The world-famous Sistine Chapel, located inside the Pope's residence in the Vatican, is known the world over for a variety of reasons, including one that directly relates to the papacy: The Sistine Chapel is where cardinals gather to elect a new pope (known as the Papal Conclave).
There's also the fact that the chapel's ceiling is pure art, a fresco painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. The huge fresco depicts the creation of the world and packs a powerful artistic punch heightened by a recent renovation that reinstated the true color and depth of the original piece. Michelangelo also painted the magnificent Last Judgment fresco on the altar wall in 1537. It should be noted that speaking is forbidden in the chapel to further preserve the art, as talking produces large amounts of hot, humid air, which can be damaging. Crowd control and a heating and cooling system work to protect the work.
Named after Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), who renovated an old chapel and commissioned the first artworks here, the chapel also contains important works by Renaissance heavyweights such as Raphael, Bernini and Botticelli.
The Sistine Chapel is inside the Vatican, entered via the Vatican Museum around the corner from St Peter's Square. It can be reached by Metro Line A, station Ottaviana-S. Pietro-Musei Vaticano or Cipro. Tram 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento, or many buses.
Please note: Due to large crowds, the lines both inside and outside can be very long. We highly recommend you pre-purchase a skip-the-line ticket to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.