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Chigi-Albani

CHIGI-ALBANI, the name of a Roman princely family of Sienese extraction descended from the counts of Ardenghesca. The earliest authentic mention of them is in the 13th century, and they first became famous in the person of Agostino Chigi (d. 1520), an immensely rich banker who built the palace and gardens afterwards known as the Farnesina, decorated by Raphael, and was noted for the splendour of his entertainments; Pope Julius II. made him practically his finance minister and gave him the privilege of quartering his own (Della Rovere) arms with those of the Chigi. Fabio Chigi, on being made pope (Alexander VII.) in 1655, conferred the Roman patriciate on his family, and created his nephew Agostino prince of Farnese and duke of Ariccia, and the emperor Leopold I. created the latter Reichsfürst (prince of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1659. In 1712 the family received the dignity of hereditary marshals of the Church and guardians of the conclaves, which gave them a very great importance on the death of every pope. On the marriage in 1735 of another Agostino Chigi (1710-1769) with Giulia Albani, heiress of the Albani, a Venetian patrician family, said to be of Albanian origin, her name was added to that of Chigi. The family owns large estates at Siena.

See A. von Reumont, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, vol. iii. (Berlin, 1868); Almanach de Gotha.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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