Gardens of Vatican City in Rome

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The Vatican Gardens in Vatican City are urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the Vatican territory in the South and Northeast. There are some buildings such as Radio Vatican within the gardens.

The gardens cover approximately 23 ha which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 m above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.

The gardens and parks were established during the Renaissance and Baroque era and are decorated with fountains and sculptures. There are several springs under the earth which as of 2009 are not in use. There is a wide variety of flora, and the area is considered a biotope.


Tradition says that the site of the Vatican Gardens was spread with earth brought from Golgotha by Saint Helena The gardens date back to medieval times when orchards and vineyards extended to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace. In 1279 Pope Nicholas III (Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls. He planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridarium). Donato Bramante's original design was then split into three new courtyards,<ref name="Cooperativa"/> the Cortili del Belvedere, the “della Biblioteca” and the “della Pigna” (or Pine Cone)<ref name="Pellegrino"/><ref name="Cooperativa"/> in the Renaissance landscape design style. Also in Renaissance style, a great rectangular Labyrinth, formal in design, set in boxwood and framed with Italian stone pines, (Pinus pinea) and cedars of Lebanon, (Cedrus libani).<ref name="MOPlants"/> In place of Nicholas III's enclosure, Bramante built a great rectilinear defensive wall.<ref name="Cooperativa"/>

Today's Vatican Gardens are spread over nearly 23 ha, they contain a variety of medieval fortifications, buildings and monuments from the 9th century to the present day, set amongst vibrant flower beds and topiary, green lawns and a 3 ha patch of forest. There are a variety of fountains spreading freshness over the gardens, while sculpture and artificial grottoes proclaim devotion to the Madonna, and an olive tree donated by the government of Israel, extends its three verdant branches.

See also

  • Geography of Vatican City
  • Urban park
  • Vatican Climate Forest


  • Ricci, Corrado. “Vatican: Its History Its Treasures” Contributor Ernesto Begni. © 2003 Published by Kessinger Publishing, ,

External links


The initial version is based upon the article of the Italian language edition of Wikipedia. Data concerning the measures of lengths were taken from the article of the German language edition of Wikipedia.