The Sistine Chapel
The world-famous Sistine Chapel is the official residence of the Vatican Pope. They use this Chapel, mainly to conduct official ceremonies. For visitors here the focal point however is the frescoes and decorations lining the majestic ceilings and walls done by famous Renaissance artists. This includes such luminaries as Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Perugino, among others. At this spectacular location, Catholic cardinals gather, to elect a new pope after the demise of the current papal head. Today, this structure is also the part of the Vatican Museums.
The Sistine Chapel was built on the papal orders of Sixtus IV in 1480. However, the completion of the work happened later, in 1481. There have been different stages in the development of this beautiful construction and broadly, it is possible to divide it in four major stages. From 1481 to 1483 during the reign of Sixtus IV decoration of walls happened. Matteo d’Amelia painted a fantastic starry night fresco on the ceiling.
Julius II hired Michelangelo for ceiling decorations in 1508. Again, in 1515 Raphael designed tapestry sets at the behest of Leo X. Finally, in 1536 Michelangelo the famed artist returned to give Sistine Chapel its masterpiece, The Last Judgment.
The Sistine Chapel Reflects the Pinnacle of Renaissance Art
If you want to look at the stellar work of Renaissance artists during your Roman Holiday, the Sistine Chapel is the place to come. There are few places in the world where masters in artistic field worked at different times to create such a spectacular structure. The chapel is a rectangular building made with bricks. There are no exterior facades and it is unadorned minus any decorative details. Internally there are three stories. Lower tier has wall hangings frescoed in gold and silver. Central tier contains paintings and two cycles complementing each other. This includes ‘Life of Christ’ and ‘Life of Moses’.
Finally, upper tier contains two zones with lower level having ‘Gallery of Popes’ painting and arched tops contain the famous Michelangelo painting Ancestors of Christ. The ceiling of the chapel, which Michelangelo painted during the 1508-1512 period, contains nine different frescoes. Experts consider the paintings depicted on the ceiling and walls of this hallowed place at the point when Renaissance art reached its zenith.
Visiting Sistine Chapel
Tourists looking for relevant information regarding visit to the Sistine Chapel can contact the number of museum enquiries 0039-06-6988-4947.
How to reach Sistine Chapel
Reaching the Sistine Chapel is easy during Italy tours once you reach the Vatican City. It is possible to travel here on the buses that operate to this highly popular tourist point. Travel by bus 40, 60, and 64. You can ride by the subway from Central Rome and hop on Line A metro and get off at Cipro Stop to reach the entrance to Vatican Museums easily.
During March-October Sistine Chapel remains open from Monday to Friday from 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM. During Saturday and the last Sunday of every month, it remains open from 8:45 AM to 1:45 PM. On the last Sunday, entrance to this structure is completely free. During November-February period, it remains open 8:45 AM to 1:45 PM.