Sistine Chapel - Vatican Museums

The Sistine Chapel (Latin: Sacellum Sixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina) is a large and renowned chapel of the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, and most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Roselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, a masterpiece without precedent, that was to change the course of Western art. In a different climate after the Sack of Rome, he returned and between 1535 and 1541, painted The Last Judgement for Popes Clement VII and Paul III. The fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel, ever since they were revealed five hundred years ago.

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Sistine Chapel - Virtual 3D Tour

While visiting the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel keep in mind ...

Tip #1 - Book a Tour! You don't want to waste any precious time on waiting in a long line to enter the Vatican Museums and you definitely will enjoy the company of a professional licensed English speaking guide while navigating this immense maze of art.

Tip #2 - It is obligatory to leave food and drink in the cloakroom, on the condition that this is collected before closing hours.

Tip #3 - If you are taking with you suitcases, backpacks and containers, umbrella with a spike tip, walking sticks (except those required by disable visitors), tripods, signage of any kind, knives, scissors or any tools that could be harmful to other persons or damage works of art in the Museums, it is obligatory to deposit them in the cloakroom.

Tip #4 - No firearms of any kind or other dangerous objects! It is strictly forbidden to enter the Museums with any kind of weapon.

Tip #5 - No touching the art works!
Tip #6 - Dress up appropriately (no sleeveless blouses, no miniskirts, no shorts, no hats).
Tip #7 - No flashlight photography inside the Museums!
Tip #8 - No photography or filming in the Sistine Chapel!
Tip #9 - No laser pointers!
Tip #10 - Do not use your mobile phones in the Sistine Chapel!
Tip #11 - Pushchair is permitted in the Museums.

Type: Walking Tour
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