See Where Cardinals Sleep And Eat During The Papal Conclave

domus sanctae marthae vatican city

Photo: Fr Tim Finigan

The 115 cardinals participating in the Vatican’s papal conclave spend their days locked in the Sistine Chapel casting vote after vote until one of them is elected Pope.But where do they go in the evenings?

For the duration of the enclave, the cardinals stay at the Domus Marthae Sanctae, a hotel-like residence in the Vatican with 131 bedrooms, a dining room and sitting rooms, according to The Catholic Register.

The five-story building normally houses clerical and lay guests; most of the rooms have a sitting room and separate bedroom with a private bathroom, according to The Catholic Register.

Father Tim Finigan, a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Southwark, England, stayed in the Domus Marthae Sanctae in 2010 for the International Colloquium of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy. He was kind enough to share some photos from his experience with us.

The five-story Domus Sanctae Marthae was built in 1996. The building, which normally houses guests at the Holy See, has 106 suites and 22 single rooms.

Before the residence was built, the cardinals slept on cots in small rooms next to the Sistine Chapel. The building has a main chapel and four smaller chapels.

There is a small organ in the chapel.

The rooms are sparse. Each suite has a sitting room with a desk.

The bedroom is separate. Each has a dresser, night table and clothes stand — and not much else.

The plaque says that the building was donated by the Knights of Columbus.

Each morning, the cardinals walk to the Sistine Chapel (or take a bus if it's raining).

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