Slightly belated birthday wishes to one of the most famous sites in all of Italy – the Sistine Chapel – a must on every tour of Rome. The Vatican beauty turned 500 years young on October 31st. But you don’t get to such a ripe old age without some controversy, some are calling for visits to the Sistine Chapel to be limited. The grand dame is a popular lady and five million visitors a year might be too much for her.
A little background on the Sistine Chapel: The stunning frescoes were painted by the great Michelangelo – mostly done while lying on his back – between 1508 and 1512. The most famous image is that of God extending his finger to Adam to give life to Adam. The chapel underwent a 14-year renovation in the 1990s.
In honor of the 500th birthday of the Renaissance masterpiece, Pope Benedict II held a vesper service on October 31st. It was reminiscent of the evening prayer service Pope Julius II held on October 31, 1512 to inaugurate the chapel.
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