Ines Jordan-Zoob - Old & New: Sixtus V and Urban Rome


Despite serving as pontiff for a mere 5 years (1585-1590), Sixtus V dramatically revitalized both the inner workings and the skyline of Rome. As St Peter's dome and the Lateran Palace neared completion, all at his behest, Sixtus continued to reform the Curia. His vision was law and order; for Rome, for the Church and for the populace of his city.

Over 4 centuries have passed, and Sixtus' patronage remains abundant. One of the many enduring legacies of his reign are the architectural monuments he left behind. Placed on many of the new streets he created, ancient columns and obelisks were re-erected and renovated, often with Christian imagery on top. These objects echoed the past glories of Imperial Rome while asserting the majesty and strength of contemporary Papal Rome in the face of the Reformation.

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