The Sistine Chapel is no ordinary place of worship – it’s a genuine work of art! In fact, millions come from all over the world just to witness its beauty. But how much do you really know about this famous staple of Renaissance architecture? Here are some fun facts about the Sistine Chapel to fill up on.
1. What is the Sistine Chapel?
As the name suggests, the Sistine Chapel is indeed a chapel in the Vatican City, Rome, Italy. It is particularly well known for its Renaissance art and architecture and for hosting some of the most important catholic events throughout history!
2. When was the Sistine Chapel built?
The Sistine Chapel dates back to the 15th century! To be more specific, the chapel was built between 1475 and 1483.
3. What’s in a name?
The Sistine Chapel was actually named after the Pope in charge of the Vatican at the time, who was also the commissioner. Pope Sixtus IV lent his name to the chapel. If that may sound a little strange, it’s simply because Sixtus is “Sisto” in Italian, and the chapel’s original name is Cappella Sistina. In Italian, it definitely makes more sense!
4. The world’s most famous ceiling painter!
Although the Sistine Chapel is named after one specific man, another gentleman is directly linked to the chapel. That man is, of course, the famed Renaissance artist Michelangelo – who undertook the bold task of painting the amazing scenes you can see on the Sistine’s ceiling to this day.
5. How long did it take to paint the Sistine Chapel?
If you have ever seen the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, then you’ll understand why it is so popular! The attention to detail, the colors, and the stories being told in the paintings all lend to its legendary status. It took Michelangelo (reportedly) around four years to complete – he painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512.
6. How big is the Sistine Chapel ceiling?
To give you a better idea of how much work Michelangelo put into his ceiling masterpiece, it is over 40 meters (131 feet) long and 13 meters (42 feet) wide! The ceiling is divided into nine sections – in each section, Michelangelo painted a different scene from the Old Testament.
7. The Creation of Adam is easy to spot.
Even if you have not seen the chapel for yourself in real life, you will likely have seen at least one of the Sistine’s most famous paintings. The most iconic is, of course, the Creation of Adam, in which we see God giving life to the first man, Adam, by touching his finger.
8. What about The Last Judgment?
Another painting you might have seen is the one that covers the entire altar wall of the chapel. It shows the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment of humanity. It, too, was painted by Michelangelo.
9. Michelangelo didn’t work alone…
Although we all tend to think of Michelangelo as the primary artist of the Sistine Chapel, other artists have also left their mark! Botticelli, Perugino, and Ghirlandaio are some that come to mind!
10. How is the Sistine Chapel used today?
The Sistine Chapel does far more than just bring tourists! In fact, to this day, very important events are held here – these include the election of the new Pope, as and when the time arises.
FAQs about the Sistine Chapel
Why is the Sistine Chapel so famous?
The Sistine Chapel is known for a great many things! However, most people do recognize it primarily thanks to its vast collection of stunning Renaissance art and for it being a showcase of the legendary Michelangelo's work.
Is the Sistine Chapel free to enter?
Despite being a place of worship, you cannot enter the Sistine Chapel for free. To see it, you must pay the Vatican Museums’ entry fee, which gives you access to the Sistine Chapel, among other things.
How much does it cost to visit the Sistine Chapel?
Currently, it costs €22 for adults to visit the Sistine Chapel and €13 for children. However, the price may change before your visit, so it is worth looking it up before you go!
Do you know any fun facts about the Sistine Chapel? Share them in the comments below!