The Sistine Chapel

Italian version
The Sistine Chapel Inside the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel is one of the most important cultural and artistic treasures of the Vatican, Rome and the world.
Built between 1475 and 1481 at the time of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere, from which it took its name, the Sistine Chapel is known throughout the world both for being the place where the conclave is held and other official Pope ceremonies, both to be decorated with what is probably the most famous work of art of Western artistic civilization, the frescoes by Michelangelo Buonarroti, which cover the vault and the back wall with the Last Judgment.


Visit the Sistine Chapel The Sistine Chapel is located inside the Apostolic Palace, on the right with respect to St. Peter's Basilica, and is inserted in the path of the Vatican Museums. Then, to visit it, you need to buy a ticket to the Vatican Museums, which allows you to visit also other wonders such as the Egyptian Museum, the Gallery of Tapestries or the Raphael Rooms.                 
It is possible to visit the Sistine Chapel from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 to 16.00 (closes at 18.00) or on the morning of the last Sunday    of the month when admission is free for everyone.                 
In addition, during the summer it is possible to visit the Sistine Chapel also in the evening in a suggestive and unusual nocturnal atmosphere, every Friday from April to October.


The Ceiling The Sistine Chapel is 20.7 meters high and is covered by a lowered barrel vault, connected to the walls by sails and plumes, which generate lunettes at the side walls.                 
In the central part of the vault are painted nine stories, taken from the book of Genesis, from the Separation of light from darkness , above the wall of the Last Judgment, to the Universal Flood and The drunkenness of Noah .
Surrounding this central part are the frescoes of Sibille and Prophets and, below them, the ancestors of Christ .
Famous all over the world, among the frescoes of the Sistine vault, is The Creation of Adam , commissioned by Pope Julius II and made in about 1511, is one of the best known and celebrated icons of universal art .
The decoration of the vault encountered numerous difficulties, in order to be able to reach the ceiling, Michelangelo needed a support structure that he built himself: a simple wooden platform on supports made from holes in the walls placed in the upper part near the windows and organized in steps in order to allow easy work in every part of the vault.
The immense work was completed between 1508 and 1512.


The Last Judgment Made between 1535 and 1541 on commission from Pope Clement VII, it is undoubtedly one of the greatest masterpieces of Western art.
For convenience of treatment, the fresco can be divided into three fundamental areas:

  • the angels with the instruments of the Passion in the lunettes above,
  • the Christ and the Virgin among the blessed
  • and, below, the end of time, with the angels blowing the trumpets of the Apocalypse, the resurrection of the bodies, the ascent to heaven of the just and the fall of the damned to Hell.
    At the end of the restoration works in 1994, with the discovery of the amazing result, the then Pope John Paul II he said, almost as if to place a stone over the long-standing controversies over the nudes represented, that the Last Judgment is "the sanctuary of the theology of the human body".