Vatican Museums - Sistine Chapel, Rome

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 Reviews

00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

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  • kmohandas's Profile Photo

    SISTINE CHAPEL- TREASURE OF MASTERPIECES OF ART

    by kmohandas Updated Mar 25, 2008

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    The Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV in 1475 as Pope’s Chapel. It still continue to be the Pope's Chapel and the papal elections are held here. The Sistine Chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15, 1483.
    In 1481 the Florentine painters Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV. Perugian Pietro Perugino were asked to decorate the walls with frescoes. Luca Signorelli may have also been involved in the decoration. The fresco project took only 11 months from July 1481 to May 1482.
    The Sistine ceiling was originally painted by Piero Matteo d'Amelia. In 1508 AD Pope Julius II Della Rovere asked Michelangelo to repaint the ceiling. Michelangelo was not happy about this as he had considered himself a sculptor. and was contemptuous of Fresco painting. These paintings ultimately became a master piece and his most well-known work.

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  • Secret exit: Sistine Chappel to St. Peters

    by rjcrjc Written Jan 14, 2008

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    This will save you a lot of time.

    As you go through the Vatican Museum one of the last things you will do is the Sistine Chapel

    There is an exit in the back of the room labeled 'exit for tours only'

    Wait until you have enough people or join a tour, but that IS the exit to take. What I did was lift my umbrella and many others were waiting for someone to do something like this. Then walk out like you know what you're doing :)

    It will dump you right to the entrance of St Peters Basilica saving you walking and time.

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    The Art

    by BruceDunning Updated Nov 18, 2007

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    The entry hall going into the Sistine Chapel is painted by many understudies of Michelangelo. They took over 20 years to paint the ceiling and walls. Besides those most beautiful artworks are a veritable number of statues and decorated furniture. You could easily spend 2-3 hours looking at all the treasures. Then-you are led into the Sistine Chapel, with the largest painting yet on one wall, and ceilings painted with so many specialty touches that it boggles the mind. The Michelangelo wall of heaven and hell holds so much to stare at and study.
    The biggest problem is there are also around another 1,000+ people feeling the same way in a cramped space. That definitely detracts from all the beauty one can see.

    Typical ceiling painting painting of depth perception showing sculpting In St. Peter's BAsilica-sculpted figure of Pope The alter dedication Mother of Fertility outside
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  • TONY786's Profile Photo

    cistine chapel ceiling

    by TONY786 Written Oct 11, 2007

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    I got barred and thrown out of the museum for taking this pic, which is a joke as they said it was to protect the art more like to enable them to sell overpriced posters on the way out.This spoiled the whole day but you have to marvel at the mans genius in producing suh beauty...by the way 100's still took pics as he ranted and raved it was chaos if they gave out insructions on the tannoy then i would have known but i explained nobody had told me was noy eneough he wanted me out!!

    WOW !!!!!

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  • TONY786's Profile Photo

    vatican museum and cistine chapel

    by TONY786 Written Oct 11, 2007

    a great experience 16 euros entry well worth it but be very wary of the many staff as not so friendly of course i was snapping away with my camera and as i got to the cistine chapel cieling the maichaleangelo i took the following pic and was jumped on by a nasty man shouting i must leave and give him my memory card as it was wrong to take a pic i asked why as there was no problem taking the other works of art pictures and suggested that they sold copies of the cieling every 50 yards and wanted to get as much money out of the tourists. also you are plagued outside by males selling copy bags.

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  • salvamea4545's Profile Photo

    Sistine Chapel: Trivia Question

    by salvamea4545 Updated Jun 29, 2007

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    This is a curiosity about the Sistine chapel. Take a close look at certain very black spots everywhere on the cealing. Those spots are how the entire ceiling would look if they hadn't restored it! amazing!

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Sixtin Chapel

    by MichaelFalk1969 Written May 16, 2007

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    This world famous chapel whose ceiling frescoe "The Genesis" by Michelangelo is one of the most important works of art in history is part of the Vatican Collections. A visit to the museum includes the (usually crowded) chapel. Nonetheless, a sight not to be missed.

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  • newsphotogirl's Profile Photo

    Vatican City Museum/Sistine Chapel

    by newsphotogirl Updated Nov 22, 2006

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    We took the Metro to Cipro. It was easy to find from there if you looked for the signs.

