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This Day in History: 11/01/1512 - Sistine Chapel Opens

This Day in History: 11/01/1512 - Sistine Chapel Opens


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On This Day in History, November 1, The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act against the American Colonies in 1765. This unpopular tax would eventually lead to the American Revolution and independence for the colonies. On November 1, 1938, Seabiscuit upset the horse racing champion War Admiral. This was said to be the match of the century in horse racing. On November 1, 1993, the European Union was established. Finally, on November 1, 1512, Michelangelo unveiled his Sistine Chapel to the world for the first time. Michelangelo painted over three hundred figures, while he was laying on his back on sixty foot scaffolding. The paintings and figures were based on the Book of Genesis. Although it may have caused strained eyes and a sore back for Michelangelo, to the rest of the world it was a masterpiece. That is what happened in history on November 1.


Today in history, November 1: Ceiling of Sistine Chapel first exhibited

Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel were first exhibited on this day in 1512.

Part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. Source:Supplied

Highlights in history on this date:

1512: Michelangelo paintings on ceiling of Vatican’s Sistine Chapel are first exhibited.

1765: Stamp Act goes into effect in British colonies, prompting stiff resistance from Americans.

1954: Algeria begins its rebellion against French rule.

1975: Chinese troops ambush Indian security patrol along India’s northern border, killing four men in first fighting flare-up in eight years.

1977: Amsterdam police announce release of kidnapped Dutch millionaire Maurits Caransa.

1981: Caribbean islands Antigua and Barbuda become a single independent state, ending 30 years of British rule.

1984: Rajiv Gandhi is sworn in as Indian prime minister amid anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

1985: Death of Phil Silvers, American film and TV actor.

American actor and comedian Phil Silvers. Source:News Limited

1987: Top leader Deng Xiaoping resigns from governing body of China’s Communist Party in effort to allow his reform-minded proteges to consolidate power.

1988: Iran and Iraq hold face-to-face meeting after one-month break in UN-sponsored gulf peace talks.

1989: After travel restrictions are lifted, hundreds of East Germans throng to the West German embassy in Prague seeking passage to the West Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega ends 19-month truce with US-backed Contra rebels.

1990: Sir Geoffrey Howe resigns as Britain’s deputy prime minister because of differences with PM Margaret Thatcher over Europe.

1992: Russia sends more troops to the Caucasus region after fighting flares between Ingush and Ossetian forces.

1995: Peace talks on the conflict in Bosnia open in Dayton, Ohio, with the leaders of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia present.

1997: Titanic, directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, premieres at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in a scene from the movie Titanic. Source:Supplied

1999: China agrees to work with conservation groups to stop the use of endangered plants and animals in medicines and traditional cures.

2000: Northern Ireland’s peace accord takes a battering as Cabinet members clash and terrorists on both sides mount bloody attacks. On the street, a booby trap planted by IRA dissidents blows the leg off a police officer.

2001: NATO member Turkey becomes the first Muslim nation to commit troops to the war against Afghanistan.

2002: Bermuda’s public school teachers vote to return to the classrooms and end a week-long strike over pay.

2005: The United Nations General Assembly establishes January 27 as an annual commemoration day for the six million Jews and countless other victims murdered in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

The railway tracks of the Auschwitz death camp are illuminated with fire to remember the victims of the Holocaust on January 27, 2005. Source:News Limited

2006: William Styron, whose 1979 novel Sophie’s Choice was made into an acclaimed film and who won a Pulitzer Prize for The Confessions of Nat Turner, dies aged 81.

2007: Tropical Storm Noel drenches the central Caribbean, killing at least 107, destroying at least 20,000 homes and causing crop damage in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba in the tens of millions of dollars.

2009: President Hamid Karzai is effectively handed a second five-year term when his only challenger drops out of the race, and the Obama administration said it was prepared to work with the man it has previously criticised to combat corruption and confront the Taliban insurgency.

2010: Deafening explosions of hot gas rattled evacuees kilometres from Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano, the latest eruption in a deadly week. The country reports increased rumblings at 21 other active volcanoes, raising questions about what is causing the uptick along some of the world’s most volatile fault lines.

2011: Europe’s days-old plan to solve its crippling debt crisis and restore faith in the global economy is thrown into chaos by the Greek prime minister’s stunning decision to call a referendum on the country’s latest rescue package.

2012: Corporal Daniel Keighran is awarded Australia’s highest military honour, the Victoria Cross, for exceptional bravery on the battlefield in 2010 in Afghanistan Israel Folau confirms he will leave the AFL (after playing 13 games for Greater Western Sydney) and move to rugby union.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia, with Corporal Daniel Keighran at an Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Canberra. Source:News Limited

2013: A US drone strike kills Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, in a major blow to the group.

