The Vatican Museums is something incredible! Sculptures that are simply magnificent! Painting! And the Last Judgment - oh ... It's just a must see. To avoid queues and to go to museums with understanding, an audio guide will be a good solution, and ideally, a professional guide will accompany you.
Vatican Museums, Pinecone Courtyard, photo by Sujal Parikh
The small state of the Vatican has an incredible artistic and cultural value collection of works of art, archaeological finds, historical artifacts. The bulk of the treasures collected by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries is stored in the huge complex of the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani), which was founded by Pope Julius II at the beginning of the 16th century.
Which museums are listed on the Vatican Museums
- Gregorian Etruscan Museum
- Vatican Library
- Pio Cristiano Museum
- Vatican Pinacoteca
- Chiaramonti Museum
- History Museum (Vatican City)
- Collection of modern church art
- Ethnological Missionary Museum
Museums in the Papal Palace:
- Apartments Borgia
- The Sistine Chapel
- Chapel of Niccolina
- Raphael's stanzas
- Map Gallery
- Candelabra Gallery
- Gallery Arazzi
- Loggia of Cardinal Bibien
- Chariot Hall
Museums in the palace of Nicholas III
Innocent Palace VII:
- Museum of Pius Clement
- Gregorian Egyptian Museum
- Chiaroskuri Hall
- Loggias of Raphael
- Borgia Tower
- Palace of Nicholas V
- Loggias of the courtyard of San Damaso
- Chapel of Urban VIII
- Dam Hall
- Hall of the Virgin
- Papal Apartments
- House of St. Martha
- Sobieski Hall
- Immacolate Hall
Useful information about the Vatican Museums and a detailed list of all exhibits are presented on the official website. Tourists are offered several route options plus the Sistine Chapel. How to get there, where and for how much to buy tickets, how to avoid lines, how to visit museums for free, see here.
Gregorian Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum, photo by aurelio-candido
The nine rooms of the Gregorian Egyptian Museum contain a collection of sarcophagi, granite statues, posthumous masks and other archaeological finds. The museum presents authentic mummies, an interesting collection of scarab beetles, household items found by scientists - caskets, sandals, ceramics. The pearl of the Museo Gregoriano Egizio collection is the Assyrian-Babylonian Hall, and the most valuable exhibit is a sandstone statue, the head of King Mentuhotep.
Gregorian Etruscan Museum
Etruscan Museum, photo by Egisto Sani
The Etruscan Museum (Museo gregoriano etrusco) displays terracotta vases and bronze, ancient jewelry, architectural fragments, several sarcophagi. The basis of the collection are the finds of archaeologists from Cerveteri.
Museum of Pius Clement
Pius Clementine Museum, photo by HEN-Magonza
In the courtyard of the Belvedere is a part of the exposition of the Museum of Pius Clement (Museo Pio-Clementino). On the octagonal patio are statues of Hermes, Perseus and Apollo; magnificent in design and execution of the sculptural composition "Laocoon and Sons". There are also marble baths brought from ancient baths and rich villas. In total, Museo Pio-Clementino has eight halls of various subjects. An interesting, unique part of the collection of this museum is the Animal Hall. Realistic statues are presented there, reflecting the natural grace and plasticity of representatives of the fauna.
Chiaramonti Museum, photo by Dirk Wandel
The Museum of Chiaramonti (Museo Chiaramonti) is also dedicated to ancient sculpture - more than eight hundred ancient Roman and Greek statues are exhibited here. The exposition is dedicated to Roman history and Greek mythology; its main part is exhibited in the arched gallery - the Corridor. The Braccio Nuo Hall contains classic antique statues, and the Lapidaria Gallery contains fragments of ancient religious inscriptions.
Gallery of candelabra, photo Liv. -400
To the right of Museo Chiaramonti is the Gallery of Candelabra (Galleria dei Candelabri) with collections of II century candlesticks from Otricoli. In addition to candelabra, here you can again see sarcophagi, as well as statues, vases, frescoes.
