ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Marvelling at the Sistine Chapel

Updated on February 9, 2018
Amanda Gearing profile image

Amanda is a keen traveller from Australia. She writes about her adventures to provide other travellers with insider knowledge.

Michelangelo’s masterpiece, Vatican City, Rome, Italy

The Sistine Chapel is a relatively small chapel (compared with the vastness of St Peter’s) set within the official residence of the Pope in Rome.

It is famous for its highly decorated domed ceiling, painted in the 1500s by the great Renaissance painter Michelangelo and many other artists.

Today, the Roman Catholic cardinals use this room when they meet as an enclave to select a new Pope.

The wall and ceiling frescoes each tell part of the story of the Old and New Testament, from Genesis to the Last Judgement.

Heavily decorated museum display halls in the Papal palace, Vatican City, Rome

Heavily decorated museum display halls in the Papal palace, Vatican City, Rome.
Heavily decorated museum display halls in the Papal palace, Vatican City, Rome. | Source

History

The original chapel built in about the 1300s fell into disrepair but was restored in the 1400s under the orders of by Pope Sixtus IV.

The building is rectangular and quite plain on the outside. The upper storey is the same dimensions as laid down in the Old Testament for Solomon’s temple: 40.9m long and 13.4m wide.

The barrel-vaulted ceiling is 20.7m high, thus the room is much higher than it is wide, giving a feeling of grandness and directing the eyes upwards.

Once the building was completed, Pope Sixtus commissioned painters of the day to create the series of paintings around the walls depicting the life of Christ and portraits of Popes.

The chapel was named ‘Sistine’ after him. The ceiling was painted blue with gold stars, in dedication to the Virgin Mary.

Pope Julius II later asked Michelangelo to paint the ceiling with frescoes of the 12 apostles. The artist initially refused because he saw himself more as a sculpture than a painter but eventually he agreed - although he still refused to paint the 12 apostles.

The Pope agreed that Michelangelo could make his own choice of Biblical scenes for his paintings.

He designed 300 separate frescoes depicting stories from Genesis including the “Creation of Adam”, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the great flood.

The Creation of Adam in the centre of the ceiling is considered to be Michelangelo’s greatest work and one of the world’s most famous paintings.

Walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Rome.

Source

Visiting the Sistine Chapel

Visitors to St Peter’s Cathedral often add a visit to the museums beside St Peter’s, wending their way through kilometres of museum displays to eventually reach the Sistine Chapel.

The museum has many fine collections of tapestries, sculptures, paintings and other artworks.

Allow several hours for this visit as it takes about an hour to walk through the one-way system of hallways and displays to reach the Sistine chapel.

The museum is not suitable for prams and wheelchairs as there are many sets of narrow steps.

Online poll

Was this information helpful?

See results

Mount Etna, Sicily

Taormina, Sicily

Travel tips

London

Paris

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)