2014: A huge crowd gathers at Albany, Western Australia to commemorate 100 years since the first convoy of Anzac troops departed for World War I.

2016: Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy wins his second Melbourne Cup aboard the Robert Hickmot-trained gelding Almandin.

2017: The Greens accuse the Government of stripping Manus Island asylum seekers of medication for mental health disorders.

2018: Bradley Robert Edwards comes face-to-face with the families of the women he allegedly killed for the first time in a pre-trial court hearing. He was charged with the Claremont killings in December 2016.

Happy Birthday, Toni Collette! Source:AFP

Larry Flynt, US magazine publisher (1942) John Williamson, Australian singer (1945) Lyle Lovett, US singer (1957) Anthony Kiedis, US singer of Red Hot Chili Peppers (1962) Rick Allen, US singer (1963) Tina Arena, Australian singer-actor (1967) Toni Collette, Australian actor (1972).

“People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.” — Eric Hoffer, American author and philosopher (1902-1983).


On This Day: Sistine Chapel opens to public

Nov. 1 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo's most famous works, was exhibited to the public for the first time.

In 1604, William Shakespeare's Othello made its debut.

In 1755, an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed 60,000 people.

In 1800, U.S. President John Adams and his family moved into the newly built White House after Washington became the U.S. capital.

In 1915, Parris Island was officially designated a Marine Corps Recruit Depot used for the training of enlisted Marines.

In 1938, Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in horse racing's "match of the century."

In 1945, Ebony magazine, founded by John H. Johnson, published its first issue.

In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into the Blair House in Washington in an attempt to assassinate U.S. President Harry Truman.

In 1952, the United States tested the world's first hydrogen bomb, code named Ivy Mike, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

In 1990, McDonald's, under pressure from environmental groups, said it would replace plastic food containers with paper.

In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty took effect, formally establishing the European Union and leading to the creation of the Union's single currency, the euro.

In 2008, Maj. Sebastian Morley, the top British Special Forces commander in Afghanistan, resigned to protest what he called lack of proper equipment for combat troops. He blamed "chronic underinvestment."

In 2011, a U.N. report said the world's population had topped the 7 billion mark, doubling the total of 1968. The U.N. Population Fund predicted 8 billion people by 2025.

In 2013, a U.S. drone strike killed Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, and four other militants.

In 2018, hundreds of Google employees across the globe walked off the job to protest the tech giant's handling of sexual harassment cases involving executives.


"The Charbor Chronicles"

Once again, it should be reiterated, that this does not pretend to be a very extensive history of what happened on this day (nor is it the most original - the links can be found down below). If you know something that I am missing, by all means, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and let me know!

Nov 1, 1512: Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo's finest works, is exhibited to the public for the first time.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest of the Italian Renaissance artists, was born in the small village of Caprese in 1475. The son of a government administrator, he grew up in Florence, a center of the early Renaissance movement, and became an artist's apprentice at age 13. Demonstrating obvious talent, he was taken under the wing of Lorenzo de' Medici, the ruler of the Florentine republic and a great patron of the arts. After demonstrating his mastery of sculpture in such works as the Pieta (1498) and David (1504), he was called to Rome in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—the chief consecrated space in the Vatican.

Michelangelo's epic ceiling frescoes, which took several years to complete, are among his most memorable works. Central in a complex system of decoration featuring numerous figures are nine panels devoted to biblical world history. The most famous of these is The Creation of Adam, a painting in which the arms of God and Adam are stretching toward each other. In 1512, Michelangelo completed the work.

After 15 years as an architect in Florence, Michelangelo returned to Rome in 1534, where he would work and live for the rest of his life. That year saw his painting of the The Last Judgment on the wall above the altar in the Sistine Chapel for Pope Paul III. The massive painting depicts Christ's damnation of sinners and blessing of the virtuous and is regarded as a masterpiece of early Mannerism.

Michelangelo worked until his death in 1564 at the age of 88. In addition to his major artistic works, he produced numerous other sculptures, frescoes, architectural designs, and drawings, many of which are unfinished and some of which are lost. In his lifetime, he was celebrated as Europe's greatest living artist, and today he is held up as one of the greatest artists of all time, as exalted in the visual arts as William Shakespeare is in literature or Ludwig van Beethoven is in music.









Nov 1, 1765: Parliament enacts the Stamp Act

In the face of widespread opposition in the American colonies, Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America.

