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Sistine Chapel In Rome

Explore the history of Sistine Chapel

Tourism in Rome

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Oct - Apr
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Sistine Chapel, Rome (Italy)

The Sistine Chapel is a famous place of the Apostolic Palace, where the Pope resides in Vatican City. The place is well known for its great history. Initially, Cappella Magna was the name to call it, but now, it is known as Chapel. Mainly, it is famous for the frescos art which decorates the interior of this place. Sistine Chapel in Rome is one of the most beautiful chapels with ceilings and walls decorated with beautiful paintings depicting various stories.

What is the most special?

Most of the visitors and tourists get fascinated by the Michelangelo’s Chapel two things, one is its high ceiling and the second one is the last judgment. It includes lots of beautiful paintings which attracts a lot.

A talented team of painters executed the decoration process, including the popular named as Sandro Botticelli, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Roselli, and Pietro Perugino. The ceiling Pier is painted a starry sky by Matteo d’Amelia. This mind-blowing work took almost a year as the work on the frescos started in 1481 and finished in 1482. Michelangelo replaced the blue ceiling with stars in 1508, under the Pope Julius 2nd.

South Wall: As soon as you enter the Sistine Chapel, the wall to the left is called the South Wall. The whole chapel is decorated with ancient paintings. None of the ceilings have been left untouched. The first panel of the South Wall was painted by Perugino that depicts the story of Moses when he fled to Midian as a refugee. The second panel was painted by Botticelli and it depicts the various events related to the life of Moses. The third panel was painted by Rosselli and d’Antonio is known as the Destruction of Pharaoh's Army.

North Wall: Right opposite to the South Wall, is the North Wall which has a total of 6 frescos that tells the story of the Christ. The first fresco or panel was painted by Perugino which depicts the sight of the circumcision of Moses’s son and John, the Baptist preaching to a crowd and on the center is Jesus being baptized. The fresco was painted by Botticelli which shows the fasting period of Jesus for 40 days. The third fresco was painted by Ghirlandaio and shows the scenes of Andrew and Peter. The fourth fresco was painted by Rosselli shows the picture wherein Jesus is preaching crowd about Christian guidelines. The fifth fresco was painted Perugino portrayed the scene of Jesus handing over the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter. The sixth fresco was painted by Rosselli wherein Jesus is shown sharing his last meal with his followers.

The Last Judgement: This one is really an interesting and important piece of art wherein the second arrival of Jesus is shown where he judges mankind. The left side of the wall shows the people who were given the entry to the Kingdom of Heaven while the left side of the wall shows the people who were punished and were sent to hell.

Significance of Paintings

The paintings of frescos consist of some subjects and these are divided into three sections. In first three paintings, the story which is told is the story of The Creation of the Heavens and Earth and then the story of The Creation of Adam and Eve and finally, the story of Noah and the Great Flood. Sixtus IV had celebrated the first mass for the Feast of Assumption in Sistine Chapel.  

Importantly, Chapel was made for the function of electing each successive Pope in the Conclave. There was a particular process like emitting of white and black smoke for indicating the result of the elections. If we talk about architecture, it is a rectangular building with a great height. The exterior is common as other Italian churches, but the interior makes the Sistine Chapel very unique.

Important Facts

In 1510, after taking a break, Michelangelo painted in a completely different way, He conveyed a strong sense of emotions in his paintings on the floor of the Sistine Chapel.

To enter, one must have an entry ticket. You may get a discount if you are a student or clergy. Museums are open from Monday to Saturday and the month’s last Sunday which is usually free for all. Ticket counters are open from 9 am to 4 pm.

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    The Sistine Chapel is located inside the Apostolic Palace – the official residence of the Pope – in Vatican City.

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