Cortile del Belvedere

Type
Attraction, Historic
Highlights
  • The construction of Cortile del Belvedere was the initiative of Pope Julius II and Bramante who wanted to connect an ancient pontifical palace on the right side of St. Peter’s
Description
Cortile del Belvedere

The construction of Cortile del Belvedere was the initiative of Pope Julius II and Bramante who wanted to connect an ancient pontifical palace on the right side of St. Peter’s, and the palace which was built for Innocent VIII by Pollaiolo on the little hill known as del Belvedere. Pope Julius was a great collector of statues when he was still a cardinal. After he was elected as pope he carried all his collection to the Vatican. The Belvedere was one of the places that contained the pope’s several sculpture collections and started making the place more attractive and popular.

As a result of the demand to connect the two palaces, Bramante designed two long corridors which created a big courtyard. Pope Julius II was a great fan of architectural works and wanted to build something impressive which would enhance the grandeur of both palaces. Just as expected, Bramante designed a spectacular court yard which connected the Vatican Palace and the Villa Belvedere. He designed a series of terraces which were connected by stairs and had narrow wings on its sides.

Bramante was very innovative when designing the Cortile del Belvedere. The courtyard contained six narrow terraces which were crisscrossed by a central staircase that led to the wide middle terrace. The long wings on the sides of the terraces of Cortile del Belvedere are what now house the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library.

The Cortile del Belvedere provided an easy and comfortable means of passing from a garden terrace to the palace court. Bramante originally designed the uppermost terrace as a garden ground but as a result of the small size of the house, he came up with another idea. He made another decorative erection of a garden structure within the colossal semicircular niche, with a loggia on top of it. This provided a spectacular view over the landscape and the entire city.

The Cortile del Belvedere courtyard was used for several occasions due to its spectacular design and atmosphere. In 1565, Pope Pius IV held here a festival event in honour of the wedding of his nephew.

The construction of Cortile del Belvedere led to several developments of outstanding structures in the Vatican City. As a matter of fact, the courtyard led to the establishment of the Vatican Library, Gallery of inscriptions, the Museum of Christian Art, the Gallery of Urban VIII, the Sistine Hall, the Pauline Rooms, and the Gallery of Maps, among others. These are some of the structures rich in the Roman Catholic Church history continue to attract many visitors from all over the world. Until today, Cortile del Belvedere still remains one of the greatest architectural works in the Vatican. The courtyard provides a spectacular view of the entire Vatican City and it houses numerous sculptures and collections.
 
Tours
 (19)
  • Early access to the Vatican Museums
  • The Hall of Maps
  • The Ancient Sculpture Galleries, including the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvedere
  • The Belvedere Courtyard and the Cortile della Pigna
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Visit Sistine Chapel when it is least busy
Enter the Vatican Museums a full hour before the general public and experience the Sistine Chapel at a time later in the morning when it is least busy. Get inspired by the Vatican's ... moremasterpiece
Language:
English
Max Group Size:
16 people
 (7)
  • Special access to the Sistine Chapel
  • The Ancient Sculpture Galleries
  • The Hall of Maps
  • The Belvedere Courtyard
  • St. Peter's Basilica
OVERVIEW There are certain experiences that are guaranteed to change your life. Discover the Sistine Chapel before it opens its doors to the public where you can admire the detail ... moreand the figures that appear 3D in how much they are lifelike. Learn about the ideas and passion of Michelangelo, explore the characters he created on the iconic ceiling and in The Last Judgement without battling the crowds on our private Sistine Chapel Tour. Treat yourself to the luxury of a private guide who will completely customize your visit according to your interests. Get an in-depth understanding of the beauty of Raffaello’s Rooms, commissioned by Pope Julius II whilst Michelangelo laboured over the Sistine Chapel ceiling in an intense competition of artistic mastery. Explore the masterpieces of the Vatican Museum’s collection, loved by patrons and artists of the Renaissance. Skip the queues and arrive directly at St. Peter’s Basilica where you can appreciate the most important works of the Christian faith. Wonder at the great dome, the touching Pietà by Michelangelo and Bernini’s majestic canopy above St. Peter’s altar.

Early Entrance Sistine Chapel Tour before it opens: enjoy as did popes and princes

Our private tour offers the perfect environment to explore the Sistine Chapel and other works of incomparable beauty of the Vatican Museums and to fully comprehend their meaningwill. Your personal guide will help you visualize the cultural context in which such works arose, immersing you in the climate of the Renaissance, in the passions that accompanied artists and princes, merchants and bankers in the creation of a new world of palaces, domes, and cities. Our exclusive Vatican private tour will take you to discover this happy season of human history when the flowering of the arts was accompanied by the evolution of science, together laying the foundations for much of our modern world.

Tour the Sistine Chapel: meet a genius

Whoever sees the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo, whoever reads in it his thoughts and sentiments, encounters genius. Who he was, how he lived and what he thought. Your guides will accompany you on this Vatican private tour into the great building projects of the Italian Renaissance and together you will relive the environment of the Florentine Renaissance and the Papal court in Rome in which Michelangelo created his masterpieces. The figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands of others on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and in the Last Judgement speak of Michelangelo and of the Renaissance: our private tour will reveal clearly what they say, and how and why these frescoes of the Vatican Museums have redefined not only art, but the way in which we look at the world.

The Vatican Museums: stories of art and history

Some of the the most important works that we will discover, such as timeless Greek masterpieces like the Laocoon, the Belvedere Torso and the Apollo Belvedere, were excavated at the time of Michelangelo and Raphael, who studied and admired them in the same architectural context in which they are preserved today. The artworks that they created are the fruit of their careful study. And so we too will pass through the Pinecone courtyard, the Belvedere courtyard and the tapestry galleries on our Vatican private tour, discovering a selection of masterpieces with a guide capable of recreating the climate of the epoch, helping you to appreciate the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel in their historical context.

From the Sistine Chapel we will directly enter St. Peter's Basilica without waiting in line

St. Peter's Basilica: The Story of Fatih

This part of our guided visit will bring us to the heart of the Christian faith, and along the way we will discover an incredible collection of relics and religious tokens that have accumulated here over the course of nearly 2,000 years at the site of St. Peter's tomb. At the same time you will have the chance to admire and understand enchanting works of art such as Michelangelo's Pietà, a work whose intimate embrace overflows with such tenderness that it can move even the hardest viewer to tears. The masterpieces of Bernini, the great genius of the Italian Baroque, also dominate St. Peter's, and the spectacular eponymous piazza dazzles with astounding optical effects. It is here that the faithful have gathered for centuries to celebrate the great events of Christianity, from the election of new popes to solemn masses. We will bring you here to read a history that will also become our own, a history lived by the protagonists of our fascinating Vatican tours.

The Basilica of St. Peter's may be subject to unscheduled closings and late openings for religious ceremonies. Because these are often last-minute for security reasons, we may not have time to notify our guests but instead the full tour will be spent exploring other parts of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. We do not provide refunds for unexpected closures of St. Peter's and your guide will still give you a introduction to the Basilica, should you wish to return in your own time during your stay in Rome.
Language:
English
Max Group Size:
24 people
Minimum Guests:
1 people
 (11)
  • Michelangelo's La Pietà
  • Sistine Chapel
  • The Belvedere Courtyard
  • The Belvedere Torso
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Ancient Greek Sculpture Halls
Our Vatican tour with skip the line tickets, explores masterpieces of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica.
Language:
English
Max Group Size:
10 people
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