    The line to get in was long but moved fast. I enjoyed walking through the rooms of the museum which had everything from Egyptian artifacts to works by Raphael. It was a long walk to the Sistine Chapel. And we couldn't have rushed through even if we wanted to because of the crowds. Both the ceiling and the Last Judgement were breathtaking. I could have sat there for hours just looking at all the little details. There is no talking and pictures are not allowed. And there was a guard whose job it was to prevent pictures and keep everyone quiet. He kept saying "Silence....Silencio...No talking...No Camera...No Video" over and over in a monotone voice which was interrupted only by three sharp claps when the whispers became too loud. I took a few pictures while he went into the crowd to yell at a woman taking pictures. That's so tacky I know but I was very subtle and placed the camera in my lap and didn't use my flash:)

    Michelangelo was in his 30's when he painted the Sistine Chapel. He considered himself a sculpter not a painter and didn't want to take on the project. He was working on the tomb of Pope Julius II at the time when the pope requested that he paint the frescoes. The physically demanding project took 4 years throughout which Machelangelo and Pope Julius II argued frequently. Michelangelo once locking the doors to prevent the pope from checking on the project and the pope threatening to topple Michelangelo from the scaffolding.

    The Rough Guide has some interesting background on Michelangelo and these two projects that is worth reading.

    As you leave the museum there are many shops and a post office where you can have your mail postmarked from Vatican City.

    Shorts, sleeveless tops or any other revealing clothing are not be allowed in St. Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican museums. There are people selling scarves outside if you need them to cover up.

    Look out the window of the Vatican Museum I just like this dog statue Floor mosaic at the Vatican Museum

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    Cappella Sistina

    by andy613 Written Nov 1, 2006

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    Obviously the central attraction of the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel and the magnificent ceiling painted by Michelangelo...together with The Last Judgement behind the alter.

    Silence is expected so, paradoxically, as the mumur of the crowds rise, the wardens will shout out to be quiet at regular intervals!!!!

    They will also shout at you for taking photos, tho' not at me, 'cos I was sneaky...(lol)

    It is said this is because the Japanese own the copyright, for stumping up the cash for the restoration, but I couldn't possibly say....

    Sistine Chapel (Ceiling) Sistine Chapel (The Last Judgement)
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    The Vatican

    by tompik Updated Sep 24, 2006

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    Okay, so I was raised in the Catholic tradition, in an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, and find myself on the rooftop of a convent overlooking St. Peter's Square awaiting the famous puff of white smoke annoucing a new Pope to the world. Looking across St. Peter's, I imagined the college of cardinals sitting in the Sistine Chapel below Micheangelo's ceiling. I wouldn't get to see the Sistine Chapel on that trip, but it was our first stop on our next trip.
    Looking up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, using my prescription progressive lenses to magnify the distant Michelangelo masterpieces, I thought next time bring binoculars. In my mind's eye, Charleton Heston and Michelangelo were one and the same person. Now I was standing under the actual work of the actual person,not the Million Dollar movie fantasy. My impression of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was chaos; a chaotic swirl of interplay between God and man, man and nature, events, all melded into one.
    Why Chaos, I thought? The ceiling was quite geometric, scenes painted into rectangles and arched triangles, triplets of boxes in rows, interupted only by symetrical pointed arches. Viewed as photos, or on a television set, the viewer sits stationary as the scenes are displayed in an orderly fashion by the rotation of the camera. However, experiencing the ceiling as a spectator in the chapel, it is the viewer who moves. First back and forth, then side to side, around in a circle, and before long you are spinning like a top on your own axis. The chaos, I came to realize , is not in the painting on the ceiling, but in experiencing it first hand as a spectator. Perhaps the only still point visually is the space between God's finger and Adam's. There for a moment your eyes rest.
    I followed the rules and didn't take any pictures in the Sistine Chapel. Check out the web site below for an interesting interactive experience of the ceiling.

    Also not to be missed at the Vatican Museum are the Raffelo rooms.

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  • Marpessa's Profile Photo

    Vatican Museum

    by Marpessa Updated Aug 22, 2006

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    To be quite honest the Sistine Chapel was not how I thought it would look, and even though the ceilings mural is very impressive, I enjoyed the corridors with their paintings, sculptures, mosaics and other pieces of artwork more. When you are in the Chapel you feel everyone is impressed and trying to be quiet (although those not being quiet will be shushed by the guards), but still I was more impressed by other areas of Musei Vaticani.

