Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Categories: Culture

On February 11, 1929, the Vatican became a sovereign state. The history of the independent Holy See begins with the signing of the so—called Lateran Agreements - a set of documents that defined the rights, privileges and position of the Vatican in the Italian Kingdom. However, this event had a more formal significance: for many centuries, the papacy, without considering anyone in particular, influenced the fate of the whole world.

In the secret archive of the Vatican, which has been gradually declassified since the end of the XIX century, there is a huge collection of priceless manuscripts — evidence of the power of the Holy See.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

The archive was separated from the Vatican Library in 1610 under Pope Paul V and since then has been the largest repository of secrets in the world. The total length of the shelves, divided into 650 departments, is 85 kilometers — more than 35 thousand books and documents.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

According to some sources, the archive contains the largest collection of occult literature in the world. However, the interest is mainly aroused not by the volumes about mystical rituals, but by historical documents covering 16 centuries of human history.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

"Everything is here — from old Europe to Asia, from the discovery of America to World War II. No country has escaped our attention," says Sergio Pagano, curator of the archive.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

In the library you can find manuscripts covering the most high-profile processes of the Inquisition, documents left over from the time of the Crusades, manuscripts of famous thinkers and scientists.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

The breadth of the Holy See's ties with important people from all over the world is striking. The archive, for example, contains a letter from the leader of the Canadian Ojibwa tribe in 1887, in which he thanks the Vatican for sending a missionary.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Access to the archive for scientists was opened in 1924. First, the documents were declassified until the middle of the XIX century. Gradually, the volume of available materials increased, and now specialists have the opportunity to study documents relating to the period before 1939. A couple of years ago, it was reported that the Vatican intends to declassify its archives from the Second World War.

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

Secrets hidden within the walls of the Vatican's secret archive

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