Defense of the American colonies in the French and Indian War (1754-63) and Pontiac's Rebellion (1763-64) were costly affairs for Great Britain, and Prime Minister George Grenville hoped to recover some of these costs by taxing the colonists. In 1764, the Sugar Act was enacted, putting a high duty on refined sugar. Although resented, the Sugar Act tax was hidden in the cost of import duties, and most colonists accepted it. The Stamp Act, however, was a direct tax on the colonists and led to an uproar in America over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation.

Passed without debate by Parliament in March 1765, the Stamp Act was designed to force colonists to use special stamped paper in the printing of newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and playing cards, and to have a stamp embossed on all commercial and legal papers. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word "America" and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense—"Shame to him who thinks evil of it."

Outrage was immediate. Massachusetts politician Samuel Adams organized the secret Sons of Liberty organization to plan protests against the measure, and the Virginia legislature and other colonial assemblies passed resolutions opposing the act. In October, nine colonies sent representatives to New York to attend a Stamp Act Congress, where resolutions of "rights and grievances" were framed and sent to Parliament and King George III. Despite this opposition, the Stamp Act was enacted on November 1, 1765.

The colonists greeted the arrival of the stamps with violence and economic retaliation. A general boycott of British goods began, and the Sons of Liberty staged attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors in Boston. After months of protest and economic turmoil, and an appeal by Benjamin Franklin before the British House of Commons, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766. However, the same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Acts, asserting that the British government had free and total legislative power over the colonies.

Parliament would again attempt to force unpopular taxation measures on the American colonies in the late 1760s, leading to a steady deterioration in British-American relations that culminated in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.







Nov 1, 1800: John Adams moves into White House

On this day in 1800, President John Adams, in the last year of his only term as president, moved into the newly constructed President's House, the original name for what is known today as the White House.

Adams had been living in temporary digs at Tunnicliffe's City Hotel near the half-finished Capitol building since June 1800, when the federal government was moved from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington, D.C. In his biography of Adams, historian David McCullough recorded that when Adams first arrived in Washington, he wrote to his wife Abigail, at their home in Quincy, Massachusetts, that he was pleased with the new site for the federal government and had explored the soon-to-be President's House with satisfaction.

Although workmen had rushed to finish plastering and painting walls before Adams returned to D.C. from a visit to Quincy in late October, construction remained unfinished when Adams rolled up in his carriage on November 1. However, the Adams' furniture from their Philadelphia home was in place and a portrait of George Washington was already hanging in one room. The next day, Adams sent a note to Abigail, who would arrive in Washington later that month, saying that he hoped "none but honest and wise men [shall] ever rule under this roof."

Although Adams was initially enthusiastic about the presidential mansion, he and Abigail soon found it to be cold and damp during the winter. Abigail, in a letter to a friend, wrote that the building was tolerable only so long as fires were lit in every room. She also noted that she had to hang their washing in an empty "audience room" (the current East Room).

John and Abigail Adams lived in what she called "the great castle" for only five months. Shortly after they moved in, Thomas Jefferson defeated Adams in his bid for re-election. Abigail was happy to leave Washington and departed in February 1801 for Quincy. As Jefferson was being sworn in on March 4, 1801, John Adams was already on his way back to Massachusetts, where he and Abigail lived out the rest of their days at their family farm.


Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:


Dog Unearths Cave of Antiquity

Marcel Ravidat, second from left in beret, with his friends at the cave entrance in 1940

By Ray Setterfield

September 12, 1940 — A French teenager took his dog for a walk on this day &ndash a simple everyday event, but it was to lead to one of the most stunning archaeological discoveries of all time.

Marcel Ravidat, an 18-year-old apprentice garage mechanic, took his dog, Robot, into hills near his home at Montignac in the Dordogne region of southwestern France. There, the story goes, Robot ran into a hole created by a fallen tree.

Ravidat threw some stones into the hole and was surprised that they seemed to travel a long, long way down.

Returning with some friends and a teacher he climbed down the hole and began to explore. The boys discovered what were to become known famously as the Lascaux cave paintings &ndash estimated to be between 17,000 to 20,000 years old and excitedly described by experts as &ldquothe cradle of art&rdquo.

In a cave complex arranged around a main cave about 20 metres long and five metres high were what turned out to be more than 2,000 painted and engraved images of animals and abstract symbols.

A protective layer of chalk had made the caves watertight enabling the artwork to be remarkably preserved in vibrant blacks, browns, reds, and yellows.

The paintings are almost all of animals. There is only one human and no flowers, trees or countryside. The meaning of most of the abstract symbols is unknown.

The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948 and soon attracted about 1,200 visitors a day. And that&rsquos when the problems began.

By 1955, carbon dioxide from the breath of visitors, along with heat and humidity took their toll on the paintings. And the introduction of air conditioning brought with it fungi and lichen.

