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Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is the renowned chapel of the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It happens to be the place where the Papal conclaves takes place to elect the next Pope.

    The Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV, designed by Baccio Pontelli and built by Giovannino de Dolci between 1473 AD and 1481 AD. It was built on the site of an earlier chapel known as the Cappella Maggiore (En: Great Chapel), and had the same design as the former. The decoration and fresco of the chapel was done by some of the most famous artists of the renaissance era –  Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino, and Michelangelo, one of the most famous being ‘The creation of Adam’. The first mass was celebrated on 15 August 1483, when the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to Virgin Mary.

    Southern Wall

    The southern wall is decorated with the stories of Moses, painted in 1481-82 AD by Pietro Perugino,  Sandro Botticell, Cosimo Rosselli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Luca Signorelli. These include:

      • Moses Leaving to Egypt – by Pietro Perugino
      • The Trials of Moses – by Sandro Botticelli
      • The Crossing of the Red Sea – by Cosimo Rosselli and Domenico Ghirlandaio
      • Descent from Mount Sinai – by Cosimo Rosselli
      • Punishment of the Rebels – by Sandro Botticelli
      • Testament and Death of Moses – by Luca Signorelli

    Northern Wall

    The northern wall houses the Stories of Jesus, painted in 1481–1482 AD by Pietro Perugino,  Sandro Botticell, Cosimo Rosselli and Domenico Ghirlandaio. These include:

      • Baptism of Christ – by Pietro Perugino
      • Temptation of Christ – by Sandro Botticelli
      • Vocation of the Apostles – by Domenico Ghirlandaio
      • The Sermon on the Mount – by Cosimo Rosselli
      • The Delivery of the Keys – by Pietro Perugino
      • The Last Supper – by Cosimo Rosselli

    Eastern Wall

    The eastern wall paintings by Hendrick van den Broeck and Matteo da Lecce. These are:

      • Resurrection of Christ – by Hendrick van den Broeck
      • Disputation over Moses’Body – by Matteo da Lecce


    The ceiling was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is one of the most renowned artworks of the High Renaissance. It depicts scenes depicting the Story of Creation, the Downfall of Humanity and the Story of Noah as told in the Book of Genesis, of which ‘The creation of Adam’ is the most famous. Johann Wolfgang Goethe famously quoted after seeing the Sistine Chapel, “Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.”

    Further details of the ceiling can be seen here.

    Days Open Monday to Saturday, last Sundays of each month(unless it coincides with days marked as * below)
    Days Closed Sundays
    1 and 6 Jan
    11 Feb
    19 and 31(Easter) Mar *
    1 Apr (Easter Monday)
    1 May
    29 Jun(St. Peter and Paul) *
    14 and 15 Aug
    1 Nov
    25 and 26 Dec *
    Timing Chapel 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Museum 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
    Entrance Fee (Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel ) Adults 16 €
    Concessions** 8 €
    Scholastic** 4 €
    FREE entry on last Sundays of each month to the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and the Vatican **
    Reach Metro Line A, Ottaviamo metro station

    ** Details about Concessional/Scholastic and FREE entry


    • Children (6 and 18 years)
    • Students (<26 years) on presentation of a valid ID
    • Universities students, teacher or companion (with documentation)
    • Priests and religious (with identity document).
    • Pilgrimages on presentation of a request letter. A free ticket is granted for the priest companion.
    • Employers of all the offices, ministries of the Holy See or of the Vatican City State and retired people of the same and their relatives on identification.


    • Primary, Middle and High Schools (except universities) without distinction of places, on presentation of a letter of request. A free ticket is granted also to a teacher or companions every 10 students.

    Free Entrance

    • On the last Sunday of each month.
    • World Tourism Day (September 27).
    • Children under 6 years of age.
    • Directors of museums, ministries, superintendence or governmental organizations assigned to archaeological, artistic, artistic heritage preservation.
    • Disabled visitors (over 74%) and accompanying persons.
    • Journalists authorized by the Direction of the Museums
    • Holders of valid ICOM  and ICOMONS membership cards.
    • Donors of works and patrons: Patrons and Friends of the Vatican Museums.
    • University professors (Chairs of Archaeology, Art History, Architecture and Ethnology)

    Photo Courtesy: Jon Rawilson

    Reference: Wikipedia ,

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