Seven minutes

Musei Vaticani. One of the richest art collections in the world. After the first hour of a continues walk through rooms, halls and corridors, I was just simply tired. There was a moment I was just shooting without any deeper thought.

As we got to the Sistine Chapel, spent something like half an hour there, we wanted to leave through the Basilica. But the door was closed. Rehearsals took place for an event in the evening. So we had to go back to the Museum.

This time however we were diverted to go through the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana.

Musei Vaticani. Vatican Museums. Bibliotheca Vaticana.

We did not enter the interior. But we went slowly along a long but long corridor full of book collections. Basically as in the whole Musei Vaticani we did not know at what to look at. The furniture, the walls or the ceilings. On photos a glimpse of the interiors caught within a time span of seven minutes.  The corridors in the Bibliotheca only.

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Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani belongs to one of those museums where one is simply overwhelmed with all the artifacts, sculptures and paintings gathered in a relatively small space. It would be difficult to recall all of them, not to mention describing or even make photos of all of them. It would be simply too much.

In Musei Vaticani there a couple of routes you can take. Quite often the sightseeing begins with the antique section. Inside there are many sculptures, busts, reliefs, mosaics and other ancient artifacts. There are almost no paintings. That one will be however more than balanced in other parts of the museum. Walls and ceilings are of antique look. In this section of the Vaticani museum one should simply concentrate on the historical value of that, what one sees. The following sections are more about the art, paintings or frescoes as well as craftsmanship. There are a number of chambers that look like an art gallery, so the focus is indeed on the paintings on display. But there are chambers where one has to look around and look up. The most impressive frescoes are probably in the Raphael’s Rooms – a series of chambers painted by Raphael. But there are also at least two passages alongside long but long corridors with frescoes painted on ceilings. These are a couple of hundreds meters long each: one is a corridor with tapestry maps and the other one a series of consecutive corridors in the Bibliotheca Vaticana (>>>).

Visiting this museum one has to be prepared to find oneself in a crowd – there are daily hundreds of tourists, who want to visit this place. As far as the entrance is concerned: there is the official queue, in which one has to wait a longer time (around an hour or so). One can also use a quicker queue that in practice means use a service of a person (or a guide), who has a reservation. But one has to pay more for the ticket. The latter seems to be an under the desk procedure, but it works.


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A handsome man in a fancy garment. Papal Swiss Guard

Common knowledge says that they must fulfil certain conditions to be accepted into this force. This is true. Recruits must be single, between 19 and 30 years of age and at least 174 cm tall, Catholic and of Swiss citizenship. A requirement is also a degree and a completed basic training with the Swiss military.


Another common knowledge is that the basic design of the colourful official uniforms, Renaissance style, is of Michelangelo. The latter is however not true. According to the official Vatican website, the designer is Jules Repond, one of the previous Papal Swiss Guard commanders (early XX century). He is sometimes told to be inspired by the picture of men carrying the litter of Pope Julius II on one of the Raphael’s frescos on a wall in the Vatican complex. As is located in the Musei Vaticani area I tried to find it on photos I did inside. Indeed, the men carrying the litter wear robes with white collars and sleeves that are slightly of a comparable design. But only slightly. However the colours are not a match. As it is stated on the Vatican website there are similarities because this is the Renaissance like design.

As to the facts, the colours of the official uniform are the Medici colours. Medicis was a noble later royal family, with roots in Florence, Italy, whose coat of arms were six red balls onto a yellow background. As the rank of the family was raised by one of the French kings in the mid XVth century, the upper red ball was replaced with another one containing the French Kings’ symbol. Three gold Fleurs de Lis onto a blue background. Thus yellow/gold/orange, red and blue are told to be Medici colours.

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