As a result, the complex was closed to the public in 1963, the prehistoric images returning to the darkness and isolation that they had known for thousands of years.

Public interest remained unabated, however, and led in 1983 to the opening of Lascaux II, a meticulously created replica cave.

Its main attraction is the Hall of Bulls Chamber. The four large black bulls in it include one that is over five meters (17ft) long &ndash the largest animal painting in prehistoric cave paintings anywhere in the world.

Mr Ravidat became an official guardian of the cave and a guide who never lost his initial awe at the sights that he had been the first to see. He died in 1995, aged 72, after a heart attack.

Lascaux became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Only a few hundred meters away from the original cave, Lascaux II is a virtually identical replica with 80 per cent of the original images reproduced. It attracts about 250,000 visitors a year.


The best way to visit the Sistine Chapel

I feel very lucky that I've been able to visit the Sistine Chapel many times since then.

And every time, I feel the same way. I step inside, my eyes try to take it all in, and I let the overwhelming power of the art, the artists, and the history envelope me.

Where is the Sistine Chapel and how can you visit it?

The Sistine Chapel is inside the Vatican Museums in Vatican City.

It’s the last thing you visit in the museums. You can easily visit the Sistine Chapel by purchasing a ticket to the Vatican Museums.

What are the Sistine Chapel hours and opening days?

  • Monday - Saturday - The Sistine Chapel is open for visits Monday – Saturday from 9am – 6pm. The ticket booths at the entry of the Vatican Museums close at 4pm, and last entry is at 4:30pm. You must be inside the Sistine Chapel by about 5:30, and they begin making everyone leave shortly after that so that they can completely shut the doors by 6pm.
  • Last Sunday of every month - On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are open from 9am – 2:30pm. Last entry is at 12 noon. On this day, the museums and the Sistine Chapel are free for everyone.
  • Friday nights - From mid April – end of October, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are open on Friday nights from 7 – 11pm. Last entry is 9:30 pm.

Sistine Chapel costs and discounts

How much are tickets? Are there any discounts?

Tickets to the Vatican Museums (where the Sistine Chapel is) are 17€ per person over 18, 8€ for anyone 6-18, and free for children 5 and younger.

When can you visit The Sistine Chapel for free?

  • On the last Sunday of the month (unless it falls on a Catholic holiday), the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are open and free for everyone.
  • On World Tourism Day, September 27, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are open and free for everyone.

Can you visit the Sistine Chapel with the Roma Pass?

No, you cannot use the Roma Pass to visit the Sistine Chapel.

The Roma Pass does not include anything in Vatican City. You could use the Omnia Pass or the Turbo Pass.

Neither of these are money-savers, but rather time-saving convenience passes. Read more about them here.

Can you visit JUST the Sistine Chapel without visiting the Vatican Museums?

No, it’s not possible to just visit the Sistine Chapel without visiting the Vatican Museums.

You can, however, take the shortest route possible from the entry of the Vatican Museums if you like.

There is a "turbo" route to visit the Sistine Chapel. If you skip everything and just walk straight ahead, you can make it to the Sistine Chapel in under 30 minutes from the entrance of the Vatican Museums.

Skip the Raphael rooms, and go directly to the Sistine Chapel.

This will take less than half an hour of walking if you don’t stop to look at anything.

How to see JUST the Sistine Chapel (sort of), and without massive crowds

This is what the tour companies do when they offer the "pre-opening, skip the lines, visit the Sistine Chapel before the crowds come" tours.

They basically beeline to the Sistine Chapel where you get to enjoy it before the doors open to the public. Then, the tour guide will take you back towards the exit of the Vatican Museums, which is also the entrance. And then they do a normal tour through the museums so that you get the full tour with all the art.

But if what you want it to just see the Sistine Chapel, quickly, and without massive crowds, you can sign up for one of these early morning tours, and simply leave the tour after you've visited the Sistine Chapel.

You can sign up for this Pristine Sistine tour with Walks of Italy. It's a superb tour even if you only visit the Sistine Chapel and leave the tour early.

How can you avoid the crowds inside the Sistine Chapel? When is the least crowded time to visit the Sistine Chapel?

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most popular sites in Rome, and it has visitors every day it’s open, throughout the year.

It can be notoriously crowded in there, to the point where you don’t even want to be there, and can’t deal with the crowds. I have heard so many visitors say they just wanted to get out.

When you visit the Sistine Chapel you don't want to be so stressed by the crowds that you don't enjoy what you're looking at.

And more likely than not, they missed a lot of the beauty of it, in part because they didn’t feel good, and in part because the crowds make it hard to take it all in.

