How the Popemobile has evolved - in pictures

From horse-drawn carriages to massive lorries, here's a look at vehicles that were adapted for Popes on tour

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Public appearances by the leader of Catholic Church come in all shapes and sizes - and that includes the vehicles that carry him.

In the past, Popes would be carried along a ceremonial throne called the sedia gestatoria by papal attendees.

The custom was abolished by Pope John Paul II who wanted to see as many of his flock as possible during a trip. Motorised alternatives were conceived and the Popemobile was coined.

Neither Benedict XVI or Francis has revived the chair, and the latter has gone as far as removing the bulletproof screenings in his Popemobiles.

From regal horse-drawn carriages to using a giant Leyland Motors lorry in response to an assassination attempt on John Paul II, take a look at some of the most memorable vehicles adapted for the Pope in the gallery above.

UPDATE: Pope Francis uses Mercedes G-Wagen for his UAE visit