Theme Week Vatican City – Vatican Museums

28 December 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Main complex of the Vatican Museums © F. Bucher/cc-by-2.5

Main complex of the Vatican Museums © F. Bucher/cc-by-2.5

The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani; Latin: Musea Vaticana) are Christian and art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City. They display works from the immense collection amassed by popes throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display, and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. The Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael, are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. In 2017, they were visited by 6 million people, which combined makes it the 5th most visited art museum in the world. There are 54 galleries, or sale, in total, with the Sistine Chapel, notably, being the very last sala within the Museum. It is one of the largest museums in the world. In 2017, the Museum’s official website and social media presence was completely redone, in accord with current standards and appearances for modern websites. The Museums had 6,427,277 visitors in 2017, making them the fourth-most-visited art museum in the world.   read more…

Theme Week Rome – Vatican City

3 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

Vatican City State Panorama from St. Peters Basilica © Marcus Winter

Vatican City State Panorama from St. Peters Basilica © Marcus Winter

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. The Vatican City is the world’s smallest state, being only around 44 ha (110 acres). In July 2007, the Vatican agreed to become the first carbon neutral state. They plan to accomplish this by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with the creation of a Vatican Climate Forest in Hungary. Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of the Holy See and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy. Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports, whereas Vatican City State issues normal passports. In each case very few passports are issued.   read more…

The Sistine Chapel

13 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions

Sistine Chapel © Maus-Trauden/GFDL

Sistine Chapel © Maus-Trauden/GFDL

Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 1,100 m2 (12,000 sq ft) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment (1535–1541), is widely believed to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievement in painting.   read more…

Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, the national library of the Vatican

23 July 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries

Vatican Library entrance © Benoit Lhoest/cc-by-sa-3.0

Vatican Library entrance © Benoit Lhoest/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Vatican Apostolic Library (Latin: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly called simply the Vatican Library, is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from throughout history. On 20 March 2014, the Holy See announced that NTT Data Corporation and the Library concluded an agreement to digitize approximately 3,000 of the Library’s manuscripts within four years. It noted that there is the possibility of subsequently digitizing another 79,000 of the Library’s holdings. These will be high-definition images available on the Library’s Internet site.   read more…

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