The Piano Nobile

The piano nobile in the Apostolic Palace overlooking the Cortile della Biblioteca and connecting the Sistine Hall of the Vatican Museums to the site of the present-day Archivio Segreto Vaticano lies in the Pius IV wing and contains the suite of three rooms Paul V reserved for the initial collection of documents of the new archives he set up in the Vatican Palace in 1612.
Between 1610 and 1614 a set of poplar and walnut armaria carrying the coat of arms of the House of Borghese (crowned eagle and winged dragon) were installed.
During this period the pope commissioned famous painters, such as Giovanni Battista Calandra, Marzio Ganassini, Antonio Viviani and Annibale Durante, to paint an elaborate series of wall frescoes depicting the sovereigns of the leading European kingdoms donating their dominions to different popes.
The ceilings are decorated with mythical and allegorical scenes painted by the same artists or their co-workers, and each room takes its name from the scenes on the ceiling.