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Sistine Chapel

30 Minutes

Estimated Time

Opening hours

  • Monday 09:00 - 16:00
  • Tuesday 09:00 - 16:00
  • Wednesday 09:00 - 16:00
  • Thursday 09:00 - 16:00
  • Friday 09:00 - 16:00
  • Saturday 09:00 - 16:00
The Sistine Chapel (; Latin: Sacellum Sixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina [kapˈpɛlla siˈstiːna]) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, and most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo. During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Roselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the chapel's ceiling, a project which changed the course of Western art and is regarded as one of the major artistic accomplishments of human civilization. In a different climate after the Sack of Rome, he returned and between 1535 and 1541, painted The Last Judgment for Popes Clement VII and Paul III. The fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel ever since they were revealed five hundred years ago.
  • C. K.

    18 days ago

    My visit to the Vatican Museum was okay. Would have been much better if our tour guide was more knowledgeable and experienced in given tours. It was crowded and hot, but I fulfilled a lifelong dream of seeing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in living color with my own eyes. No average tour guide will take that away. Nevertheless, recommend buying tickets in advance and be willing to deal with large crowds. Also recommend researching the tour agencies before selecting one. Make sure you get a tour guide who is experienced giving tours. This will help in making your visit much more enjoyable, despite the crowds.

  • Nam Nguyen

    17 days ago

    Well worth dodging the aggressive hordes of the Vatican Museum. As you enter try to grab a seat along the walls so you can relax and take your time and take it all in. If you can, avoid peak time so you don't get shuffled through.

  • Nicky Mc Marlow

    2 months ago

    Pay for a guide. You appreciate the smallest of things a lot more. Information was so fresh for me that I teared up with appreciation to be standing in the Sistine Chapel. Worth 500billion nowadays and you can see why. The work, history, stories and beauty in this room is incredible. A must see. I'd love to show a picture but no photos are allowed in the chapel. Climb the 551 steps to the dome, the views are breathtaking

  • Michael Wilson

    3 months ago

    A fantastic chapel with breathtaking wall and ceiling decoration. They try and keep it silent and you get shouted at very loudly for talking. No photography is allowed and you cannot have bare shoulders. You are provided with a paper cloak if you do not have anything with you so you don't miss out. It's beautiful though and we spent a long time simply standing and admiring.

  • Alec McEachran

    3 months ago

    An extraordinary work of art. We arrived at 9:40 on an Autumnal Tuesday, and queued for about 30 minutes, ignoring the touts/scalpers, and spent the couple of hours winding around the Vatican museums until we finally reached the chapel. We are not religious, but it was nevertheless a humbling, awe-inspiring experience to stand in such a beautiful, sacred place. Well worth it.