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Sistine Chapel, Rome

Sistine Chapel, Rome

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican is a vivid example of a modest appearance and a meaningful content. At first glance, it is just an ancient building which, in fact, is a real treasury of religious artworks. The old Vatican church was rebuilt into a chapel and named after Pope Sixtus IV in the period from 1473 to 1481. A few decades later, the walls of the chapel were decorated with frescoes created by one of the greatest geniuses of his time, Michelangelo Buonarroti.

In 1508, Michelangelo was entrusted with a responsible job which Pope Julius II requested to fulfill as soon as possible. Previously, the artist had never dealt with wall painting. Despite this, Michelangelo created real masterpieces in the Sixtus IV's chapel.

Michelangelo's Vault Art

The chapel's vaultі depict scenes from the Book of Genesis which are divided into three sections:

  • The Creation of Adam and Eve.
  • The Fall and Expulsion from Paradise.
  • Trials to Humanity.

The work took 4 years and was finished in 1512. The first completed composition is called The Deluge. The centre of the ceiling is dominated by the fresco of world significance, The Creation of Adam, followed by The Creation of Eve and The Fall and Expulsion from Paradise.

Wall paintings of the Sistine Chapel

Twenty five years after the creation of the frescoes, Paul III asked Michelangelo to demonstrate his mastery on the walls of the chapel. Thus, from 1537 to 1541 the great painter was creating another masterpiece. The large-scale picture was divided into several fragments. The upper part shows angels while the central one depicts Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The lower tier is taken up by images of the Last Judgment and the end of age.

Interesting facts about the Sistine Chapel

  • It is known that Michelangelo did not like his participation in the painting of the chapel as evidenced by the lines of his poem: "In this hard toil I've such a goiter grown... That chin and belly meet perforce in one... ".
  • In the book "Secrets of the Sistine Chapel" the authors reveal the true meaning of Michelangelo's frescoes.
  • Before Michelangelo, the chapel was painted by Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli and Domenico Ghirlandaio. The young artist was given the opportunity to restore the images or create his own paintings on top of the old ones.
  • To observe all the masterpieces visitors need to throw their head back. While doing this, the vertebral arteries in the neck get constricted which makes people faint. That's why a new medical term, Sistine Chapel Syndrome, was coined to denote this process.

How to get there

The Sistine Chapel is located in the State of the Vatican City. Do not miss the opportunity to also visit the Vatican Museums, Saint Peter's Basilica and the Apostolic Palace. To get there take the metro to the Ottaviano or San Pietro stations. Or one of the buses № 32, 81, 982 to the Piazza del Risorgimento, №.492 or № 990 to the Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni stop. The tram № 19 also runs to the Piazza del Risorgimento stop in the Vatican City. It is possible to set off from Termini station by the bus № 40 or 64.

Working hours: visit the Sistine Chapel from Monday through Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00. Entrance fee is charged. The cost of admission is 16 euros. The price is indicated as of November 2017. The ticket office closes at 16:00. To avoid big queues, pre-book tickets on the official website. No pictures or video recording is allowed.

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