  • Book an early-morning (pre-opening) ticket. This is not a tour. At around 7am you meet a coordinator who explains the procedure. Then you will go into the Vatican Museums before they open to the general public.
  • Take an early-morning (pre-opening) tour. These tours are NOT exclusive, as many tour operators offer them. But you do race to the Sistine Chapel and get to be inside before the main door opens, and you will be with many fewer people than during normal hours. You will then get to go back and have a tour of the museums.
  • Visit Rome in low season, like early December, mid-January – mid-February, and parts of November and parts of August.
  • Visit the Vatican Museums as close to closing as possible. Like almost all sites in Rome, the crowds are on a kind of bell curve – there are fewer people first thing in the morning and then again at the end of the day, with the bulk of the crowds in the middle of the day. With this kind of visit, you need to be careful to time yourself right, or you may miss something you want to see.
  • Book an exclusive after-hours tour. This type of tour is very expensive because it is truly exclusive. These tours are typically not offered in low season as there is not enough demand to make it worthwhile for a tour agency to buy the expensive ticket.

Maybe you won't have the chance to visit the Sistine Chapel without the crowds. I have visited it many times with large crowds. This is what I do.

Throughout my visit to the Vatican Museums on a crowded day, I accept from the beginning that it's crowded. Very crowded. Once I accept it and let it go, it doesn't bother me any more.

Then, I decide what art I want to enjoy and I do my best to see it and get close to it.

I find some art without crowds. This is ALWAYS possible, even on crowded days.

I get into my Zen Bubble. I just decide I am alone with the art. I decide not to let the crowds irritate me, I close off my senses to everything except the art and what's happening inside my heart and mind.

And when it comes time to visit the Sistine Chapel, I keep the zen bubble around me. Michelangelo is there. I can feel him. I want to get close to him. I do not let the crowds take away anything from me.

Is there a limit to how much time you can spend inside the Sistine Chapel?

If you are visiting the Vatican Museums on your own, when you get to the Sistine Chapel, try to find a seat, and then sit down and try to block out everyone and everything and just take it all in.

You may want to try to then find a seat on the opposite side so you can see all the paintings on both sides.

  • If you are on a tour and your tour group has a schedule, including x amount of time inside the Sistine Chapel before going inside Saint Peter’s basilica. On the other hand, you could also leave the tour if you wanted to stay inside the Sistine Chapel. Just inform your guide you will be staying there and not completing the tour.
  • If you are inside it close to closing time.

What is the difference between Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel? Are they both in the Vatican?

Saint Peter’s Basilica is one of the most important churches in the Catholic world.

Saint Peter’s is one of four major basilicas, also sometimes referred to as papal basilicas, as they are under the direct jurisdiction of the pope.

Saint Peter's Basilica is one of the largest, most beautiful churches in the world. It is unrelated to the Sistine Chapel, which is in a completely different part of Vatican City.

You can easily visit Saint Peter’s Basilica by entering from the front in Saint Peter’s Square.

You can also attend mass there if you like. And, you can even attend mass with the pope if you book in advance. All this is free.

The Sistine Chapel is a working chapel and is actually the pope’s private chapel.

It also happens to be one of the most popular tourist draws in Rome. You can easily visit the Sistine Chapel by going inside the Vatican Museums. Usually you need to pay for this although there are free dates (see above.)

This is a view of the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel from the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica. They are two very separate entities.

Unlike Saint Peter’s Basilica, you cannot (easily) attend any liturgical services inside the Sistine Chapel. This is reserved for the pope, some clergy, and residents of Vatican City and their family.

The bottom line is that it’s free and relatively easy to visit Saint Peter’s Basilica and to attend services there, while it’s not free to visit the Sistine Chapel, and it’s relatively difficult to attend any services there.

In the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel the back wall with his Last Judgement.

Michelangelo painted the ceiling and back wall of the Sistine Chapel.

Where Saint Peter’s Basilica is concerned, Michelangelo was the chief architect of its current form, most notedly of the dome.

He also sculpted the Pietà when he was a young man, and you can see this stunning work of art immediately on the right-hand side of the basilica when you enter.

Michelangelo's Pietà is one of the most stunning pieces of art in the world. You can see it for free right when you walk into Saint Peter's Basilica.

Many other artists were involved with both the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica, but it’s Michelangelo who is most famously associated with them both.

One of the things that strikes me the most when I visit both of these holy places is the overwhelming presence of Michelangelo. At least, it’s how I feel, and it’s one reason he is my favorite artist of all.

Click here to visit my page all about Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel.

Why is it called the Sistine Chapel?

When the pope is elected, he takes on a papal name. So for example, Pope Francis’ actual name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio .

