In the 15th century, from 1401 to 1500, new life was brought to Rome. The Western Schism ended, and under Nicholas V the city became a centre of the Italian Renaissance. Huge projects such as the construction of the new San Pietro in Vaticano were started. The Jubilee Year of 1450 saw thousands of pilgrim arriving in the city.

Nicholas V asserted the temporal powers of the Pontiff, and ruled Rome with a strong hand. Together with the architect Leon Battista Alberti he started as program of urban renewal.

Sixtus IV continued the renewal programme, and reopened cultural and educational institutions. It was Sixtus who commissioned the finest architects and artitst of his time to work in San Pietro in Vaticano.

Towards the end of the century, confusion and chaos again reigned for a period under Innocent VIII and Alexander VI. The century ended with a new Jubilee Year in 1500, but with violent gangs roaming the streets, fewer pilgrims came this time.


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