Vatican Spiral Staircase
Photograph - Digital Capture, Watermark Not On Actual Print
Spiral staircase in the Vatican museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani)
Captured with Canon 5D Mk II and a Canon EF 17-40/4L lens
Spiral stairs of the Vatican Museums, designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932.
The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani), in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.
Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. The Sistine Chapel with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. They were visited by 4,310,083 people in the year 2007. The Vatican Museums broke attendance records in 2011 with just over 5 million people.
The Vatican Museums trace their origin to one marble sculpture, purchased 500 years ago: The sculpture of Laoco�n and his Sons was discovered 14 January 1506, in a vineyard near the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Pope Julius II sent Giuliano da Sangallo and Michelangelo Buonarroti, who were working at the Vatican, to examine the discovery. On their recommendation, the pope immediately purchased the sculpture from the vineyard owner. The pope put the sculpture of Laoco�n and his sons on public display at the Vatican exactly one month after its discovery.
The Museum Christianum was founded by Benedict XIV, and some of the Vatican collections formed the Lateran Museum, which Pius IX founded by decree in 1854.
The Museums celebrated their 500th anniversary in October 2006 by permanently opening the excavations of a Vatican Hill necropolis to the public.
April 11th, 2012
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