Photographer's Note

Another view from the top of the St. Peter's Basilica.

Tomorrow, on Tuesday afternoon after a mass in St Peter's basilica in the morning, cardinals of the Roman Catholic church will enter the Sistine chapel to begin the conclave that will elect the 266th pope. It was not allowed to make photos in Sistine Chapel, so I post this view of the gardens instead.

Tradition says that the site of the Vatican Gardens was spread with earth brought from Golgotha by Saint Helenato symbolically unite the blood of Christ with that shed by thousands of early Christians, who died in the persecutions of Nero. 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 moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls.
The site received a major re-landscaping at the beginning of the 16th century, during the papacy of Julius II. Donato Bramante's original design was then split into three new courtyards.
Today's Vatican Gardens are spread over nearly 23 hectares, they contain a variety of medieval fortifications, buildings and monuments from the 9th century to the present day, set among vibrant flower beds and topiary, green lawns and a forest. There are a variety of fountains cooling the gardens, sculptures and artificial grottoes devoted to the Madonna, and an olive tree donated by the government of Israel. (after Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13046 W: 139 N: 33749] (153890)
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