Admit it: there's something inherently mysterious about the city-country-epicenter-of-Catholicism Vatican City. Because of this mystery, there's also something inherently interesting about photographs inside the Vatican. From royal and presidential visitors to countless, inestimably valuable artifacts to the state funerals of Popes, Vatican City is ground zero for the Catholic faith. It's the Biblical site of St. Peter's martyrdom, the rock upon which the church was to be built.
This list pulls together a wide array of pictures taken inside Vatican City, and it documents some of the major architectural and restorative changes that the city has experienced since the advent of photography – from the first mailbox installed inside the city to the computer imaging used to restore Michelangelo's work inside the Sistine Chapel.
A Look Inside The Vatican's Hall Of Statues, 1880Photo: Michael Maslan / Getty Images
Tourist Photo Of St. Peter's Square, 1910Photo: Kirn Vintage Stock / Getty Images
Pope John Paul I Lying In State In The Vatican's Clementine Chapel, 1978Photo: Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images
Michelangelo's Piet In The Vatican's Laboratory Of Restoration, 1972Photo: Vittoriano Rastelli / Getty Images
Pope Pius XII Blessing Allied Reporters After The Liberation Of Rome, June 7, 1944Photo: CORBIS / Getty Images
The Construction Of The Wall Separating The Country Of Vatican City From ItalyPhoto: George Rinhart / Getty Images