Where does the pope live?

Pope Francis is the current head of the Roman Catholic Church. As head of the Vatican which is an independent state, the Pope is also entitled to live close by or at the Papal Apartments which is the official residence of the incumbent head of the Church. Let us take a look where does the pope live.

The Pope's quarters

By tradition, the elected Pope is supposed to live at the Papal or the Apostolic Palace. But where does the current Pope live?

  • Apostolic Palace

The Apostolic Palace has a three-level courtyard built by Pope Sixtus who reigned from 1585 to 1590. Swiss guards stand at the Clementine Hall. The Seconda Loggia with its ornate and rich decorations is also guarded by Swiss guards. Every Sunday, the Pope stands facing the second window from the right of the third floor where he blesses the crowd that gathers on the Vatican square below. It was remodelled in 1964 by Pope Paul VI. There is a large living room which is above the library of the Vatican. The papal library is where the Pope meets official visitors such as bishops and heads of states. The apartments also consist of a chapel, offices for the pope and his secretaries, bedroom, dining room, kitchen and several guest rooms for the staff.

  • Vatican guesthouse

However, when the current Pope was elected, he decided to live at the Vatican guesthouse. He lives at Suite 201. According to the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, Pope Francis wants “to live in community with others”. This means living close to priests and bishops who work at the Vatican.

The official guesthouse is called Domus Sanctae Marthae. It is a five storey building located at the Vatican City. This building has 105 suites and 26 single rooms. Nearly half of these rooms are occupied by permanent residents. Although the guesthouse is not luxury, if offers comfortable quarters. Each suite features a sitting room, a bedroom and a private bathroom/shower. All of the rooms have telephone and satellite TV.

Luxury places

St. Martha may not be a luxury hotel and does not compare with the more luxurious and grandiose Papal apartments. But this is where the Pope wants to live. In addition to the above amenities, the building has also a dining room, main and private chapels and several sitting rooms. And for the current pope, this is where he wants to stay. The next time someone asks, where does the pope live, remember the current facilities are good enough for him.

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