Right in the heart of Rome, Italy is Vatican City, a city-state that is considered the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. However, it isn't just known for being the Pope home, but it also houses a trove of iconic art and architecture. The Vatican Museums that hold ancient Roman sculptures, Michelangelo's masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Raphael rooms' stunning frescos are just some the most notable art that you will see in the Vatican. Explore the seat of Catholicism with the Vatican Travel Guide and Offline Map.
1. The Sistine Chapel
Experience the rush of religious grandeur within the walls of the chapel in the Apostolic Palace. Revel in the grandeur of the official residence of the Pope and be stunned by the famous The Last Judgment ceiling by Michael Angelo himself. Along with the Sistine ceiling, the fame of the chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior. Between 1470's and 1480's a team of Renaissance painters that included created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ.
2. The St. Peter's Basilica
Experience the Pope's liturgies at the St. Peter's Basilica. Not only is St. Peter's regarded as one of the holiest Roman Catholic shrines, but it is also the largest church in the world. With that being said, it is famous as a place of pilgrimage where the pope holds liturgical functions throughout the year, drawing crowds of 15,000 to over 80,000 people at a time. The Basilica is also the burial site of the first Pope, Saint Peter, who is also one of Christ's Apostles. His tomb is said to be directly below the high altar of the Basilica.
3. The Vatican Museums
Experience artistic history by visiting the Vatican museums, which holds an immense collection of more or less 70,000 pieces and 20,000 of them on display. The museums' collection was built up by the Popes and throughout centuries has included some of the most celebrated masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. It is one of the largest museums in the world and was visited by 6 million people 2013 making it the 6th most visited art museum in the world.
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