Tuesday, June 24, 2014



A branch of the Museo Storico Vaticano (Vatican Historical Museum) housed in the Lateran Palace
Created in 1973 by Pope Paul VI Montini (1963/78) and located under the Square Garden

Carriages of popes and cardinals, with various harnesses, and graphic and photographic documentation of solemn processions. In addition, sedans, carriages and a black landau for daily transportation


Paintings and busts of popes

Bust of Pius VI Braschi (1775/99)” by Alberto Galli (1840/1920)
“Bronze bust of Pius XI Ratti (1922/39)” by Gyslings Ambrosi (1839/1975)


Sedans and coaches

Sedan of Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903) 1893 of Roman manufacturing, with beautiful gilding

Sedan of Leo XIII painted in 1887 by the great Neapolitan painter Domenico Morelli (1823/1901)
The sedan has the shape of a boat and it is an allegory of the Catholic Church whose rudder is governed by the pope. In the front there is a painting with "St. Peter consecrates St. Aspreno first bishop of Naples"

Grand gala coach built in 1826 for Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903) by Felice Eugeni. It was modified with new decorations by Gaetano Peroni in 1841
It is the most spectacular coach of the collection. It was used four times a year during important ceremonies
The last time it was seen through the streets of Rome was on September 8, 1870, when Pius IX went to S. Maria del Popolo. A few days later the Papal States ceased to exist, following the breach of Porta Pia on 20 September, and the coach was never ever used again

Luciano Luigi Bonaparte had received as a gift from his cousin Napoleon III on the occasion of his appointment as cardinal

Escort sedan about 1850 by the Casalini Brothers
It does not bear any papal coat of arms and it was also made available to guests

Traveling coach about 1855/57 by Roman craftsmen
Pius IX visited with this coach the Romagna Papal possessions in 1857. It was a very strong coach and the only one to be equipped with brakes in metal covered with leather for the rear wheels. It was used at least until 1922

Landau about 1890 by Carlo Ferretti
Only example of papal landau. It was convertible and this allowed the pope to be seen while traveling


Various automobiles used by the popes

Citroën Lictoria C6 1930 by the Italian Cars Company Citroën Milan
It was donated to Pope Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) from the Italian Citroën in 1930 to celebrate the Reconciliation of the Italian State and the Catholic Church and the pope's fifty years of priestly ordination
It's definitely the most refined of all popes’ cars. It does not differ much from the regular series but the color and the finish distinguish it beautifully. The rear cockpit is equipped as a throne room, as a Venetian sitting room of the eighteenth century
Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58) avoided using it during the tragic World War II and preferred the more austere Graham Paige 837

Mercedes Benz 460 limousine Nürnberg 1930 donated to Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) on the occasion of the Conciliation between the Italian state and the Catholic Church
It's a wonderful car, retro style, but of great power for the time. It can deliver 80 horsepower and reach speeds of 110 km per hour

Graham Paige 837 of 1929 built by Graham Paige Motors Corpration Detroit
On this car, the pope came out from the Vatican for the first time since the fall of Rome on 20 September 1870. It was December 22, 1929 and Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) went to the Basilica of St. John Lateran to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination
This car was used by Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58) to visit the district of S. Lorenzo after the bombing of Rome on 19 July 1943. On that tragic occasion he had left the Vatican on a Mercedes 230 but it had a technical problem on the way and it was replaced with this Graham Paige
Mercedes Benz 300 SEL limousine of 1966 by Daimler Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart
It was rarely used by Paul VI Montini (1963/78) but St. John Paul II Wojtyla (1978/2005) used it a lot and it was his favorite car even if it was not air conditioned
After the attempt on the life of the pope in St. Peter's Square in 1981, this car was heavily armored in all its parts

Fiat 1107 Nuova Campagnola of 1980 on board of which St. John Paul II Wojtyla (1978/2005) was seriously injured during the attempt on his life of 13 May 1981
This "Popemobile" was only used for a year and a day. After the attack John Paul II didn’t use it anymore for a long time until the last years of his papacy and Benedict XVI Ratzinger (2005/13) used it in the first months of his one

There is also a model of the first locomotive that ever entered in Vatican City. It dates to 1929 but it only worked from 1934

No comments:

Post a Comment