In the Renaissance, many popes came from noble families. Two popes came from the della Rovere noble family, Pope Sixtus IV, and Pope Julius II.

The Sistine Chapel is named for Pope Sixtus IV who commissioned its construction as his private chapel. Pope Sixtus IV's nephew Pope Julius II is the one who later had Michelangelo paint the ceiling.

Did Michelangelo lie on his back to paint the ceiling?

One of my favorite books about Michelangelo is Irving Stone's "The Agony and the Ecstasy".

It's not 100% biographical but almost. And it's a fun, fascinating, and easy read.

Yes, Michelangelo laid on his back to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – in the 1965 movie called “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo.

I loved the book this movie was based on by the way.

But the truth is that NO, Michelangelo did not lie on his back to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

It’s much more complicated than this.

What is the Sistine Chapel used for? Is it really a chapel?

The Sistine Chapel is a working chapel. Besides being a place for visitors, it's the Pope's private chapel. There are many liturgical celebrations there throughout the year. In fact, the Sistine Chapel has a choir box and they have their own choir.

The Sistine Chapel is also where the conclave is held when it's time to select a new pope. The word "conclave" comes from "con clave", which means "with a key".

The cardinals lock themselves into the Sistine Chapel until a new pope is chosen.

Why can’t you take pictures inside the Sistine Chapel?

This is a funny topic. I think I have heard just about every answer to this question, but I believe I know the real answer.

  • Because the flash would damage the paintings
  • Because a Japanese company paid for the restoration of the Sistine Chapel and they own the rights to the images of it. (That has long expired.)
  • Because it’s the Pope’s chapel and a holy place where the holy spirit is
  • Because the Vatican wants you to buy their books and postcards

I have had the great fortune to be inside the Sistine Chapel on several occasions where I was not only allowed but also encouraged to take all the photos and video I wanted. That’s why I have these images on the website. I did not take them clandestinely, nor would I have.

On those occasions, we were inside the Sistine Chapel for a special reason.

Once I was graciously invited by a friend to attend Vespers there, and we all had time before and after services to take photos and video.

On a few other occasions I have been alone (with a small group) inside the Sistine Chapel, and then we were allowed plenty of time for photo- and video-taking.

This leads me to believe that the reason they don’t allow you to take photos inside the Sistine Chapel is crowd control. They would never get people out if people could take photos. It’s already a limited space as it is, and it easily fills up to the brim during peak season. Imagine if all those people were snapping away, taking pictures of the art, themselves, and each other. They would not be able to get people IN and it would cause a huge bottleneck and fire hazard.

This is just my opinion, but I believe it makes sense.

Is the Sistine Chapel wheelchair accessible?

Yes, you can visit the Sistine Chapel (and much but not all of the Vatican Museums) in a wheelchair. They also have a few wheelchairs at the Vatican Museums if you need one.

What are the best tours to take of the Sistine Chapel?

You cannot specifically take a tour of JUST the Sistine Chapel.

Is it worth it to take an early morning tour to visit the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public?

I think the price of this type of tour is reasonable considering what you get.

It’s not super expensive like the exclusive after-hours tours, and it’s also not exclusive. But you do get to see the Sistine Chapel without huge crowds and as a bonus, you get to finish your Vatican visit relatively early in the day.

Is it worth getting up that early? I have done it and it’s definitely worth it, at least in my opinion.

Bottom line – if seeing the Sistine Chapel without the crowds is important to you, then bite the bullet and set your alarm.

Get your free Rome trip-planner!


This Immersive Recreation of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Is Heading to San Antonio This Summer

After a successful stint in St. Louis and other cities around the U.S., Michelangelo&aposs Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition, is landing in San Antonio starting in June.

The acclaimed touring exhibition offers an immersive experience that allows anyone to "visit" the famous Sistine Chapel without having to take an international flight to Italy.

About 10,000 Texans already have their tickets for this thrilling exhibition. The near life-size exhibition of Michelangelo&aposs famous frescoes in Rome features 34 reproductions, such as "The Creation of Adam" and "The Last Judgement." Although these scenes are normally viewed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, they&aposve been recreated at eye level for visitors to see the artwork up close and from a new perspective.

The exhibition uses state-of-the-art technology for the recreations, though some elements from the original frescoes have been cropped out in order to fit the design. The exhibition will be housed in the Lambermont Estate on E. Grayson St.

"We are excited to see the transformation of our 9,000 sq. ft. mansion. Each build-out of this Exhibition is different, and this will be the first time it will be featured in a historic home. Teams will work around our already ornate staircases, curved walls, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Our unique 3-story floor plan will allow for an intimate introduction between these historic masterpieces and our very own City history." said Dona Liston, owner of Lambermont Events, in a statement.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, all tickets are for time slots for one and a half hours. Prices begin at $13.50, and there are audio guides in English and Spanish available to rent or download on a smartphone. Those who download the smartphone app should also bring their own headphones.

