New gate will link Vatican to Rome

A new gate to be opened on Friday will link the Vatican's northern side with Rome.

Catholic World News reports that the government of the Vatican city-state announced the opening yesterday. It will provide a fifth accessible entrance into the Vatican, easing the traffic congestion that has become common at other gates - particularly the St Anne gate - during commuter hours.

The new gate will also provide easier access to and from locations in the northern end of the walled Vatican City, where several busy offices are located: a post office, supermarket, and medical clinic for Vatican employees. At the moment, vehicular traffic to and from those locations must use the St Anne gate, which already has heavy traffic from an underground garage.

The new gate was created by breaking through the walls that surround Vatican City, making it a quiet enclave inside Rome. The breach on the northern wall was made at the same point where another gate was built in 1929, after the signing of the Lateran Accords, but closed up again in 1931.

The new entry is located near the entrance to the Vatican Museums, and close to Rome's Piazza del Risorgimento. The gate will have bronze doors bearing the Vatican coat of arms, the coat of arms of Pope Benedict, and an inscription reading: "Benedictus XVI P.M. Civitatis Vaticanae officialum commoditati ostium aperiri iussit AD MMVI Pont I"- indicating that the gate was opened in 2006, during the first year of the current pontificate.

After an opening ceremony at midday on Friday, the new gate will complement the four existing entries to the Vatican.

New gate will link Vatican to Rome (Catholic World News 7/2/06)

Breach in Vatican walls is way out (Reuters/The Age 8/2/06)
New Vatican gate not quite pearly (Reuters 7/2/06)

8 Feb 2006