Within Vatican City is one of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces and iconic symbols of religion – the Sistine Chapel. For centuries the Sistine Chapel has held significant roles in Vatican City life, including today’s function as the site of the Papal conclave. It is also the home of Michelangelo’s greatest artistic achievements, and today we are going inside!
Welcome to the first stop of our one-day whirlwind tour of Vatican City. Explore with us the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s breathtaking frescos. Oh what stories he weaved upon these walls and ceilings! Witness the telling of Adam and Eve, Noah, The Creation, and more, each one painstakingly created by truly inspired strokes of a paintbrush.
Beneath Michelangelo’s Sistine Frescos
Michelangelo’s impressive, incredibly detailed, 16th century frescos adorn the entire length of the chapel’s vault as well as down along the west wall. Stories of the Old Testament magically come to life upon the ceiling, beginning with The Creation of the Heavens and Earth.
The middle section of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling tells the story of the Creation of Adam and Eve, and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden. It is hard not to be moved when standing beneath the likes of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam!
Let the eyes drift past the ceiling and on to the west wall, where Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement dominates. Once again, it is hard not to be moved by this dramatic 16th century fresco. To stand before Michelangelo’s Sistine frescos is to experience a most memorable, amazing, moment in one’s life.
Return the eyes back to the ceiling for the story of Noah and the Great Flood. Take note as well of the surrounding elaborate images of the Sibyls, prophets, and ancient seers. It all will leave you wondering, how did Michelangelo accomplish such stunning pieces of art so high up on that ceiling?
The Other Artists of The Sistine Chapel
Yet there is so much more to the Sistine Chapel than Michelangelo’s frescos! Though most well known for Michelangelo’s artistic impressions, the Sistine Chapel is also home to a multitude of other incredibly talented artists, each of whom has also put his own masterful, creative, artistic stamp upon the Sistine Chapel.
Nowhere is this more apparent than along the chapel’s north, south, and east walls. Let the eyes drift down from ceiling to walls. There you will find the works of artists like Sandro Botticelli and his rendition of The Trials of Moses.
Cosimo Rosselli’s 15th century painting of the Last Supper adorns the chapel’s northern wall. Though not nearly as famous as Michelangelo’s work, it is still sure to impress.
Pietro Perugino and Hendrick van den Broeck’s masterful paintings are also presented along the Sistine Chapel’s walls. No matter where the eye lands, the Sistine Chapel is a dizzying array of images and artistry sure to leave one breathless. Though our time within the Sistine Chapel was short, it was time well worth the early morning wake up call!
Your Impressions of the Sistine Chapel?
Our Sistine Chapel experience was lead by a wonderful, knowledgeable guide from Walks of Italy Pristine Sistine Vatican Tour. Splurge for a pre-opening hours guided tour, especially if you have just one day in Vatican City and wish to appreciate the Sistine Chapel with as small of crowds as possible. You’ll be happy you did!
Have you been to Vatican City? Have you spent time inside the Sistine Chapel? Were you as moved as we were? Do share your experience!
Read more about our experiences during our one-day tour of Vatican City at:
- Favorite Photographic Moments Inside Vatican City’s Papal Basilica of St. Peter
- Favorite Photographic Moments Inside the Museums of Vatican City
- Vatican City in One Day – 7 Top Tips To Maximize Your Time
Read more about why we chose Walks of Italy for our tour at: 5 Favorite Reasons to Explore Rome With Walks of Italy.