The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel, part of the itinerary for visitors to the Vatican Museums, is one of the most famous of Rome’s (and the world’s) artistic treasures.
The name, Sistine, refers to Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471-1484), who renovated the old ‘Cappella Magna’ (great chapel) between 1477 and 1480.
The chapel is well-known worldwide not only as the place in which conclaves and other official ceremonies of the Church take place but also because of the extraordinary decor provided by Michelangelo Buonarroti, including the enormous altar wall fresco (executed between 1536 and 1541) representing the Giudizio Universale (Last Judgment).


As His Holiness John Paul II stated in his Homily of 1994, on the occasion of the unveiling of the restoration of this work, “The Sistine Chapel is the place which contains the memory of a particular day in the life of every Pope [...]. Precisely here, in this holy place, the Cardinals gather to await the manifestation of God’s will as regards the Successor of St Peter [...]. The frescoes that we contemplate here introduce us into the world of Revelation. The truths of our faith speak to us here from all sides. From them the human genius has drawn its inspiration, committing itself to portraying them in forms of unparalleled beauty.”

La Cappella Sistina
La Cappella Sistina


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Particolare del Lezionario