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It all started with the Apollo and then came the Laocoon, which was discovered on Esquiline Hill. Since then, the Vatican has never been the same again. Along with these famous artifacts and other works of art, the Muesi Vaticani or Vatican Museums have invited long queues of people who wanted to get a glimpse of the glorious Roman Catholic past.
Division of Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums is divided into different chambers, showcasing different eras, artworks, with different stories to tell to the visitors. For example, the Egyptian Museum, which is usually found at the earlier portion of the tour, showcases the various inscriptions mummies, and Roman statuaries that even date back as far as first century AD. You can also find old ceramics, seals from Mesopotamia, bas-reliefs from Assyria, and cuneiform tablets.
It was Pope Pius VII who started the Chiaramonti of the Vatican Museums, and it is divided into three sections: the Corridor, or the Corridoio; New Side, or the Braccio Nuovo (New Side), and Galleria Lapidaria. You can find in the Corridor various statues, sarcophagies, busts, and reliefs. In Galleria Lapideraia, on the other hand, there are an estimated 5,000 inscriptions detailing the different beliefs, activities, and rituals, of the early Christians and pagans. The ultra-famous Group of Nile and Statue of Augustus Prima Porta can be located in Braccio Nuovo.
Vatican Museums also house the various antiquities that have been discovered during catacomb excavations. An idea of Pope Pius IX during 1854, the Christian Museum was later moved to the historical Vatican in the 1960s.
The Beauty of Sistine Chapel
Perhaps the Sistine Chapel is considered to be the most prized possession of the Vatican Museums. It has never failed to capture the hearts of millions of sojourners who happen to pass by the Vatican. It features barrel-vaulted ceilings, divided by a screen made of marble. But what basically makes the place even more amazing are the different artworks and frescoes that donít only beautiful but also tell Catholic Christian stories, such as the lives of Jesus Christ and Moses. The artworks were conceptualized and designed by Michelangelo for the pope at that time, Pope Julius II. It should have only displayed the twelve apostles, but Michelangelo insisted, and soon it features one whole religious theme: the waiting of mankind for the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Vatican Museums donít only hold pieces of artwork but also things that have been used by popes all these years. These include the various carriages, harnesses, and photographs of processions that showcase carriages and berlins. You can also find the first original automobiles that have been utilized by the popes through the years.
Ethnological Missionary Museum
If you truly like a trip down memory lane, then you should never have to miss the Ethnological Missionary Museum. It contains documentation of the growth and spread of Christianity and other religions for too many centuries, even before Jesus was born.
When to Visit
Majority of the Vatican tours already include a trip to the Vatican Museum. However, if you donít like to pay any entrance fee, then be prepared for a free public viewing, which is scheduled every last Sunday of the month. Of course, because anyone can simply go in, itís advisable to bring with you some towels, water, and even some food as you can expect very long lines.