The Sistine Chapel is one of the most important treasures of the Vatican, Rome and the world. It is famous for its frescoes but also because it is where the Popes are elected.
The building was built between 1473 and 1481, during the mandate of Pope Sixtus IV, hence the name of the chapel. The architect who designed it was Giovanni de Dolci, remembered only for the conception of this architectural work.
What attracts the most attention in the Sistine Chapel, however, is not its architecture, but the frescoes that entirely decorate its walls and ceiling. Renowned artists, such as Botticelli, Perugino and Michelangelo, contributed to the extensive decoration of the chapel.
Frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
All the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are the work of Michelangelo Buonarroti, who took four years to paint the vault (from 1508 to 1512).
Among the most fascinating images of the frescoes are the stories of the genesis, which occupy the central part, from the Drunkenness of Noah to the Separation of Light from Darkness.
Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam is, without doubt, the most famous image in the Sistine Chapel. It is located in the central part of the vault and represents the passage from Genesis in which God gives life to Adam.
On the main altar there is another masterpiece by Michelangelo, The Last Judgment, a large fresco (13.7 by 12.2 meters) which illustrates what is narrated in the book of John’s Apocalypse.
Michelangelo took five years to fresco the apse, from 1536 to 1541. The task was assigned to him by Pope Clement VII, to replace the frescoes that previously decorated the walls of the apse.
Avoid the queues
To visit the Sistine Chapel you will need to access the Vatican Museums, the attraction with the longest waiting times in Rome. In fact, on particularly busy days, you may have to wait up to 4 hours!
If you want to avoid the queues and make the most of your stay in Rome, the best option is to book our Vatican tour. You will see the main attractions of the area, learn many interesting things and save time!
If you prefer to visit freely, we recommend that you do it around 1pm and during the week. It is important to avoid the last Sundays of the month (admission is free) and Holy Week. We also recommend that you avoid weekends, especially in high season.