About the MuseumsFor centuries, the Popes living in the Vatican compound collected works of art and ancient and expensive objects. Due to their amazing Catholic collections, the world's most important museums - the Vatican Museums - were established in the 16th century. In these museums, one can find a variety of works from ancient Egypt, the Etruscan period, the period of ancient Rome and the Renaissance.
The first public museum of the Vatican opened in the Capitolina building. A collection of personal sculptures of Pope Sixtus IV was presented. It was also Sixtus who founded the Vatican Library. His grandson Julius II donated his collection of ancient marble statues to be placed in the sculpture garden. This is where it all began.
Today these museums are full of exhibits. Due to the incredible variety and quantity of items here, you will need to plan the tour in advance and decide what to see.
What Can Be Seen Here?In the Vatican Museum one may observe the Pope's private chapel and the place where the cardinals would select his heir - the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina). Pay particular attention to the magnificent artwork on the ceiling of the chapel - a spectacular mural painted by Michelangelo depicting the creation of the world and the history of the human race. This is one of the masterpieces in Art history.
The gallery has 17-rooms (Pinacoteca Vaticana). It features religious paintings from various periods, dating back to the Gothic and Baroque periods. There is a gallery of carpets which describes the fascinating life of Jesus, woven between the years 1523-1534. Make sure to visit the four rooms devoted to the amazing works of the artist Raffaello Sanzio.
Take note of the Museo Pio Clementino Museum, which has 12 rooms with spectacular and nostalgic collections from the time of Greece to ancient Rome.