Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel of the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican built for Pope Sixtus IV, after whom it was named. In 1508 Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to decorate its vault or ceiling, a task he completed in 1512. Between 1536 and 1541, Michelangelo painted the Last Judgment on the altar wall for Pope Paul III.

It is in the Sistine Chapel, before the imposing painting of the Last Judgment, that the Cardinal Electors gather to choose a Pope. It is also here where the newly deceased Pope is viewed by the members of the Papal Household and the College of Cardinals, before being taken to lay in state in St. Peter’s Basilica for public visitation.

 


 

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