20.02.

1798: Pope Captured and Taken from Rome

1798: Pope Captured and Taken from Rome
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Popepiusvi.jpg

On this day the captured Pope Pius VI was taken from Rome, where a Roman Republic was proclaimed.

After Napoleon’s troops occupied northern Italy, the French general Louis-Alexandre Berthier entered Rome practically unopposed and declared a Roman Republic. By this he wanted to make Pope Pius VI renounce worldly authority over Rome and the Papal States. When he refused to do this, he was taken prisoner. On this day the captured pope was taken from Rome to Siena and Certosa near Florence, and then over Parma, Piacenza, Turin and Grenoble to the town of Valence in France.

After six weeks of imprisonment in Valence the pope died. The cardinals met in Venice to elect a new pope. Barnaba Chiaramonti was elected and took the name Pius VII. It is unusual that the new Pope was crowned with papier-mâché papal tiara, since the French had seized the original. The new Pope traveled from Venice to Rome on a rundown Austrian ship that barely sailed and arrived there later that year.

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