Tapestry Gallery, photo by Sebastian Niedlich
Beyond this gallery is another - Galleria degli Arazzi or Tapestry Gallery. Ten huge beautiful woven fabrics, created according to the designs of Raphael's students, have been exhibited here since the mid-19th century.
Gallery of geographic maps, photo Famiglia Cristiana
The gallery of geographic maps (Galleria delle carte geografiche) is located in a narrow long corridor. Forty multi-color detailed maps depicting the possessions of the Catholic Church, the most important historical events and religious subjects were created to decorate the Papal Palace on the orders of Gregory XIII.
Rafael Stanzas, Max photo
Rafael Stanza (Stanze di Raffaello) - one of the masterpieces of the Vatican Museums - the holy of holies, which can not be visited, once in the Vatican. Four small rooms were arranged in the Papal Palace in 1508, for Julius II. Painted the premises of young Raphael. The plots of the frescoes were ancient legends and myths, combined with genuine events of the Middle Ages, as well as science, art and military achievements of the Catholic Church.
Ethnological Missionary Museum
Ethnological Missionary Museum
Ethnological Missionary Museum (Museo missionario-etnologico) - exposition of the history of religion. It presents to visitors cult attributes and other items related to the religious customs of different nations.
The Museum of History (Museo storico vaticano) illustrates the history of the Vatican City. It exhibits weapons, military uniforms, armor; showcases carriages and cars that the popes used at different times.
Vatican Apostolic Library, photo by Gé N.
The Vatican Apostolic Library (Musei della biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) contains priceless treasures: manuscripts, manuscripts, prints, maps and incunabula; numismatic collections. The library is remarkable not only for its collection, but also for its magnificent decoration.
Vatican Pinacoteca, photo by Bob Cates
The Vatican Pinacoteca (Pinacoteca vaticana) is a collection of paintings with more than 450 paintings. Visitors can see European and Byzantine art masterpieces of the XII-XIX centuries, the largest collection of works by Italian masters, a collection of altar paintings. The basis of the exposition is religious painting.
Pio Cristiano Museum
Pio Cristiano Museum, photo @@@@@
The Pio Cristiano Museum contains artifacts found in Roman catacombs. Sarcophagi and their fragments, sculptures, historical documents are stored here. Exhibits are displayed in chronological order.
Chapel of Nikolina, photo Dark Rome Tours & Walks
The small Chapel of Nikolina (Cappella Niccolina) is painted with unique frescoes. The scenes of the life of Saints Stephen and Lorenzo on the walls of this chapel were made in the XIV-XV centuries. Dominican monk painter Fra Beato Angelico.
Medieval painting has been preserved in the apartments of Borgia (Appartamento Borgia), located under the Raphael Stanzas. Three magnificent halls: the Hall of Sibyl, the Hall of Saints and the Hall of the Sacraments of Faith - are painted by Bernardino Pinturicchio himself and the artist’s students.
The Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina), photo by xiquinhosilva
You can explore the Vatican Museums in different sequences, but the key object of any route is the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina) - the result of Michelangelo's long work, a testament to the genius of the greatest Renaissance artist.
Vatican Museums Opening Hours
Mon-Sat from 9:00 to 18:00 (last entrance at 16:00),
Every last Sunday of the month from 9:00 to 14:00 (last entrance is 12:30).
Full ticket - € 17;
reduced - € 8.00;
plus the cost of booking online - € 4.00.
Audioguide (optional) - € 7.
Museum visit options are available here.
To not stand in line, buy tickets on the official website.
How to get there
Take line A metro to Ottaviano Station;
by tram 19 to the stop Risorgimento - San Pietro;
by bus No. 49 - to V.le Vaticano / musei Vaticani; author 32, 81, 982 - to Piazza del Risorgimento; author 492, 990 - to Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipion.
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