Together with the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel is probably the most famous tourist attraction in Rome. It is located in the Pope’s Residence in the Eternal City, the Apostolic Palace, but tourists can only view it by buying a ticket for the Vatican Museums.
Sistine Chapel Rome
The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who had the Cappella Magna restored (and named after himself).
The Sistine Chapel contains some of the world’s most famous frescoes, including the entire ceiling which was done by Michelangelo (and commissioned by Pope Julius II) in the early 16th century. The surface of the world’s most beautiful ceiling is 1,100 m2.
Other frescoes were created by Renaissance artists like Botticelli, Pinturicchio and Pietro Perugino.
The bottom part of the walls in the Sistine Chapel was painted with fake damask curtains covered with papal symbols.
Above these “curtains” there used to be a number of enormous tapestries designed by Raphael and his pupils. Most of these are now on display in the picture gallery (Pinacoteca) of the Vatican Museums. Although it was Raphael himself who designed the models (“cartons”) for the tapestries, the actual work was done by the Brussels workshop of Pieter van Aelst.
Apart from getting a lot of money for the Catholic Church, the Sistine Chapel serves as the site of the Papal Conclave, the election of a new Pope.
It is strictly forbidden to take pictures inside the Sistine Chapel. It is also strictly forbidden to make noise inside the Sistine Chapel. Be prepared to be surrounded by noisy people taking pictures inside the Sistine Chapel!