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Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Categories: Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Museums, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 10,000+ reviews on the web
One of the world's greatest artistic treasures, Sistine Chapel was originally called Capella Magna. The site takes its current name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored the chapel between 1477 and 1480. The structure has long served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. It's the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The chapel's fame comes mainly from the frescoes decorating its interior. The ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is the most notable feature and a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling's various elements form part of a larger decoration. The huge fresco entitled "The Last Judgment" is one of Michelangelo's greatest works. Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and Raphael also contributed to the chapel's impressive interior. Skip the extremely long entry lines by booking a guided tour with the Vatican Museums ahead of time. Make Sistine Chapel a centerpiece of your Vatican City vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Vatican City trip builder.
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  • I would recommend anyone to visit one of Michelangelo's master pieces .It best to know the story behind it before actually visiting the the Sistine Chapel. 
  • The Sistine Chapel is one of those places that takes your breath away. Here you can truly understand what "contemplation". It's nice to stop and observe the details of these frescoes, ideal if "guided" by someone. My group has made use of an order of nuns that has the task of driving and that explained in detail every secret of this wonder ...
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  • This is one place where you just need to go, stand there in awe and smell the air. Words cannot accurately describe how stunning this place is. Be prepared for a very large crowd of people and lots of...  read more »
  • We visited the Sistine Chapel as part of a tour which included the Vatican Museum. The guide left us there for half an hour as you are not allowed to talk in there but it was very crowded and the benches all the way round were taken so it is a long time to stand cricking your neck to see the beautiful art work - so how Michael Angelo managed to paint the ceiling I can't imagine? There is a large part of the chapel where those higher up in the order of the Catholic Clergy would congregate and the smaller section would be where the lower ones would assemble. The private tour sounds wonderful! The colour of the paintings look as bright and fresh as the day they were painted! No photography allowed in here!
  • The Sistine Chapel was a marvelous. I would recommend taking a tour with a licensed guide that can thoroughly explain this masterpiece. Be prepared for The Sistine Chapel to be very crowded and full of disrespectful people who will not follow the rules of the Chapel. Otherwise I would suggest taking your time through the Chapel to fully embrace its beauty.
  • Well known throughout the world and it does not disappoint. The art inside and all over, is incredible. Michelangelo's Hand of God and Last Judgement are as stunning as people have heard. No photography inside and must remain quiet as there are generally priests inside speaking to their masses.
  • I didn't know a lot about the Sistine Chapel before visiting - except for it's reputation. We paid for a tour with early entrance on our trip and the Sistine Chapel was the first thing we did. By the time we got there it was us and about 80-100 people - apparently this was "not busy" - I didn't realize that was true until returning later, moving shoulder to shoulder through the room. The ceiling is way more impressive, and detailed than I thought possible. Every part of it was rich with meaning and purpose. I am so glad we had a guide to explain it to us. Note the guide isn't allowed to talk to the group IN the Sistine Chapel. He prepared us before going in, so we knew what to look for and appreciate. Grateful for that! Definitely worth the visit.
  • Prior to visiting the Sistine Chapel, I have two recommendations: 1. Be aware of the dress code. For men this means that long pants and closed shoes are compulsory. Women need to be covered to below the knees. 2. Be patient The line for the Sistine Chapel has always been long. I've seen 2km long lines for entry. But the processing speed for the line is greater than I've seen of any exhibit. Even the longest of lines involve no more than an hour wait. Between the security check and the Sistine Chapel, there is about an hour of gallery prior to the main event. On both occasions it seemed as if the sea of people was keen to walk briskly to the chapel without taking in the rest of the gallery. Suppose it depends on how long you have. If time is not an issue, then at least on the two visits I've made to the museum and chapel the crowd control was impressive despite the length of the line. It's very easy to pause and take in the art along the way. That said, I took my Mum to the Sistine Chapel on my last trip and lost her in the crowd before we got to the Sistine Chapel. I think it was more bad luck that the fault of the crowd. I visited in 2004, 2009 and 2013. Heading back again next time. It's really a must.
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