Vatican Museums 2015 | Visitors guide and Calendar
Date: 2014-07-07 20:25:45
Author: Samuel Heenan
Visiting the Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums should be top of your list when visiting Rome and the Vatican in 2015. So when planning your trip to Rome and the Eternal City it just wouldnt be complete without exploring the treasures of the Vatican Museums.
The Vatican Museums started as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II (1503-1513) and is now extended to a complex and today the museums are over 9 miles (14,5 kilometers) long.
The Museums of the Vatican are home to the huge art collection of Christian art gathered over the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church. Inside the museums contains some of the world's greatest examples of painting, sculpture, tapestry and other decorative arts. Anually the Vatican Museums receives over 4 million visitors!. The Museums contain 54 separate galleries, including some of the finest High Renaissance art in the Sistine Chapel frescoes, with its Genesis and Last Judgment frescoes painted by Michelangelo, and the Raphael Rooms, decorated by Raphael.
When deciding on your visit please check the opening times as the museums are closed for various religious festivals and on sundays apart from the last sunday of each month in which the museums open for free to the public.
January'15 Closed Dates 1st, 4th, 6th, 11th, 18th FREE ENTRANCE: 25th
February'15 Closed Dates 1nd, 8th, 11th, 15th FREE ENTRANCE: 22rd
March'15 Closed Dates 1nd, 8th, 15th, 19th, 22rd FREE ENTRANCE: 29th
April'15 Closed Dates 5th, 6th,12th,19th FREE ENTRANCE: 26th
May'15 Closed Dates 1st, 3th, 10th, 17th, 24th FREE ENTRANCE: 31st
June'15 Closed Dates 7th, 14th, 21st, 29th FREE ENTRANCE: 28th
July'15 Closed Dates 5th, 12th, 19th FREE ENTRANCE: 26th
August'15 Closed Dates 2nd, 9th, 15th, 16th, 23th FREE ENTRANCE: 30th
September'15 Closed Dates 6th, 13th, 20th FREE ENTRANCE: 27th
October'15 Closed Dates 4th, 11th, 18th FREE ENTRANCE: 25th
November'15 Closed Dates 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd FREE ENTRANCE: 29th
Decemeber'15 Closed Dates 6th, 8th, 12th, 20th, 25th, 26th FREE ENTRANCE: 27th
Once you have you decided when you wish to visit you will need to take into consideration the fact that as the major tourist attaction in Rome the Vatican Museums lets in upto 30,000 visitors per day. Considering this and the fact that there is only one main entrance it can lead to long lines especially on the free sundays, in the summer months from April to Oct and religious periods such as Easter, Xmas. In these high season periods the lines can be upto 2 hours long so be prepared to wait especially in the morning times. In the low/winter season the lines are generally not as long and you should not wait longer that 20 minutes.
Entrance Prices in 2015
Full price ticket: Euro 16,00.
Reduced ticket: Euro 8,00. (Children from 6 - 18 years old and students under 26 years old on presentation of a valid International Student Card or a student identity document on the day of the visit).
Child 0-5 Years Old: FREE
These prices are applicable to visitors who make the normal entrance taking the lines.
A second option is to book your tickets in advance directly through the Vatican website http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking using the Vatican website you can reserve your tickets online in which the same prices apply as the normal entrance fee + a 4 euro booking fee added to the price for the online booking. When booking this ticket you will need to choose your entrance time to the museum and then you can can enter directly at this time without waiting in line. Note that the museum is strict regarding your selected entrance time so do not be late.
A third option would be to book the Vatican Museums skip the line tickets which consisits of a prebooked flexible skip the line ticket in wich costs 30 Euros per adult and 20 Euros reduced and free for children from 0-5 Years old. The benefit of this type of entrance is that the ticket is flexible so you can collect your ticket 50 metres from the vatican museums entrance and then use to enter and pass the lines whenever it suits you. This ticket has the added bonus of offering a free transfer from St Peter's square to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano where you also have the audioguide included to the visit of this basilica. Here you can book this Vatican Museums Skip the line ticket.
Finally if you prefer to be taken around the museums with full access and registered tour guide to give you the histry and insight you can always book a tour of the museums. You can join a mixed group to make the visit of 3-4 hours costing approx 50, 00 Euros per person Vatican Museums Tour or if you prefer to have your own private guide for the visit the VIP offer will start from 270,00 Euro in total for 2 people with tickets and guide included - for full details see Vatican Museums Private Tour
Dress Code and taking Photo's in the Vatican in 2015
Obviously in the summer months with the heat in Rome often into the 30s visitors like to explore the city in shorts and t-shirts. The Vatican Museums however have a strict dress code so please remember to dress appropriately when making your visit as they will refuse you entry if you are not in the correct attire. As long as you follow the guidelines or remember to bring a scarf to cover your shoulders. Inside the museums you are welcome to take photo's however it is forbidden to use your flash and no photography is allowed inside the Sistine Chapel.
