Rome is home not to one, but two Sistine Chapels!
The Sistine Chapel that everyone has heard of was built by Pope Sixtus IV (r. 1471-84), and is famous across the world for its frescoes by Michelangelo. The much less familiar, but no less grand, chapel of the same name is part of the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore.
The Cappella Sistina was designed for Pope Sixtus V (r. 1585-90) by Domenico Fontana (1543-1607). Decorated with marble panels, statues and stuccoes, it houses the sumptuous tomb of the pontiff, who started his working life as a humble swineherd.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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