Exhibition hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from June 11 to Sept. 30, 2021.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.


Did Michelangelo Hide Feminist Symbols in the Sistine Chapel?

Despite ensuring his fame for centuries to come, Michelangelo was initially reluctant to take on the job, since he was known as a sculptor. “Every gesture I make is blind and aimless,” he lamented in a poem written in 1509, concluding, “I am not in the right place—I am not a painter.”

After five years, Michelangelo’s groundbreaking work did not go unnoticed audience reception was overwhelmingly positive.

“The whole world came running when the vault was revealed,” the Renaissance historian Vasari wrote of the ceiling being shown to the public in 1512. “And the sight of it was enough to reduce them to stunned silence.”


Historical Events on September 11

    Willem III becomes earl of Holland Lithuanian Civil War (1389-1392): the Teutonic Knights begin a five-week siege of Vilnius

Event of Interest

1503 Michelangelo begins sculpting the 12 Apostles for the Cathedral of Florence, over-life-sized marble statues of which only 1 was partly finished, that of St. Matthew

    Santiago, Chile, is destroyed by indigenous warriors, lead by Michimalonko Catholic & Lutheran theology debated in Worms Expulsion order announced against the Moriscos of Valencia beginning of the expulsion of all Spain's Moriscos Thomas Fairfax's New Model Army occupies Bristol -13] Battle at Pilawce: Bohdan Chmielricki's beats John Casimir [OS]

Event of Interest

1649 Massacre of Drogheda, Ireland - Oliver Cromwell kills 3,000 royalists

    Battle of Zenta: forces of Prince Eugen of Savoye defeat the Turks, ending Ottoman control of large parts of Central Europe

Victory in Battle

1708 Great Northern war: Charles XII of Sweden stops his march to conquer Moscow outside Smolensk, marking the turning point in the war

    Battle at Malplaquet during War of the Spanish Succession: English, Austrian and Dutch Great Alliance defeat France French & Spanish troops under Duke of Berwick occupy Barcelona Queen Maria Theresa addresses Hungarian Parliament Battle of Saint Cast: France repels British invasion during the Seven Years' War

Event of Interest

1773 Benjamin Franklin writes "There never was a good war or bad peace"

Victory in Battle

1777 Battle of Brandywine, Pennysylvania Americans lose to the British, Polish soldier Casimir Pulaski saves life of George Washington

Event of Interest

1789 Alexander Hamilton appointed 1st Secretary of the US Treasury

    The French Blue gem (later the Hope Diamond) is stolen with other French crown jewels from Royal storehouse in Paris during Reign of Terror France annexes the Kingdom of Piedmont. Begun on the 6th Sept, Americans defeat British at Battle of Plattsburgh during War of 1812 Battle of Lake Champlain, NY American Navy defeats British 1st Canadian track & field meet held (Caer Howell Grounds)

Event of Interest

1847 1st singing of Stephen Foster's "Susanna" (in Pittsburgh)

    "Swedish Nightingale" Jenny Lind gives 1st US concert Olympia Columbian is 1st newspaper published north of Columbia River 1st electric telegraph used - Merchant's Exchange, San Francisco to Pt Lobos, California Mountain Meadows Massacre, Mormons dressed as Indians murder 120 colonists in Utah British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Tom Morris Sr retains his title beats Willie Park Sr. by 3 strokes

Event of Interest

1885 Ambrose Bierce finishes as editor of The Wasp magazine

    Mayflower (US) beats Galatea (England) in 7th America's Cup Death of the Argentine politician Domingo Sarmiento, after whom the Latin American Teacher's Day is chosen. British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: John Ball becomes first Englishman and first amateur to win the Open beats Willie Fernie and Archie Simpson by 3 strokes The Jewish Colonization Association is established by Baron Maurice de Hirsch. Bronx Gas & Electric Company opens on Frisby & Tremont Ave Shaku Soen is 1st Zen teacher to visit the West (Chicago) First conference of the World Parliament of Religions is held in Chicago, Indian monk Swani Vivekananda gives influential speech FA Cup stolen in Birmingham

Event of Interest

1897 After months of pursuit, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia capture Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom

Event of Interest

1900 President of Transvaal Paul Kruger crosses border into Mozambique

    The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.

