Without taking the Vatican Museum tour, a vacation to Rome is not complete. With their iconic artwork and breathtaking architecture, these museums offer a glimpse into Catholic Church history and culture. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin, though, with so much to see.
It is safe to suppose that since the Vatican is a very well-liked tourist destination, it is frequently crowded all year long. The Vatican Museum tours are one of the most popular tours in the world. Tickets for the Vatican tours are scarce, allowing the after-hours tourists greater space. Even while you might not have the time to spend much time with each piece of art, you would still be able to enjoy it without having to squeeze through the throngs of people.
Here are 7 things about the Vatican Museum tours that you should know:
Initial construction of the Vatican Museums
Early in the 16th century, the Vatican Museums first appeared. It all started when Pope Julius II bought the first marble sculpture. Its name was “Laocoon and His Sons.” A month after being purchased from a nearby vineyard, the sculpture was shown. Another monument was transported from Anzio, a little harbour city south of Rome. It was created by Greek sculptor Leochares and is known as “Apollo del Belvedere.” The Octagonal Courtyard, also known as the Courtyard of Monuments, is where these statues were then positioned.
The Vatican Library
The Vatican Museums include the Vatican Library, which is housed inside the Vatican Palace. The richest manuscript repositories in the entire world are there. The library contains the largest collection of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew writings, with more than 1.6 million printed books, 75,000 manuscripts, and 8600 incunabula. The first century is when the oldest manuscript was written. The heaven for book lovers is real. Additionally, the library organization is working to digitize the collection and open it out to a wider audience.
It is housed in the Pope’s home, the Apolistic Palace. Because the Papal Conclave is held there, it is one of the most well-known locations in the Vatican Museums. It is decorated with Michelangelo’s frescoes, including the well-known work of art known as “The Last Judgment.” Michelangelo, a sculptor rather than a painter, was less eager to complete the task. The Pope insisted that he would carry out this task. It took approximately six years to complete the frescoes.
The never-ending collection of artwork
An extensive and outstanding art collection can be found in the Vatican Museums. It has 1400 rooms, chapels, and galleries in all. The art collection spans nine miles and is the largest in the world. They could circle the Vatican walls four and a half times. The works contain some of the most significant examples of Renaissance art that have ever been created. The Collection of Contemporary Art now occupies a sizable portion.
The Pio Clementino Museum contains two Bramante staircases. One was created in 1505, and the other in 1932. Both of them are spiral ramps rather than staircases. The former is a novel helical staircase created by Donato Bramante that is supported by Doric columns. Giuseppe Momo created the new staircase in 1932 as a tribute to the first. Both of them have an open centre that allows for top-to-bottom views. One of the most frequently captured locations in the Vatican Museums is the Bramante Staircase.
Gallery of Maps
One of the most striking galleries is The Gallery of Maps, which features 40 murals depicting maps of the Italian region. Ignazio Danti produced these in the later years of the 16th century. The 120-meter-long gallery took three years to create. The entire Italian peninsula is depicted on the maps. They are both gorgeous and intricately detailed, capturing how the Italians of the Renaissance viewed the world and themselves. Notable features include its collection of maps as well as the stunning ceiling that takes up most of the room. On the approach to the Sistine Chapel, you pass this gallery.
The Egyptian Museum
The Vatican Museums also include Egyptian artefacts, albeit they are frequently associated with a collection from the Greek and Roman eras. Giuseppe De Fabris created the museum with a 19th-century retro-Egyptian design. There are nine chambers in it, and they each exhibit Roman-era artefacts from Egypt. The collection consists of painted mummy cases, queen and pharaoh statues, as well as a variety of sculptures, inscriptions, and reliefs. Additionally, there are artefacts from Syria-Palestine and ancient Mesopotamia there.
If you take the Vatican tours, make sure to go through this article to have a great time. Additionally, get your tickets booked online in advance to have the best Vatican Museum tour experience. Safely travel!