The Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, and most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Roselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l'oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the chapel's ceiling, a project which changed the course of Western art and is regarded as one of the major artistic accomplishments of human civilization. In a different climate after the Sack of Rome, he returned and between 1535 and 1541, painted The Last Judgment for Popes Clement VII and Paul III. The fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel ever since they were revealed five hundred years ago.



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Founded: 1477
Category: Religious sites in Vatican City State


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User Reviews

Frank Aguilar (4 months ago)
After sweating it out waiting in line for 45 minutes to get past the security check that Everyone has to go through... The actual crowd inside the Basilica was not that bad. With the Not That Bad crowd (some shoulder to shoulder areas), you could take your time to view the beauty of the Sistine Chapel.
Gillian Corker (4 months ago)
Extremely hot day. So many visitors. Felt the heat walking through the museums to the Sistine Chapel. Expected a reverent silence but too many tour groups! Didn't spoil the experience too much.
Piuli Basu Roy Chowdhury (5 months ago)
Absolutely marvelous. I have always wanted to see the fresco inside Sistine Chapel which was so meticulously done by Michelangelo. We spent some time there appreciating the painting on the ceiling. Photography was however prohibited inside Sistine Chapel and there were guards who were forbidding people to do it. Book the tickets in advance! Else a very long queue will be waiting.
Olivia “Livi” H (5 months ago)
Make sure you buy online tickets! Preferably bundled with bus tour (53€) or some other tour groups. Because it is not worth it to stand in the endless queue in the scorching sum!!! The way to the chapel is much more interesting than the actual chapel which is only the size of a basketball court... P.S. You can't take photos in the chapel.
Deadpool 623 (6 months ago)
This was the most amazing experience I've ever had. To be able to experience history and my faith all in one spot was an out of this world experience. The sheer beauty of the art, both in the museum and on the ceiling, was something everyone should experience at least once.
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Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I. 

The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.

The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.