Friday, December 01, 2006

The Rocca del Papa, Viterbo

The Rocca del Papa

Cardinal Albornoz in his pacification of the lands which became the Papal States commenced the building of the main fortress in Viterbo. It was called the Rocca Albernoz, or Rocca del Papa. On his death in Viterbo in 1367, Cardinal Albornoz had still not completed it. After his death, it was partially demolished by the population of Viterbo. Only in 1457 did the work started again to be concluded in 1462 under Pius II.

Later on, both Alexander VI and Julius II enlarged and embellished the building. The external loggia has been created by Paul III Farnese in 1538. In the internal atrium stands a fountain with the arms of the Della Rovere. From there starts the staircase with a porch towards the atrium at the first landing. The stairs lead to the first floor where there is the Throne Hall

On the last floor, there is the private appartment of the Pontiff with its loggia towards the square. Today, the Rocca Albornoz houses the Museo Nazionale and a great permanent exhibition on the Etruscan and domestic architecture.