“Church is who we are not where we go.” Author unknown
Vatican City is the world’s smallest fully independent nation-state. It is home of the Pope and is known for the Sistine Chapel, the St Peter’s Basilica, the St Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museum.
We were dropped off by our tour bus outside the Vatican Museum. First thought was that it will be a serene place because it is the place of the Pope… but because of all the tourists and all the tour groups standing on queue there was chaos.
Oh yes, but because we were with a tour group, they offered us an offer to “skip the line” tour. That was really the best way to do it without the hassle of queuing for hours.
The tour guide took us directly to the Sistine Chapel but we just found out that we were not allowed to take photos inside. An explanation of the paintings that can be seen inside were first introduced to us before we entered the chapel.
The Sistine Chapel is the most famous chapel in the world and is the official residence of the Pope. The Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 and is one of the greatest works of art in the world.
The fresco of the creation of Adam, in which God breaths life into him is the focal point of the chapel.
Next, we went to the Vatican Museum where we saw the public art and the sculpture museum in the Vatican. It displayed works from the collection of the Catholic Church through the centuries and this included the Roman sculptures as well as masterpieces of the Renaissance art. This museum contains roughly 70,000 works and about 20,000 are on display. There was so much to cover… tapestries, sculptures, paintings and beautiful ceilings.
St. Peter’s Basilica, the ultimate symbol of the Vatican, is located in Vatican City, and is the universal headquarters of the Catholic Church as well as the Pope’s residence.
St. Peter’s Square is one of the largest and most beautiful squares in the world. Saint Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro in Italian), is the huge open-air space in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
The most impressive part of the square, besides its size, are its 284 columns and 88 pilasters that flank the square in a colonnade of four rows. Above the columns there are 140 statues of saints created in 1670 by the disciples of Berniniorome.net
In the centre of the square the obelisk and the two fountains, one of Berni ni (1675) and another of Maderno (1614) stand out. The obelisk, which is 25 meters in height, was carried to Rome from Egypt in 1586.rome.net
We weren’t lucky enough to see the Pope because we were there on the wrong day. It is said that he appears on this window, gives a short speech and gives his blessing.
The St Peter’s Basilica is one of the greatest Renaissance structures ever made by man. The interior of the Basilica is filled with many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque.
La Pieta or The Piety is a world famous sculpture of Michelangelo and is a Renaissance masterpiece which is housed at the St Peter’s Basilica. This sculpture was placed behind a protective bulletproof glass panel, after an attacker damaged it in 1972.
These are the Swiss Guards who are in charge of the personal safety of the Pope and has been since 1506. One of the members of our tour group tried to make one of the guards laugh by cracking a joke…but she had no luck. 😀😀
NOTE: Vatican City has its own telephone system, post office, gardens, astronomical conservatory, radio station, banking system, and pharmacy. Almost all supplies—including food, water, electricity, and gas—must be imported. – Google
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