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The present papal palace was begun by Sixtus V and completed by his successors, Urban VII, Innocent XI, and Clement VIII.

The buildings extending along the southern slope of the hill to Piazza S.

All the other museum buildings at the eastern end of the palace were erected or remodelled by Pius VI and Pius VII.

In the imperial gardens situated in this section was the Circus of Nero. The Juridical and Hygienic Boards of the Vatican; XIII. This district did not belong to ancient Rome, nor was it included within the city walls built by Emperor Aurelian. Urban V spent a short time in Rome, and Gregory XI died there. The funds devoted to the repairs of the Vatican during the residence at Avignon had been entirely inadequate. These buildings were scarcely finished or fitted when the popes moved to Avignon and from 1305 to 1377 no pope resided permanently in the Vatican Palace.Pietro, occupied today by the maestro di camera and the majordomo, were erected by Julius III, and completed under Pius IX with the construction of the magnificent Scala Pia.

The buildings branching off from the northern wing toward the gardens, in the vicinity of the chapels of Pius V, were built by Paul V.

Directly south, in the direction of Sant' Angelo, Nicholas V erected a mighty bastion (called the Torrione di Niccolò V), running down from the summit of the hill to Sant' Angelo.

The space mounting the hill in a northerly direction was enclosed by a wall and served as a garden ().

This broad sketch of the architectural history of the Vatican and the following description of the various edifices will afford a fairly exact idea of the gradual growth of this vast collection of buildings.

The Vatican Palace is situated on the eastern sections of the Vatican Hill.

The large Loggia () near the villa of Innocent VIII was erected by Pius IV.