renaissance art masterpieces. There are 16 rooms in the Pinacoteca that include priceless art from the Middle Ages to contemporary works. The masterpieces, organized in chronological order, provide an outstanding survey of the development of Western art.

2. St. Peter's Square

city architecture

St. Peter's Square is a very wide square in the Vatican City center, right in front of St. Peter's Basilica, the papal enclave within Rome. The square and the basilica are also named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus deemed the first Pope by Catholics. Between 1656 and 1667, Bernini laid out the grand Piazza San Pietro in front of St. Peter's Basilica to provide an environment where believers from all over the world could assemble. It still perfectly serves its initial function and is packed to capacity every Easter Sunday and on other significant days in Christianity's history. Besides being an important religious site, the square is at the same time the most Instagrammable place in Holy See

3. The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican

st peter basilica

Another one of the top places to visit in Vatican City, St. Peter's, is Renaissance architecture's most esteemed construction ever and the world's largest cathedral ever since its construction. St. Peter's is considered one of the holiest Catholic shrines, although it is not the Catholic Church's mother church of the Diocese of Rome's cathedral. Interestingly, in the 16th century, indulgences were sold to fund this building that provoked Martin Luther to launch the Protestant Reformation. The immense nave, which is about 185 meters long and 46 meters high, rises to a dome 119 meters above it and can hold more than 60,000 visitors at once.

4. The Hermes of the Museo Pio-Clementino

pio clementine museum

The Vatican Museums have the world's most extensive collection of ancient art, primarily located in Rome and nearby areas, most of which are seen in the systematic scheme planned between 1769 and 1799 by Popes Clement XIV and Pius VI. It was revered for a long time as the Belvedere Antinous, named after its prominent role in the Belvedere Cortile. The Museo Pio-Clementino now has inventory number 907. There is no way that you won't be charmed after leaving the museum; in a word, your Instagram feed will be full of ancient statues, and honestly, who does not love some ancient aesthetic on Instagram?!

5. Vatican Library

sistine hall

Very surprisingly to me, the Vatican Library is open to anyone willing to register their criteria for credentials and study. Photocopies of pages from books written between 1801 and 1990 for private research can be obtained in person or by letter. Many of all the most valuable treasures can be enjoyed here-exquisite hand-illuminated Gospels, Biblical codices, early written texts, manuscripts of parchment, and antique scrolls and papyri. So, do not forget to visit this Instagrammable spot during your time in Vatican City.

6. Egyptian Museum

A major part of the collection came from Villa Adriana in Tivoli, where Emperor Hadrian had gathered them through years. Things assembled by 19th-century collectors supplement Hadrian's collections. Shockingly to me, you can find sculptures from ancient Mesopotamia, for example, clay pots from Syria and engravings from Assyrian palaces.

7. Gardens of Vatican City

musei del vaticano

Looking for famous places in Vatican City? Head to the city gardens! The gardens occupy about 23 hectares, about half of the area. 60 meters above the mean sea level is the highest point. Stone walls enclose the north, south, and west parts of the city. In the Renaissance and Baroque period, the gardens and parks were built and adorned with fountains and sculptures. It is also worth mentioning that the Vatican Gardens were opened to the public by Pope Francis only in 2014 until 2014; both tourists and locals could not visit the garden anyhow.

8. Vatican Necropolis

roman catholic basilica

The Vatican Necropolis is situated below Vatican City, 5 to 12 meters underneath the Basilica of Saint Peter. In the years 1940 to 1949, with the Vatican's help, major archaeological excavations took place under Saint Peter, which led to discovering this hidden historic gem. Supposedly, the Vatican necropolis, the exact location where Peter the Apostle and other popes have been buried, is visited by a significant percentage of all the visitors to the Vatican and the whole of Italy. We will not be making a mistake if we say that this spot is one of the most famous Instagrammable places in Holy See. 

9. Etruscan Museum

villa giulia

This museum is one of the best places to visit in Vatican City and let me tell you why! Not only burial items but also pieces of art and artifacts from these mysterious people's daily lives are among the finds from the Etruscan graves that have been excavated in Tuscany. The human remains discovered in the Regolini-Galassi tomb at Cerveteri are especially excellent. I cannot imagine a better Instagrammable place, honestly!

10. St Stephen of the Abyssinians

san lorenzo fuori le mura

When I first heard about this church, I did not know what to expect, to be completely honest. However, an Ethiopian Catholic church based in Vatican City is St Stephen of the Abyssinians. The national church of Ethiopia is the church consecrated to Stephen the Protomartyr. The liturgy is celebrated according to the Ethiopian Catholic Church's Alexandrian rite. The church has a single nave to the sides of ancient columns. The most significant art piece is a 15th-century fresco of the Madonna and Child in the Roman style. What makes this church special is its historical background and incomparable architecture!

11. Appartamento Borgia

luxurious ceiling

On our 11th spot of Instagrammable places in Holy See comes Appartamento Borgia. A collection of scenes mixing Christian themes with ancient and Renaissance universalist styles were created by Pinturicchio and his assistants between 1492 and 1495. The last room third room is adorned with seven liberal arts allegories, and the fourth room is filled with saints' stories. Meanwhile, New Testament scenes represent the sixth.

12. Raphael Rooms

stanza della segnatura

In the Apostolic Palace, now part of the Vatican Museums, the four Raphael Rooms form a suite of reception rooms in Vatican City. Their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop, are popular. Very interestingly, The Stanze was initially designed for Pope Julius II as a suite of apartments. He commissioned Raphael, then a comparatively young artist, and his workshop to redecorate the rooms' current interiors in 1508. It was presumably the intention of Julius to outperform the apartments of his ex-Pope Alexander VI. However, now, it serves as one of the best Instagrammable places in the Vatican!

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