    The Sistine Chapel was built between 1475 and 1483. The most famous piece of art in the chapel is Michelangelo's fresco the Creation of Adam. Michelangelo also painted the Last Judgement, which is found over the altar in the chapel.

    But please, don't just shuffle through the long corridors to look at the Sistine Chapel. Take in everything around you as you walk along the long corridors and go from room to room to room. Especially, I liked the 'Gallery of Maps', a gallery that is 120m long and holds 40 large (and incredibly beautiful) maps of the changing regions of Italy through the centuries. The ceiling looks golden and has many incredible works of art (paintings) - it is also along this gallery that you look out the windows and get a nice view of St. Peter's Basilica.

    Admission (Museums and Chapel)
    Adult: EUR 12
    Reduced: EUR 8
    Special: EUR 4
    (check website for meaning of 'special' and 'reduced')

    Opening Hours
    (Generally - check website for specific dates)
    April 1 to October 31: 8:45am - 4:45pm
    November 1 to March 31: 8:45am - 1:45pm.
    Closed all Sundays and holidays.

    Although on the last Sunday of the month the museum is open with free admission.

    Gallery of Maps
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  • dongix's Profile Photo

    The Sistine Chapel

    by dongix Updated Jul 26, 2006

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    The Sistine Chapel is probably the most important reason for your visit. And if that's the case, go there directly once you entered the Vatican Museum. You can always go back to explore the other parts of the museum later once you had your fill of Michaelangelo's masterpiece. The Sistine Chapel is best enjoyed with a lesser crowd - another reason why you have to be at the Vatican Museum early.

    For parents with kids, it is allowed to bring the stroller inside. Just be prepared to carry your child as there will be stairs along the way. And by the way you're not allowed to take pictures (or videos) inside the chapel. Well I took mine secretly that's why it's out of focus. Sometimes, being crammed among other tourists has its advantage.

    A little piece of history. The Sistine Chapel was built between 1475 and 1483 in the time of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere. The first Mass was celebrated on August 9, 1483. The wall paintings were done by Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli, Luca Signorelli and others.

    In 1508, Pope Julius II della Rovere commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to repaint the ceiling and completed the work between 1508 and 1512. The Last Judgement (over the altar) was painted between 1535 and 1541, commissioned by Pope Paul III Farnese.

    Here's an interesting trivia. Over the years, the paint became darker because of the soot accumulated from the burning candles. Michelangelo being a genius and a forward-thinker probably anticipated this and so he did something really clever. He inverted a very small piece of stone from the painted ceiling. Years later when the authorities did an extensive examination to determine the state of the frescoes and the ceiling, they noticed a blank or unpainted piece of stone. Puzzled, they removed it and discovered the other side was painted. That gave them the idea of how the colors would have looked like during Michelangelo's time. And of course they restored the frescoes and preserved it back to its "pristine" state.

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  • Jmill42's Profile Photo

    Sistine Chapel

    by Jmill42 Written Feb 8, 2006

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    On of the greatest works of mankind lies within the Vatican's walls, the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo produced this wonderous work and then was brought back to paint the entry wall's depiction of Judgement Day. Recently restored to its original splendor, it is something that will amaze you and also give a serious pain in your neck! While it is offically forbidden to take pictures, you can see that its not too strictly adhered to, or policed.

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  • alemir82's Profile Photo

    Something exciting

    by alemir82 Written Feb 6, 2006

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    Best €8,50 (w/ student discount) i have ever spent in my entire life. this museum houses a seemingly endless collection of irreplaceable statues, paintings, and frescoes. home of michelangelo's sistine chapel ceiling... the museum leads you on a cruelly suspenseful path, ending with the sistina cappella. got a sore neck from just staring at it for so long, and left the museum crying because it is so indescribably beautiful.

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  • Dutch1980's Profile Photo

    Sistine Chapel...

    by Dutch1980 Updated Feb 5, 2006

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    The Sistine Chapel is the private papel chapel built in 1473 for Pope Sixtus IV.
    Michalangelo's wonderfull frescoes of the creation on the barrel-vaulted ceiling and "Last Judgement" on the end of the wall have both be restored to their original brilliance. It took Michelangelo four years, at the height of the Renaissance, to paint the ceiling ; 24 years later he painted the the last Judgement...

    Famous is the creation of Adam painted in the ceiling....
    So don't forget it when you are in the Vatican city... because its beautifull and a must see.

    The Creation of Adam...
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