Vatican city is a unique place for so many reasons. Not simply because it is the smallest state in the world, governed and overseen by the leaders of Catholicism, meaning this area that is technically separate from the surrounding environment of Rome is an iconic marker for religion. Where else in the world can you go and see the functioning head of a spiritual organisation? This alone makes the place a wonder, in the fact that it functions like its own country but also has its very own head of state in the form of the Pope. Be in the right place on the right day and you may well see Pope Francis in his white Cassock, but don’t get your hopes up because as you may realise when you arrive at Vatican City, the buildings used by the high order of the Catholic church are large, numerous and not all for public use. However, many people have traveled great distances to visit this iconic place whether as a religious pilgrimage or just to see the architecture and art. With some world-renowned pieces to set your eyes upon, you can see why the city is busy all year round.
The Sistine Chapel
This 40 meter long building that was completed in the late 1400’s now stands as one of the most famous places in the world, and not simply because of it’s location. Of course, visitors come here to do one thing and that is to marvel at the unbelievable artwork that coats the walls and ceilings in here. Most notably, painter Michelangelo was put upon the task of painting the ceiling, this work alone is a remarkable and globally recognised masterpiece that should not be missed. Here in the chapel his work still stands in fantastic condition today as do those of several other accomplished Italian Renaissance painters such as Botticelli, Pinturicchio and Rosselli.
Their work on the walls here are called Frescos, which refers to the way in which the paints used were mixed with plaster as it was applied, this means that the artwork is actually a part of the building. What makes these unbelievable works so purposeful is that they visually tell the stories that the Catholic Church is founded upon. On the ceiling the book of Genesis is the subject matter, centralized by the famous Creation Of Adam whereby God and the Biblical first man touch each other with outstretched fingers. The southern wall is a series of paintings that show the life of Moses, from when he left Egypt to when he died and the feats in between. On the north side Jesus story is painted, depicting moments from his Baptism in the Jordan river to the last supper. Finally, the eastern wall shows the terrific resurrection of Christ, shown here in dazzling light so bright that people have to shield their eyes. Each of the pieces here are painted in a breathtakingly realistic and vivid style that can only be appreciated in real life, leaving all who make the journey left awestruck for hours.