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Photo of St. Peter's Basilica

Monument to Queen Christina of Sweden (d.1689)

Monument to Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-89), who relinquished the throne to become a Catholic. After enduring great scorn from the Protestant Swedish nobility, she settled in Rome, where she lived in poverty until her death. Before her conversion, she famously called Rene Descartes to her Swedish castle to discuss philosophy, where he died from the cold within five months.

Located near the back of the right aisle, this monument was ordered by Pope Innocent XII and designed by Carlo Fontana in 1702. The white marble bas-relief shows the queen renouncing Protestantism at Innsbruck in 1655, and above is a medallion with an unflattering likeness of the queen.

Photo © David Joyal.