Event of Interest

1906 Mahatma Gandhi coins the term "Satyagraha" to characterize the Non-Violence movement in South Africa.

Baseball Record

1912 Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins steals MLB record 6 bases in the Athletics' 9-7 win over Detroit Tigers at Navin Field

Historic Publication

1914 W. C. Handy "Father of the Blues" publishes his most famous composition "St Louis Blues"

    Australia invades New Britain, defeating a German contingent there. German troops conquer Kavalla Greece The Quebec Bridge's central span collapses during reconstruction, killing 11 men Boston Red Sox beat Chicago Cubs, 4 games to 2 in 15th World Series US Marines again send troops to Honduras Nahalal, the first moshav in Israel, is settled. British mandate of Palestine begins The Treaty of Kars is ratified in Yerevan, Armenia. One of the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia's predecessor papers The Sun News-Pictorial is founded. After a single, Red Sox Howard Ehmke retires next 27 Yanks Bernie Neis, hits the 1,000th Dodger home run ZR-1 (biggest active dirigible) flies over NY's tallest skyscraper, Woolworth Tower 21st Davis Cup: USA beats France in Philadelphia (4-1), for their 7th straight championship Aloha Tower dedicated in Honolulu Spain leaves League of Nation due to Germany joining Yanks' Bob Meusel ties record with 3 sacrifice flies After losing 21 in a row to NY, the Browns win their last meeting, 6-2

Baseball Record

1927 Yankees slugger Babe Ruth hits 50th home run during his MLB record 60 HR season in New York's 6-2 loss to St. Louis Browns at Yankee Stadium

Event of Interest

1928 Ty Cobb last hitting appearance, pops out against Yankees

    SF Mayor Rolph inaugurates new pedestrian traffic light system Stromboli volcano (Sicily) throws 2-ton basaltic rocks 2 miles

Murder of Interest

1931 Salvatore Maranzano is murdered by Charles Luciano's hitmen.

    Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura, Polish Challenge 1932 winners, are killed in a plane crash when their RWD 6 crashes into the ground during a storm. Antwerps Sportpaleis, the largest indoor arena in Europe opens renovated 2010-13 A's pitcher Horace Lisenbee gives up 26 hits in a game US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: American Don Budge wins first of 2 straight US titles beats Gottfried von Cramm of Germany 6-1, 7-9, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Anita Lizana of Chile becomes first Latin American to win a major beats Jadwiga Jędrzejowska of Poland 6-4, 6-2 Battle of Kutno-pocket: Germans advance to Warsaw British submarine Triton torpedoes British submarine Oxley Iraq and Saudi Arabia declare war on Nazi Germany -12] Buckingham Palace damaged by German bombs 54th US Postmaster General: Frank C Walker of Pa takes office Anton Mussert establishes Dutch SS

Event of Interest

1940 Hitler begins operation Seelöwe (Sealion - aborted invasion England)


Sistine Chapel

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Sistine Chapel, papal chapel in the Vatican Palace that was erected in 1473–81 by the architect Giovanni dei Dolci for Pope Sixtus IV (hence its name). It is famous for its Renaissance frescoes by Michelangelo.

The Sistine Chapel is a rectangular brick building with six arched windows on each of the two main (or side) walls and a barrel-vaulted ceiling. The chapel’s exterior is drab and unadorned, but its interior walls and ceiling are decorated with frescoes by many Florentine Renaissance masters. The frescoes on the side walls of the chapel were painted from 1481 to 1483. On the north wall are six frescoes depicting events from the life of Christ as painted by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Rosselli. On the south wall are six other frescoes depicting events from the life of Moses by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Domenico and Benedetto Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, Luca Signorelli, and Bartolomeo della Gatta. Above these works, smaller frescoes between the windows depict various popes. For great ceremonial occasions the lowest portions of the side walls were covered with a series of tapestries depicting events from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. These were designed by Raphael and woven in 1515–19 at Brussels.

The most important artworks in the chapel are the frescoes by Michelangelo on the ceiling and on the west wall behind the altar. The frescoes on the ceiling, collectively known as the Sistine Ceiling, were commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1508 and were painted by Michelangelo in the years from 1508 to 1512. They depict incidents and personages from the Old Testament. The Last Judgment fresco on the west wall was painted by Michelangelo for Pope Paul III in the period from 1534 to 1541. These two gigantic frescoes are among the greatest achievements of Western painting. A 10-year-long cleaning and restoration of the Sistine Ceiling completed in 1989 removed several centuries’ accumulation of dirt, smoke, and varnish. Cleaning and restoration of the Last Judgment was completed in 1994.

As the pope’s own chapel, the Sistine Chapel is the site of the principal papal ceremonies and is used by the Sacred College of Cardinals for their election of a new pope when there is a vacancy.


Watch the video: 1st November 1512: Michelangelos ceiling of the Sistine Chapel unveiled (May 2022).