Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome

Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome

The Vatican Apostolic Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly called simply the Vatican Library, is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from throughout history. From July 2007, the library had been temporarily closed to the public for rebuilding, and reopened in September 2010.

Pope Nicholas V established the library in the Vatican in 1448 by combining some 350 Greek, Latin and Hebrew codices inherited from his predecessors with his own collection and extensive acquisitions, among them manuscripts from the imperial Library of Constantinople. When its first librarian, Bartolomeo Platina, produced a listing in 1481, the library held over 3,500 items, making it by far the largest in the Western world. Around 1587, Pope Sixtus V commissioned the architect Domenico Fontana to construct a new building for the library; it is still in use today. Books were displayed on benches to which they were chained.

Today, the library holds some 75,000 manuscripts and over 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula. The Vatican Secret Archives were separated from the library at the beginning of the 17th century; they contain another 150,000 items. Among the most famous holdings of the library is the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, the oldest known nearly complete manuscript of the Bible. The Secret History of Procopius was discovered in the library and published in 1623. The Vatican Library is a research library for history, law, philosophy, science and theology, open to anyone who can document their qualifications and research needs. Photocopies for private study of pages from books published between 1801 and 1990 can be requested in person or by mail.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Rome, Italy, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Sight Map

Sight Name: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Vatican Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Campo Marzio Walking Tour

Campo Marzio Walking Tour

Campo Marzio is a historic district of Rome, it covers part of the ancient Campus Martius (Fields of Mars) and is one of the largest amongst the remaining 14 historic districts. Campo Marzio is also the district that most Romans refer to as the city center or downtown of Rome. Each Roman district or "rione" in Italian, has its own ordinal number and coat of arms, as well as fascinating history and breathtaking attractions. Take this tour to explore Campo Marzio, the 4th rione of Rome.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Campitelli & St'Angelo Walking Tour

Campitelli & St'Angelo Walking Tour

Campitelli and Sant'Angelo are two of Rome's oldest rioni (districts), they are located at the heart of ancient Rome and are home to the most sought after landmarks; such as the Colosseum, Theater of Marcellus, Temple of Saturn, and Arch of Constantine. Take this tour to explore Campitelli, the tenth rione, and Sant'Angelo, the eleventh and the smallest historic rione of Rome.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Old Rome Nightlife Tour

Old Rome Nightlife Tour

Rome may not be known for having the kind of cutting edge nightlife found in cities like Berlin or London, guests to Rome will still find that solid party atmosphere that lasts all night long, with a more casual, unpretentious crowd. This Old Rome Nightlife Tour includes the best nightspots the city has to offer, where guests will be sure to have a great night of dancing, mingling and great cocktails.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Take this tour to explore the Monti and Celio rioni (districts). Celio is the 19th rione of Rome, its coat of arms features an elephant headdress with golden tusks on a silver background, in memory of an African bust that was found in via Capo d'Africa. Monti is actually the first rione, its name literally means "mountains". Monti's coat of arms consists of three green mountains on a silver background, since the rione originally encompassed the Esquiline and the Viminal Hills, and parts of the Quirinal and the Caelian Hills.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Museums Walk

Museums Walk

As an ancient and cultural city, Rome is packed with museums which demonstrate its value in the world of culture and civilization. When it comes to art, Rome contains the most significant artifacts in the world, including sculptures, paintings, pottery, and porcelain; all hidden within the splendid palaces of the city. Take the following tour to better acquaint yourself with the splendors of Rome.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Sightseeing Walking Tour in EUR

Sightseeing Walking Tour in EUR

Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) is a suburban area in Rome established in 1942, it was designed to host an exhibition which didn't take place due to World War II. EUR is popular for the period architecture of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The area also contains some very important landmarks of history and culture, including Museo della Civiltà Romana, Pigorini Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico and Museo Nazionale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Rome is the Eternal City and, as such, the list of gift options available here is countless. Whether it's something edible, drinkable, wearable or pleasing to the eye that you want - you will find it all here in abundance. However, if time or budget is the factor, perhaps you might want to...
17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

For ice cream lovers and dabblers this guide is a treasure chest of Rome’s best gelato shops. There are gelaterias everywhere. Many visitors to Rome only have a few days to explore the city. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your time and find the gelato locals eat. Often the authentic...
10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

Of all the things Italy is most famous for (cars, music, fashion, movies, etc.), food is, undoubtedly, top of the list. Rome may well not be the whole Italy, but no Italy is whole without Rome... And the Romans, much as all their fellow-Italians, like it "fresco", hence the abundance of...