The Lateran Palace (Latin: Palatium Lateranese) is an ancient Roman palace located on the Caelian Hill, one of the seven original hills of Rome. From the 4th century AD, the palace served as the primary residence of the Pope—the highest-ranking office of the Roman Catholic Church—for roughly a millennium until ultimately the Papal seat of power was transferred to the Vatican. In modern times, the Lateran was retained as a papal palace in the Vatican Papal State, the sovereign territory of the Holy See.
The Lateran Palace is a Vatican Papal residence in Rome, the capital of the Holy See. Located on the Caelian Hill, adjacent to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the current palace has stood since the 16th century AD, although its history dates back to the era of Ancient Rome. At the behest of Pope Sixtus V, the palace was designed by Domenico Fontana, who based its architecture on the design of the Palazzo Farnese.
During the time of the Roman Empire, what was then-known as the Domus Laterani was founded by the Plautii Laterani on the Caelian Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. In the early 4th century AD, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great confiscated the property of the Laterani and ultimately donated it to the Pope—the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Catholic Church—resulting in the Lateran Palace's gradual transformation into the primary Papal residence.
For over a thousand years, the Lateran Palace retained its status as the principle residence and workplace of the Papacy. Following the short-lived Avignon Papacy and its subsequent return to Rome, the remnants of the ancient palace, which had fallen into decay due to the Pope's absence, were destroyed in 1586 AD in order to provide space for the construction of a new palace. By then, however, the Papal seat of power had been effectively transferred to Vatican City, an ecclesiastical enclave within Rome. Though the ancient capital was ultimately seized by the Kingdom of Italy in 1870 AD, the Holy See officially retained control of the Vatican, the Lateran Palace, and certain other territories within the new state of Italy. With the signing of the Lateran Treaty in 1929 AD—named for the Lateran Palace where the treaty signing took place—the palace and adjoining archbasilica became extraterritorial properties of the Holy See.
In 3060 AD, Cardinal Caterina Sforza was arrested by Brother Matthaios of the Department of Inquisition on the suspicion of conspiring with the "Neue Vatican" rebellion against the interests of the Vatican Papal State. By order of Cardinal Francesco di Medici, Sforza's half-brother and chief political rival, Sforza was placed under house arrest and confined to the Lateran Palace in Rome. The members of the AX, a special department of Sforza's Ministry of Holy Affairs, debated with each other on how best to aid the imprisoned duchess of Milan. Tres Iqus, a cybernetic priest and one of Sforza's most loyal agents, intended to storm the palace in order to free the duchess. The AX agents Abel Nightroad and William Walter Wordsworth disagreed with Iqus' approach, believing that an act of rebellion against the Vatican would not help to vindicate the duchess in the eyes of the Church leaders. The decision was ultimately made by Nightroad; instead of committing treason against the Vatican, the AX pursued Cherubim—a key target in the Neue Vatican—who could prove Sforza's innocence.
- Trinity Blood: Rage Against the Moons - Volume 4: Judgment Day (First Appearance)
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