January 8th, 2017 marks the last day to see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition, before this awe inspiring show moves to its next city! IF you have not booked your ticket yet, now is your chance during our last 4 days: January 5 – 8, 2017. And for your amusement, here are 8 lesser known facts we bet you did not know about the real Sistine Chapel in Vatican city.
1. The Sistine Chapel was originally built on top of the site of the so-called ‘Cappella Magna‘ – a fortified hall from medieval times, that was mainly used for assemblies by the Papal Court.
2. Michelangelo didn’t want the job. You would think this would be the job of a lifetime for most artists in 1508, but as he was mostly a sculptor with ZERO frescoe work yet, he balked at the opportunity.
3. The Painting were not done lying down. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in a standing position, with the help of custom made wooden scaffolding that enabled him to reach almost any angle necessary.
4. He wrote poetry about his misery. During ironically some of the most beautiful work ever painted, Michaelangelo complained the whole time, going as far as writing poetry about his repetitive stress injuries.
5. The greatest threat to the preservation of the miraculously well-preserved frescoes is not time itself surprisingly, but human sweat from all the tourist traffic visiting the Sistine Chapel.
6. The restoration period in the 80s and 90s was not only to remove dirt and grime and revive colors, but also to undo the work of Pope Pius IV, who ordered the placement of fig leaves and loincloths on Michelangelo’s nudes during the 1560s!
7. God’s Brain? The Sistine Chapel ceiling’s most famous panel (The Creation of Adam) might depict a human brain according to some theorists.
8. A special chimney in the roof of the chapel broadcasts the conclave’s electoral results during New Pope Elections, with white smoke indicating the election of a pope & black smoke signaling that no candidate has yet received a majority.
Do you know any unknown or little known facts about the Sistine Chapel? If so send them to us on or Facebook page, we would love to gather more.