What you will see in the Vatican Museums 2015
The building of the Pinacoteca, completed in 1931, was commissioned by Pius IX (1922 -1939), expressly to house a collection of paintings, belonging to various popes and started by Pius VI (1775-1799). Many of the paintings on exhibit were taken to Paris by Napoleon in 1797, but returned to Italy after the Congress of Vienna (1815), thanks also to the intercession of the sculptor Antonio Canova. The works, covering a period from the Middle Ages to 1800, are set in chronological order, in eighteen rooms.
2. The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is named after his commissioner, Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471-1484), who decided to have a large room built where the “Cappella Magna” once stood. The “Cappella Magna” was a mediaeval fortified hall that the Papal Court used for assemblies.Its construction started in 1475, during the Jubilee Year proclaimed by Sixtus IV, and ended in 1483, when on August 15th the Pope solemnly inaugurated the new Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. Inside the chapel you will find the famous work of Michelangelo and one of the most important painting cycles in the world, covering 800 sq metres of wall with “good fresco” painting. It was begun in May 1508, and then stopped for about a year between September 1510 and August 1511. The chapel was solemnly inaugurated by Julius II on November 1st, 1512.
3. Vatican Courtyards
The Courtyard of the “Pigna” is named after a colossal bronze pinecone, almost 4 metres high, which, in the classic age, stood near the Pantheon in Rome, known as the “Pigna quarter”; it was probably first moved to the atrium of the ancient St Peter’s Basilica during the Middle Ages and then moved here in 1608. Two bronze peacocks, copies of 2nd century A.D. originals in the Braccio Nuovo, flank the pinecone.
4. Raphael’s Rooms
The “Vatican Rooms” were actually the apartments of Pope Julius II (1503-1513), who did not want to live in the rooms inhabited by his predecessor Alexander VI and frescoed by Pinturicchio, and, therefore, moved to the floor above into a wing built by Nicholas V in the 15th century. More famous artists such as Raphael’s master, Perugino, had already worked on the rooms, but Pope Julius II gave Raphael (1483-1520) complete license and he erased all previous work.
5. Gallery of Tapestries
Flemish tapestries, realized in Brussels by Pieter van Aelst’s School from drawings by Raphael’s pupils, during the pontificate of Clement VII (1523-1534), hang on the walls. They were first shown in the Sistine Chapel in 1531, and arranged for the exhibition in this Gallery in 1838.
6. Gallery of Maps
This part of the museums takes its name from the 40 maps frescoed on the walls, which represent the Italian regions and the papal properties at the time of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585). They were painted between 1580 and 1585 on drawings by Ignazio Danti, a famous geographer of the time. Considering the Apennines as a partition element, on one side the regions surrounded by the Ligure and Tyrrhenian Seas are represented; on the other, the regions surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. The map of the main city accompanies each regional map.
7. The Immaculate Conception and Sobieski Rooms
The Sobieski Room derives its name from the large painting by the Polish painter Jean Matejko (1838-1893), which represents Polish King John III Sobieski’s victory over the Turks in Vienna in 1683. All the other paintings in the room date from the 19th century, as well as those in the Room of the Immaculate.
8. Pius-Clementine Museum
The Pius Clementine Museum was founded by Clement XIV and Pius VI to preserve Greek and Roman masterpieces; from the works of Lisippo to the Apollo of the Belvedere from the Agora of Athens, to the celebrated Laocoonte, enclosed in the splendid architecture of Bramante. The Chiaramonti Museum is named after pope Pius VII who had it built. It houses about a thousand items: sarcophagi imperial portraits and statues of deities, arranged in a long gallery decorated in 1807 by the sculptor Antonio Canova.
9. Egyptian Museum
The museum was founded by Gregory XVI (1831-1846) in the Lateran Palace in 1884 and John XXIII had it relocated in the Vatican in 1970. It contains Greek original works, Roman copies and sculptures dating from the 1st to the 3rd c. A.D. The most famous group is Athena and Marsyas, a copy of a Greek original by Myron (c. 450 B.C.). Inaugurated by Pius XI in 1926, this museum was also moved from the Lateran Palace. The collection consists of artworks and historical vestiges from missions all over the world.
10. Gallery of the Candelabra
Originally an open loggia built in 1761, the loggia was walled up at the end of the 18th century. The ceiling was painted in 1883-1887. The gallery contains Roman copies of Hellenistic originals (3rd-2nd century B.C.) and some great 2nd century candelabra, from Otricoli.
11. Etruscan Museum
Founded in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI, the museum contains vases, bronzes and other archaeological findings from southern Etruria, a large collection of Hellenistic Italian vases and some Roman pieces (Antiquarium Romanorum). In Room II is the notable Regolini-Galassi tomb and Rooms IV-VIII, known as of the “Precious”, exhibit gold jewellery realized by Etruscan goldsmiths during the ten centuries of their civilization.
Hope this information gives you some guide for the Vatican Museums in 2015.
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