1. World Map/
  2. Europe/
  3. Vatican/
  4. Vatican Timeline

Vatican History Timeline

30s AD – 600s AD

  • (30-64) Peter served as the first pope
  • (326) Emperor Constantine built Basilica over St. Peter's tomb
  • (590 - 604) Pope Gregory established popes as de facto rules of central Italy
1400s
  • (1451) Vatican Library was established
  • (1475) Pope Sixtus IV built Sistine Chapel, Sixtus Bridge over the Tiber River
  • (1499) Michelangelo completed the Pieta for the Vatican
1500s
  • (1506) First contingent of Swiss Guards arrived to protect Pope and Vatican
  • (1506) Work began on new St. Peter's Basilica
  • (1508) Michelangelo began painting Sistine chapel ceiling in Rome
  • (1512) Michelangelo finished the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
  • (1521) Martin Luther excommunicated from Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X
  • (1522) Adrian VI elected Pope, the last non-Italian Pope until John Paul II
  • (1527) German, Spanish troops sacked Rome, Pope Clement VII captured, thousands killed, 147 of 189 Swiss Guards were killed
  • (1533) Pope Clement VII excommunicated King Henry VIII from Catholic Church following divorce; Henry VIII became head of Church of England
  • (1541) Michelangelo's Last Judgment on altar wall of Sistine Chapel unveiled
  • (1546) Michelangelo put in charge of restoration of St. Peter's Basilica by Pope Paul III, designed St. Peter's dome
1600s – 1800s
  • (1626) St. Peter's Cathedral consecrated
  • (1773) Pope Clement XIV abolished Jesuit order
  • (1823) St. Peter's Basilica destroyed by fire
  • (1825) St. Peter's Basilica reconstructed in time for Holy Year
  • (1846) Church owned Papal states and parts of Rome, Pope Pius IX crowned
  • (1849) Italy declared a Republic, headed by revolutionary leader Giuseppe Mazzini
  • (1870) Italy completed the takeover of the Papal lands, led to unification of Italy; first Vatican council established; dogma of papal infallibility proclaimed
  • (1871) Under Italian law, temporal power of the pope abrogated, the territory of the papacy confined to the Vatican and Lateran palaces and the Villa of Castel Gandolfo; Popes refused to recognize arrangement
1900s
  • (1929) Lateran Treaty established the independent state of the Vatican City, granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy, Vatican City became smallest nation in the world, under the jurisdiction of the Pope
  • (1930) Vatican City's railway station opened, used mostly for freight
  • (1943) German troops occupied Rome, took over protection of Vatican City
1900s continued
  • (1943-1944) Vatican City stayed neutral during WWII
  • (1962) Ecumenical Council Vatican II, opened by John XXIII, set policies in place for the modernization of the Roman Catholic Church
  • (1978) Pope John Paul II became first non-Italian Pope since Renaissance
  • (1981) Assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II in Vatican City by a Turkish man
  • (1984) After 117 years, USA and Vatican established full diplomatic relations
  • (1998) Pope's top bodyguard and wife shot and killed in their apartment
2000s
  • (2001) Pope John Paul II installed 44 new cardinals, the largest number ever installed at one time
  • (2001) Pontifical Committee for Vatican City State established that the president was also head of the Governorate of the State of the Vatican City
  • (2003) John Paul II celebrated 25th anniversary
  • (2003) Mother Teresa beatified by Pope John Paul II
  • (2005) Pope John Paul II died at the age of 84
  • (2005) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany became Pope Benedict XVI
  • (2007) Vatican engineers announced some Holy See buildings would begin using solar energy
  • (2009) Vatican said it would spend $660 million on new solar plant, largest in Europe, on 740 acres of land north of Rome
  • (2009) Vatican Radio began airing advertisements for the first time in its 80-year history
  • (2009) Vatican reported its third straight annual financial loss
  • (2011) Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a new law concerning citizenship, residency and access to Vatican City, replaced the 1929 law
  • (2011) Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II
  • (2011) Vatican reported a profit for 2010
  • (2011) Benedict XVI sent out first Tweet message

Vatican Photographs

Photos used are from public domain sources and from en.wikipedia.org

Trending on WorldAtlas

Countries of Europe

This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.