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A QUIET MORNING AT THE VATICAN

MADE FOR A PERFECT POST IN PICTURES

sunny 3 °C

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6:45 AM : Outside the Vatican walls.

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The Vatican Museum entrance.

The Vatican Museums, one of the largest museums in the world, consists of 54 galleries including the Sistine Chapel, and contain some 70,000 works of art yet only about 20,000 are on display. Numerous scholars and art conservationists maintain this large body of work. We were told there are 3 1/2 miles of museums inside the Vatican complex. On the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum is open to the public for free to one of the world's most extensive collections of art.

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First view of the Vatican.

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Gallery of Tapestries.
This is the usual place where a tour of the Vatican is begun. We began our tour in the . Four hundred years ago, tapestries were among the most prized objects in palace collections. Beautiful and portable, they also helped to keep the stone castles warm by hanging on the chilly walls. Tapestries are made of silk, wool and silver that flickered in candlelight dazzling the early view with sparkling light. Barberini’s Life of Christ tapestries are among the many tapestries hanging in the 75 meter long Gallery of Tapestries in the Vatican. Our guide pointed out the bees in the corner of the his tapestries as a signature of Barberini. In fact these bees are seen throughout Rome on everything from properties to frescoes. I thought of the industrious Mormon Beehive and wondered if there was any similarity in the symbolism. Not to be forgotten in this gallery are the amazing fresco-ed ceilings that hover above, but one really needs a recliner or a neck brace to view them for any length of time.

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Resurrection of Christ at the tapestry gallery of the Vatican museums

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The Gallery of Maps.
This is the longest tunnel of the Vatican Museums measuring 120 meters, paintings, frescoes and statues light up and adorn the arched ceiling as if blanketed with gold. The rich ceiling frescoes illustrate stories from the lands depicted on the maps on the walls. The brilliant blue painted topographical maps of Italy based on drawings by friar and geographer Ignazio Danti, cover the walls of this beautiful gallery and stunningly contrast with the vibrant golden ceiling covered in absolutely marvellous works of art.

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Marble statutes

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A hastily and sneakily taken grainy picture of Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Photography is not permitted within the confines of the Sistine chapel and there are guards stationed all over who yell (quite loudly) if they see you whipping out a camera to take a picture of the famed ceiling.

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Seeing the exit of the Sistine Chapel when it was completely void of tourists!!!

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Entrance of St. Peters Basilica

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Inside St. Peters Basilica

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The Pieta by Michelangelo - a brilliant sculpture that is a representation of Mary holding Jesus's body once it was brought down from the cross post the crucification.

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The dome above the Pieta.

Vatican Square
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The famed Pontiffical Swiss Guards who have been guarding the Pope for more than five centuries in their colourful medieval uniforms.

Until next time,
CJ

Posted by Ceej 08:51 Archived in Vatican City

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