Five priceless things hidden in the secret rooms of the Vatican
Vatican City is home to many treasures.
If you are lucky enough to travel or live in Italy, the Vatican should definitely be on your list of places to see. Vatican City is a city-state surrounded by Rome and serves as the official seat of the Roman Catholic Church. It is only 109 acres long and it is truly incredible how many priceless artifacts, legendary works of art and secret documents can be found in this relatively small piece of land.
Vatican City was founded in 1929 and the only people allowed to live there are clergy, Swiss guards and of course the Pope. These are probably the few people in the world who actually know the answers surrounding the secret rumors about Vatican City.
Let’s explore five priceless things kept safe in the Vatican’s hidden rooms.
- Henry VIII’s love letters to Anne Boleyn
Henry wrote of his “great loneliness” for Anna, referred to her body parts by nicknames, and signed with a heart. The strangest part of these love letters is that there is no concrete indication of how they ended up in the Vatican. Romance and mystery, all in one!
- 70,000 works of art
We all know that the Sistine Chapel contains one of the most precious and famous works of art on its magnificent ceiling, painstakingly and masterfully painted by Michelangelo over a period of four years from 1508. But inside the Apostolic Archive (a secret room in Vatican City), 70,000 pieces of priceless works of art are safely stored. Only the Pope is allowed to see or borrow a work of art at his discretion, as with books and manuscripts. The rest of us can only imagine what kind of art is hidden in the secret rooms.
- 2 million printed books
While the manuscripts are an amazing addition to the Vatican library collection, there are more modern pieces as well. Although the printed books may be more recent additions, it is not possible for any resident of the Vatican to see one of them as they would in a public library. In fact, there are rules in place that the content of the Vatican Library can only be available for public viewing (and selective public viewing) when it is at least 75 years old. Of course, the Pope can review any of the contents whenever he wants. This very special library is said to contain books written in every language known to mankind.
- 80,000 manuscripts
The Vatican Library loves history. Part of its amazing collection includes 80,000 manuscripts. Some of them date back 2,000 years. An example is an intricately hand-crafted Bible, which contains pages of real gold worked into a fine hand-written font.
- Ancient coins
Deep inside St. Peter’s Basilica is hidden a long secret room that only those with an approved letter, background check and special code can enter. And in this highly secure room is a collection of antique, not vintage but actual ancient coins. These coins tell stories of life that happened on Earth centuries ago. It is a coin collector’s absolute dream.
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