Vatican City




Creation of Man

I paid my 13 Euros to enter, and I remembered my father's advice: Head straight to the Sistine Chapel, do not stop for all the glories you pass, as you can see them on the way out. The Sistine Chapel is the Holy Grail of the Vatican. So, I passed through many rooms, with many treasures, as quickly as I could. A tour group blocked my passage in a couple places, so I saw some maps, and some art, but it was soon that I was in the Sistine Chapel, along with about 1000 other people.

Once I arrived, I again followed my father's advice: I lay down upon the floor, and looked up. Michelangelo was a genius. It is an amazing work of art. Words fail me to describe the site; it was an overwhelming experience. I'll admit that two people did trip over me as I lay there, but I guess that was the risk. I probably looked foolish to some, but I did not crane my neck when looking at the ceilings. I also was able to take some pictures.

The most common words heard in the Sistine Chapel? "No Flash."

After spending a good bit of time (more than my share?) in the Chapel, I went out. It turns out that things are different now, you can't re-enter the rest of the museum, so I passed on the opportunity to see the many treasures. You did go through several rooms, with more art, but none of it could have compared to the Chapel.

I had a couple slices of pizza for lunch, one with mushrooms, and one with salami. Although the Vatican has its own currency, they accepted Euros.


Mueum Entrance

Inside the Grounds

Egyption Lion

The Ceiling

May of Italy

More Amazing Ceilings

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel

The Banishment of Adam and Eve

The Birth of Eve

The Sistine Chapel

Another Amazing Ceiling

And Another

And Another

And Another

A Carved Eagle

A Bell

Another Painting

A Hall

On the Side Wall

The Vatican Gardens

St. Peter's

The Last Supper

The Last Supper

Vatican Gardens

Paintings

Paintings

Paintings

Paintings

Approaching St. Peter's

Approaching St. Peter's

St. Peter's

St. Peter's

St. Peter's

The View from St. Peter's

Inside St. Peter's

Inside St. Peter's

The Pity

The Pope's Altar

The Pope's Altar

The Pope's Altar

The Pope's Altar

Inside St. Peter's

Inside St. Peter's

Inside St. Peter's

Inside St. Peter's

Swiss Guards

The Plaza

St. Peter's

St. Peter's

Center of the Plaza

St. Peter's

St. Peter's

St. Peter's

A Fountain

A Fountain
Click on any image to see a larger picture

I did get to visit the other half of the Vatican Museum, which had a lot of interesting works of art. Still, none of it compared to the Sistine Chapel. At around 3PM, I exited the Museum, and walked around the Vatican to the main plaza, for St. Peter's Basilica. This is a huge open plaza, and at the end of it is the Pope's church. Inside is huge, a cavernous building. The altar in the center is also huge. Despite the size, it is not as ostentatious as St. Vitas Cathedral in Prague. Once senses the wealth needed to build the cathedral must have been immense, anyway.

Off to the side is a museum for the history of the Vatican. It cost six Euros to visit, and while it had some interesting items, it was not worth the six Euro charge.

I ended up spending the day in the Vatican, after the day was done, I headed back to my hotel and to dinner.




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All images are © Copyright 2007 James C. Armstrong, Jr.