If frescoes unveil a whole new world of historic revelation, then the Italian Sistine Chapel is where we unearthed the best representation of creative history. Situated in the Apostolic Palace, Sistine is both a chapel and the official residence of the Pope. For that reason, it’s original name Cappella Magna, was inspired by Pope Sixtus IV, who reinstated the Chapel in the fourteenth century. It’s in fact, an honor to be visiting this Papal conclave, of the present times, which sees through the process of the Pope elections. However, what makes this Chapel the most-visited landmark of Rome and Vatican City is the trail of its gorgeously crafted frescoes.
(Rare Fact: White steam is blown out of the center of the ceiling on the day the Pope is elected. This steam is a way of letting the Gods and the civilization become aware of the succession)
From the minute you step in, to the end of the tour, you will be mesmerized by the grand architectural style, the royal interiors, and the sense of calm this Chapel brings along. During our visit, we couldn’t stop glaring at the intricate ceilings, columns, and Michelangelo’s masterpiece creations such as The Last Judgment. Even though over a period of time multiple renaissance painters contributed to the making of the frescoes. (Each depicting life of Christ and his beloved Moses!) During our Chapel expedition, we paid extra attention to the detailing of the progressive lifecycle of the art which, showcases a marvelous illustration of Western art from the 14th and the 15th century.
Rightfully contemplated as one of the most significant contributions to the human civilization, the frescoes and paintings offered us a brilliant visual, of the Chapel and its visitors. Dimensionally, the Sistine Chapel stands 68 sqft tall, sprawling across 134 sqft of the end to end coverage. And we were told that this Chapel shares the exact dimensions that of, the Temple of Solomon. But, what sets it apart from any other Chapel in the world is the exemplary collection of ceiling paintings by Michelangelo.
Legends have it, that throughout the painting-process Michelangelo not once stood on the floor to gaze up at his work. Instead, he operated from a large platform which covered half the chapel. Despite which, he managed to craft perfection into all the vast scale paintings. Something we understood only after, we stood in the center of the Chapel’s ceiling which showcases all the 9 panels at one time. Exactly when, the reversed fresco designs and the story of the Christ, begin to make sense.
In case, you are wondering about what goes into the maintenance of a grand architecture of this stature then let us tell you, that the chapel is visited by over 5mn visitors annually which results in a yearly revenue of 80 million Euros. That’s the kind of money that’s involved in preserving the world’s most ravishing Chapels of all times.