Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dames at Sea, Day Three: Vatican City and Sistine Chapel

Our final day in Rome and we used the hop-on/off bus again, this time headed for Vatican City. On the way one crosses the Ponte Sant'Angelo, completed in 134 A.D.  The bridge is adorned with 10 angels, each holding a symbolic reference to the crucifixion, one holding a whip, another a crown of thorns, garment and dice, a cross, and so on.

Once across the bridge we caught our first glimpse of St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican. I was unprepared for how huge it is.

Our goal was the Sistine Chapel and we had to walk the entire circumference to get around to the other side to enter the Vatican Museum. The Vatican Museum houses 54 galleries which lead to the Sistine Chapel.  The galleries are filled with an "immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world." (Wikipedia)  When we finally arrived at the Sistine Chapel at the end of the galleries, it was filled with wall-to-wall people.  There was a holy hush, encouraged periodically by an usher who reminded everyone to be quiet.  To my disappointment, no photography was allowed.  The photograph below was taken from a book on the subject. The chapel is famous for it's depictions of the life of Christ and Moses and the Last Judgement by Michaelangelo, each of which took him over two years to paint.


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