The Sistine Chapel


There is no doubt that Sistine Chapel is the most known chapel in the entire Vatican City. The chapel is well known for its architecture and the numerous decorations it bears. This chapel was designed and built by architects Michelangelo, Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Pinturicchio, among others. Ever since its establishment during the time of Sixtus IV, Sistine Chapel has continued to be used for both religious and official papal activities. Today, the Sistine Chapel is the place of the Papal conclave, the process of electing a new Pope.Maybe one may ask a simple question as, where is Sistine Chapel. Precisely, Sistine Chapel is located in the Vatican City. And if another asks what is the Sistine Chapel, then this is the place of the Papal conclave, as one of its primary functions. During the election of a new Pope, a chimney is normally installed in the roof of the chapel, through which smoke arises as a signal. When black smoke comes from the chimney, then it is an indication that a Pope is not yet elected. If white smoke appears it shows that a new Pope has been elected. After a new Pope has been elected, he would come to present himself to the public and then give his new name. All these election and post-election activities take place in the Sistine Chapel. .

Sistine Chapel in Vatican Museum - Michelangelo's painting of the 'Last Judgement' Sistine Chapel in Vatican Museum - Michelangelo's painting of the 'Last Judgement'
Sistine Chapel Ceiling - The Creation of Adam and Biblical storiesThe Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum of Vatican City



The Sistine Chapel is a structure built in the styles of high renaissance art and architecture. The construction of the chapel was launched in 1473 and was completed and opened to the public on 15th August 1483. The larger component of Sistine Chapel’s decoration is the various painted elements of the Sistine ceiling. Pope Julius II is the one who requested Michelangelo to paint the Sistine ceiling, which he did between 1508 and 1512. This means that it took Michelangelo four years to do the painting. Both Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel became renown for these decorations and paintings. The most famous painting in the chapel is the Creation of Adam. The ceiling is approximately 40 m long by 13 m wide. Some of the decorations in the Sistine Chapel include: the large fresco of The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, several paintings on the chapel’s walls by different famous painters including Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli and Pietro Perugino, a set of large tapestries which were done by Raphael, and nine scenes from the Book of Genesis describing the story of Adam and God.

Thewhole structure is complex and its complexity has attracted millions of visitors from across the world.Much of the  complexity of the Sistine Chapel is a result of the dedicated work of the artist Michelangelo. He definitely deserves credit for a job well done! The major parts of the Sistine Chapel are the entrance wall, south wall, the Last Judgment, the ceiling and north wall. The walls, ceiling and every part of the Sistine Chapel has paintings, pictures, artifacts, figures, or images which describe different stories in the bible. For instance, there are paintings describing the story of Adam and Eve, Noah, prophets, sibyls, pendentives, face of God, ancestors of Christ, etc.

The next time a new Pope is being elected you should visit the Sistine Chapel to have a first hand experience of what happens.If you want to learn more about Michelangelo and Sistine Chapel you are more than welcome to explore our site www. vatican.com  where you can get a three dimensional private tour of the Sistine Chapel for free! The Sistine Chapel is  one of the holiest places in Vatican City and now you can see it with your own eyes on our site!