We all know that Vatican City has been an independent state since 1929. This country occupies the world’s smallest area with only 0.44 square kilometers. The whole known for its historical perspective. Monuments in Vatican City make this tiny land so tourist-friendly. Enough attractions, things to do and famous monuments in Vatican City keep tourists busy for several days, so prioritizing your sightseeing is important. St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are the two must-see sights but the Vatican Palace contains magnificent rooms decorated by the greatest artists of their time. In addition to the major museums, smaller collections and monuments of Vatican City appeals to specialized interests, the Museum of Secular Art’s ancient sculpture, the Museum of Sacred Art. Discover the best things to see and do with our list of the top-rated monuments in Vatican City:
List of Monuments From Vatican City
1. St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest basilica of Christianity and a remarkable example of Renaissance architecture. Primarily designed by Bramante, Bernini, Michelangelo, and Maderno, this church is a must-see monument in Vatican city for those visiting Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica is also home to numerous works of Renaissance art, apart from being a center of religion. Some of the most popular works of art in the basilica are Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture, Bernini’s Baldachin, and the statue of St. Peter. Its main dome is a stunning piece of architecture, which is a dominant feature in the city’s skyline.
2. Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is the most important monument in Vatican city that everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime. It also considered one of the most important landmarks of Vatican City. Its walls and ceilings are covered by some of the most opulent frescoes ever produced. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, covering over 800 sq. m. is especially famous. Painted by Michelangelo over a span of 4 years, the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel are considered to be a cornerstone of High Renaissance art. The chapel also contains some of the most remarkable pieces of art, such as Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and Botticelli’s Temptation of Christ. But the chapel isn’t just of artistic importance.
3. Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums consist of 54 galleries and have one of the largest collections of Renaissance and Medieval art in the world visited by over 6 million people every year. The museums are home to the paintings by the Renaissance greats such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, and Bernini. A list of the beautiful monuments in Vatican City is incomplete without it. A large number of classical sculptures you will find here. Various numerous artists like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí are also represented in the Modern Religious Art section. Because of its historical perspective, it deserves in most visited monuments in Vatican City. Famous rooms and galleries in the Vatican Museums include Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, the Sala Rotunda and the Gallery of Statues and the Hall of Busts.
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4. Raphael Rooms
If we talk about iconic monuments in Vatican City Raphael’s Rooms can not be ignored. It is also known as Stanze di Raffaello, were part of the second floor of the Pontifical Palace. It all was painted by Raphael and his workshop. Room of Constantine, Room of Heliodorus, Room of Segnatura, and the Room of the Fire in the Borgo there are four “rooms” within the apartment. The room which is known as Room of Heliodorus was originally used for the private audiences of the Pope. On the ceiling, the four scenes from the Old Testament were done by Raphael. The Room of Segnatura was used by the pontiff and has some of Raphael’s most famous frescoes. The Room of the Fire in the Borgo was used for the meetings of the highest court of the Holy See.
5. Vatican Necropolis
The Vatican Necropolis, also known as the Vatican Scavi lies beneath St. Peter’s Basilica. This popular monument in Vatican City was excavated between 1940-49 under the orders of Pope Pius XII. It is a Roman cemetery with elaborate tombs to find the burial site of St. Peter. The first-century necropolis has corridors where once the first Christians walked, and you can too. You will see at least fifteen mausoleums. St. Peter was one of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus and is known as the first Bishop of Rome. It is believed that he was crucified under the rule of Nero, and was famously crucified upside down, as he did not deem himself worthy to be crucified the same way as Jesus. Today, his remains are under the St. Peter’s Basilica, within the Vatican Necropolis.
6. Vatican Gardens
More popularly known as the Vatican Gardens, the Gardens of Vatican City are a series of gardens and parks which cover nearly half of Vatican City. It is one of the top monuments in Vatican City. Spread over 23 hectares, the gardens feature medieval fortifications and monuments and buildings from the 9th century to the present day. You will get to see incredible winding paths, vibrant colored flowers, magnificent oaks, and opulent fountains. You will also get to see amazing sculptures and artificial grottoes dedicated to the Madonna.
7. Picture Gallery (Pinacoteca)
The Pinacoteca contains 16 rooms of priceless art from the Middle Ages to contemporary works even though it was robbed of many of its treasures by Napoleon. It is one of the most famous monuments in Vatican City. The pictures are arranged in chronological order gives an excellent survey of the development of Western painting. Tuscan paintings, Medieval art includes Byzantine, Sienese, and Umbrian, as well as a Giotto triptych and a Madonna and St. Nicholas of Bari by Fra Angelico. There is a Madonna by Perugino, a triptych by Filippo Lippi, and Coronation of the Virgin by Pinturicchio.
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8. St. Peter’s Square ( Piazza San Pietro)
In front of St. Peter’s Basilica, the grand Piazza San Pietro was laid out by Bernini. It was built between 1656 and 1667 to provide a setting where the faithful from all over the world could gather. This important monument in Vatican City still serves that purpose admirably. This monument is filled to capacity each Easter Sunday and on other important occasions. A 372 meters long large oval area is enclosed by semicircular colonnades surmounted by a balustrade with 140 statues of saints. In the center is a 25.5-meter Egyptian obelisk brought from Heliopolis by Caligula in AD 39, on another side of the oval are fountains and set up in his circus. No small task in those days as the monument weighs 350 tons was moved here in 1586.
9. Museo Chiaramonti
How can we leave Museo Chiaramonti, if we are discussing monuments of Vatican City? It is founded by Pope Pius VII in the early 19th century, the Museo Chiaramonti is housed in a long gallery leading to the Papal palace and in the Braccio Nuovo. The museum includes a number of Roman copies of earlier works by some of the most famous Greek sculptors, concentrating on works of Greek and Roman art the only record of them that survives. A statue of the god of the Nile, a statue of the emperor found in the villa of his wife Livia and Spear Carrier, a copy of the work by Polycletus among the highlights of the thousand-odd sculptures, friezes, and reliefs are the Augustus of Prima Porta.
10. Etruscan Museum
Etruscan Museum is founded by Pope Gregory XVI in the mid-19th century. This most famous monument in Vatican City has 18 rooms of artifacts, which shed new light on the life of the Etruscans and their idea of the afterlife. It has been excavated throughout Tuscany are not just funerary items, but artworks and objects from the everyday life of these enigmatic people among the findings from the Etruscan graves. The Mars of Todi, ahead of Athena, and a number of very fine Etruscan vases particularly outstanding are the grave goods found in the Regolini-Galassi tomb at Cerveteri.
11. Vatican Library
The value of this famous roman monument in Vatican city makes it the richest in the world. With 80,000 manuscripts, 7,000 incunabula, and 25,000 medieval hand-written books that have been collected since the library’s founding in 1450. Since the end of the 15th century, its 70-meter-long hall doesn’t count all the books it contains that were printed It was built by Domenico Fontana, you can also admire some of its most precious Biblical codices, treasures – beautiful hand-illuminated, Gospels, early printed books, parchment manuscripts, and papyri and ancient scrolls. The collection of pontifical coins and medals also can be found here.
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12. Egyptian Museum
The first collection having been assembled earlier by Pius VIII, the Egyptian Museum in the Cortile della Pigna was re-founded in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI. Much of the collection was brought from the Villa Adriana in Tivoli, where they had been collected by Emperor Hadrian. Assembled by 19th-century collectors, the Supplementing Hadrian’s collections are artifacts. If you are looking for some amazing monuments in Vatican City, you must visit it.
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