The World Beating Wonders of the Vatican Museum

he Vatican City , the home of the Roman Catholic Chirch, is the world’s smallest state covering just 40 hectares, but it is home not only to St Peter’s Cathedral but the Vatican Museum ,one of the world’s most popular museums.
For more than a millennia the Papacy was the the most powerful entity in Rome and it accumulated vast wealth as a result.
 The Vatican Myseums attracts 30,000 visitors every day-more than ten million a year -,who trail in huge crowds and endless tour groups through the seven kilometres of halls , galleries and vast corridors marvelling at its exquisite array of treasures from across the ages. These are located in former apartments of past Popes from across the centuries.
Here you will find giant fresco works of art created in salons and on Papal apartment walls by Raphael in the 16th century .
The School of Athens was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael’s commission . It depicts a congregation of philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists from Ancient Greece, including Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Archimedes .
When Napoleon sacked Rome in the early 19th century he pillaged a vast number of ancient sculptures from the Chiaramonti Gallery . They were soon replaced by hundreds more excavated from across Rome and beyond .This incredible display of replacement busts and torsos  are still here today .
As the Catholic Church is centred in Rome it has often taken possession of many of the archeological finds discovered in and near the city.
It is the Museo Pio- Clementino which contains some of the Vatican’s finest classic statuary
They include the first ancient classical statues in the papal collections .Some of the most famous pieces, the Apollo of the Belvedere and Laocoön and His Sons have been here since the early 1500s.
The 120 metre long  Galleria delle Carte Geografiche displays on its walls more than 40 huge and beautifully illustrated maps of Italy.
Beyond that the Sobieski Gallery features a giant painting depicting g Polish King Jan Sobieski ‘s victory over the Ottomans in the Siege of Vienna in 1683.
The museum also  displays some of its contemporary art collection – works with a biblical connection by artists such as Matisse , Francis Bacon and Ferdinand Leger.
The big draw of course is the Sistine Chapel where new Popes are still ordained today . It’s walls and ceilings are decorated with the extraordinary frescoes by Michaelangelo who painted the biblical scenes on its ceiling and the Day of Judgement on its altar wall.
If you can brave the crushing crowds the array of art and sculpture on display here is awe inspiring and world beating -arguably unrivalled by any museum in the world .
Destination – Italy