The Vatican Museums are the largest, richest, most compelling and perhaps most comprehensive museum complex in the world. Many treasures of the city's history are here, from both classical and later times, and many of the Renaissance's finest artists were in the employ of the Pope.
Saint Peter's Cathedral was consecrated on November 18, 1626. It is the world's largest church, with a floor area of 21,477 m2. The external perimeter is 1,778 meters, the cathedral is 186.35 meters long and 97.50 meters wide. The main nave is 40 meters high, and the dome 132.50 meters. There are 44 altars, 11 domes, 778 columns, 395 statues, and 135 mosaic panels. From Saint Peter's portico you enter the main entrance hall, with its five doors. On the right you can see the Holy Door, which is opened only every 25 years, in Jubilee or Holy Years.
The Vatican Palace holds a collection of museums on very diverse subjects: displays of classical statuary, Renaissance painting, Etruscan relics, Egyptian artifacts, not to mention the furnishings and decoration of the palace itself. Many treasures of the city's history are here, from both classical and later times, as well as great works of art by many of the Renaissance's finest artists who were in the employ of the Pope.
The Vatican Museums are the Egyptian Museum, the Chiaramonti Museum, the Museum of Popes Clement XIV and Pius VI, Gregorian Museum of Etruscan Art, Antiquarium Romanum, the Vase Collection, the Biga Room, the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Maps, the Apartment of Saint Pius V, the Sobieski Room, the Room of the Immaculate Conception, Raphael's Rooms and Loggias, the Collection of Modern Religious Art, the Sistine Chapel, the Apostolic Library, the Vatican Picture Gallery, the Gregorian Museum of Profane Art, the Christian Museum, the Missionary Museum of Ethnology, and the Carriage Pavilion.
Justly known as one of the most famous places in the world, the Sistine Chapel is the site where the conclave for the election of the popes and other solemn pontifical ceremonies are held.
Built according to the architectural design of Baccio Pontelli by Giovannino de Dolci between 1475 and 1481, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned it. A large rectangular room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling, it is divided into two unequal parts by a marble screen. The screen and the transenna were built by Mino da Fiesole and other artists.