Castel Gandolfo


Castel Gandolfo

Infobox CityIT
img_coa = Castel Gandolfo-Stemma.pngimg_coa_small = yes
official_name = Comune di Castel Gandolfo
region = Lazio
province = Rome
elevation_m = 426
area_total_km2 = 14
name=Castel Gandolfo
mapx=41.87|mapy=12.65
population_as_of =
population_total = 6927
population_density_km2 =495
timezone = CET, UTC+1
coordinates = coord|41|44|N|12|39|E
frazioni = Mole di Castel Gandolfo, Pavona
telephone = 06
postalcode = 00040
gentilic = Castellani
saint = St. Sebastian
day = January 20
mayor = Maurizio Colacchi (since May 2002)
website = [http://www.comune.castelgandolfo.rm.it www.comune.castelgandolfo.rm.it]

Castel Gandolfo is a small Italian town in Lazio that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano about 30 km south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills. It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope.

History

Archaeological findings from the 16th century BC have been found in the area of what is now Castel Gandolfo.

The modern city occupies the site of ancient Alba Longa, capital of the Latin League. Its name is derived from a fortification of the ducal Gandolfi family (of Genoese origin, named after St. Gondolfus) in the 12th century, which passed to the Savelli family from whom the Apostolic Camera purchased it in 1596 for 150,000 scudi. Pope Clement VIII was the first pope to come to Castel Gandolfo, but the rebuilding of the old castle was the project of Urban VIII who first came in 1626.

Main sights

*The Pope's summer residence ("Residenza Papale" in Italian) is a 17th century building designed by Carlo Maderno for Pope Urban VIII. The papal palace, and the adjoining Villa Barberini that was added to the complex by Pius XI have enjoyed extraterritorial rights since the signature of the 1929 treaty with Italy; the little piazza directly in front was renamed "Piazza della Libertà" in the first flush of Italian unity after 1870. The papal palace remained unused from 1870 until 1929. Popes Pius XII (1958) and Paul VI (1978) died at Castel Gandolfo.
*The site of the papal palace, rebuilt on the ruins of the former castle, partly occupies the foundations of a summer residence of the Emperor Domitian that occupied 14 km² (5.4 square miles). The residence was designed by the famous architect Rabirius. In the palace's inner courtyard is a Roman bust depicting Polyphemus, the Cyclops from whose cave Ulysses escaped; it was found in the nymphaeum of the Imperial villa's gardens, an artificially constructed grotto of the crater lake's outlet.
*The parish church, dedicated to St. Thomas of Villanova was designed by Bernini (1658-1661) on the order of the Chigi Pope Alexander VII. It has a square plant, and houses a notable pale by Pietro da Cortona portraying the "Crucifixion of Christ".

*The two telescopes of the Vatican Observatory, which were moved from Rome to Castel Gandolfo in the 1930s, were still used until the 1980s. The headquarters of the Vatican Observatory is still located in Castel Gandolfo. However, its dependent research center, the Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG), is hosted by Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. The telescopes are located in Mt. Graham, Arizona.

Image gallery

Twin cities

*flagicon|France Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
*flagicon|Mauritius Curepipe, Mauritius

ee also

*Alban Hills
*Pavona

External links

* [http://www.comune.castelgandolfo.rm.it/ Official site]
* [http://www.ewtn.com/library/CHISTORY/VILLAS.HTM Dr Hans-Joachim Kracht, "Historic villas overlook Lake Albano"] from "L'Osservatore Romano" September 29, 1999


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Castel Gandolfo — Castẹl Gandọlfo,   Stadt in der Provinz Rom, Italien, auf dem Kraterrand des Albaner Sees, 7 100 Einwohner; Weinbau.   Stadtbild:   Am Marktplatz die Kirche San Tommaso da Villanova (von G. L. Bernini, 1661) und die Sommerresidenz des Papstes,… …   Universal-Lexikon


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