The grandiose layout and shear array of visual information in the Sistine Chapel dazzles the senses and transports the soul to the limit of human endeavor. Commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV as a restoration project from 1477 to 1480, its first decoration included fresco cycles from the lives of Jesus and Moses painted by Renaissance artists like Botticelli and Perugino, but these would pale in comparison of what was to come.
In 1508, Pope Julius II decided the chapel was to be revolutionized through the work of the ‘sculptor’ Michelangelo Buonarotti, who over 4 years completed one of humanity’s greatest artistic achievements, the chapel’s ceiling frescos, under some of the most difficult working conditions imaginable. These nine panels are crowned by his Creation of Adam, perhaps the most iconic piece of religious art ever.
Of equal importance is the altar wall fresco painted between 1535 and 1541 by the same Michelangelo, The Last Judgment. The culmination of the powers of this great genius to meld spiritual meaning and human commentary so easily will leave you speechless before the over 300 figures. The Sistine Chapel is also where the Papal conclave is held to elect new popes.
Yes, the Vatican has a strict dress code. Men, women and children must have their shoulders and knees covered at all times.
Throughout most of the Museums and in St. Peter's Basilica it is possible to take photographs. However, photography is strictly prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel.
Yes, we also offer tours in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian