10 Curious Facts About The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most popular attractions in the world and these 10 curious facts will show you how amazing and interesting it is.

Curious Fact 1:  The Sistine Chapel or Cappella Sistina is named after the man who commissioned it, Pope Sixtus IV: “Sixtus” in Italian is “Sisto”.

Curious Fact 2: Some 25,000 people a day visit the chapel.

Curious Fact 3: Entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel costs £15, an annual revenue for the Vatican of around £70 million a year.

Curious Fact 4: The Sistine Chapel had the same dimensions, as described in the Old Testament, as the Temple of Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Curious Fact 5: Sisto conducted the first Mass in the chapel on August 15, 1483.

Curious Fact 6: For such a significant building the Sistine Chapel is remarkably plain outside – a high, rectangular brick building without any adornments. It has no grand façade or entrance door: all entry points are internal, from other parts of the Papal Palace….

Curious Fact 7: It took Michelangelo four years to paint the frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel

Curious Fact 8: Before work started on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1508, it had been decorated with a dark blue night sky scattered with golden stars, painted by the Umbrian artist Piero Matteo d’Amelia.

Curious Fact 9: Michelangelo reluctantly accepted the commission to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as he considered himself to be first and foremost a sculptor.

Curious Fact 10:  It has been widely believed that Michelangelo painted the ceiling lying on his back, but he actually built his own system of scaffolding, so he had more precision when painting standing up.

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