Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vatican City

We spent our last day in Rome exploring the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica.
(A Vatican guard)
The Vatican Museums were overwhelming. There was just too much to see. Mazes of rooms housed sculptures, paintings, tapestries, maps, ancient artifacts, books, and much more. The audio tour was a life saver, but we could have easily spend days there. Eventually, I had to just put my camera down and attempt to absorb it all with my own eyes.
(Rachel, this flutist is for you.)
(looking down)
(looking up)
(How would you like a bathtub like this?)
I can honestly say that the Sistine Chapel was my favorite place of our entire trip. As we entered the room, it was literally packed with people. Carefully we made our way to one of the side walls and waited a few minutes until a bench was available. It was a welcome relief to finally sit down. We entered the corresponding number on our audio player, gazed up at the ceiling, and were filled with awe.

There it was--right above me.  That iconic image of the creation of Adam.
I was so impressed with the shared truth between the Catholic church (as viewed through Michelangelo's frescoes) and my own church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormons). It was all there--the Creation of the World, the Creation of Adam and Eve, the Fall, and the need for a Savior and Redeemer in Jesus Christ.

For a few moments I was in my own world of wonder and inspiration. I knew and felt (once again) that God loved and knew me and that His plan was the way, the truth, and the light.
Michelangelo's painting of The Last Judgement on the wall above the main doors is so complex, yet so symbolic of what I believe.

I have much to learn from these masterpieces. It was a true blessing to see them for myself.
As our day in Rome came to a close we lined up for a tour of Saint Peter's Basilica and Square.
(The remains (with mask) of pope Blessed Innocent XI)
(A baptismal font)
It was all quite magnificent. 


Dixie Mom said...

I found the Vatican City to be fascinating. I've heard people say they couldn't feel the spirit there but I did when I saw the Sistine Chapel. I do believe there were inspired men who were did remarkable things during the apostasy and even though I don't follow their teachings, they did create beautiful art.

Fine Art by Jennifer said...


Jenny said...

That looks like such an incredible experience. Ed said your pictures look great and you did a great job.

Sue said...

I want to go. And I will.


Garden of Egan said...

So absolutely amazing.
I can't fathom the eye candy overload.

So so so glad you got to experience this.

Marianne said...

SUCH great pictures. I just...well...


Valerie said...

Absolutley breathtaking! Thanks for sharing your journey.

Ginger said...

Wow! I'm in total and complete awe! Absolutely amazing.

And I love(!) the Vatican guard! He looks like quite a tall fellow. But to tell the truth... at first I thought he looked like a court jester! haha Poor guy... I would hate to have to wear that uniform every day. :)

Cherie said...

The Vatican Museums are amazing. That is the one place we actually hired a tour guide and it was worth every penny. He was an American Graduate student who studied all the art in the museum and he was able to tell us about all the important things - like your "bathtub" is really a coffin.

Loved the Sistene Chapel - I agree amazing!

Mom to Many said...

What a fun costume on the guard. I'd hate to try to get those stripes lined up right.

AllisonK said...

I adore seeing all your photos. John served his mission in Italy and we would love to return sometime. Hopefully sooner than later.

Julie said...

@Cherie, thanks for setting me straight. I thought for sure the audio said it was a bath tub, but on further research you are right. One site called it a tub sarcophagus, which may account for my mistake. I understand there were indeed bathtubs on display there, just not this one. You can tell my brain was a bit overloaded. :)

Cherie said...

I think it makes a prettier bathtub!! :-D

Joy For Your Journey said...

Once again, great pictures!! How long was your trip?
When we were at the Vatican the Pope was there and said a blessing on all the items in the gift shop so now we have a Pope blessed book! :-)

Julie said...

@Joy For Your Journey, we were gone 10 days, but only spent a day and a half in Rome. The trip was supposed to only be 9 days, but due to a strike in Rome (which left us in the plane on the runway for 3 hours) we missed our connecting flight and had to spend a night in Boston. That extra night on the East Coast did help a bit with jet lag, though. :)

Wendys Hat said...

Beautiful pictures. So much history to see. Thanks for sharing all of your travel pictures with me. I have loved the virtual field trips!

Rachel said...

That's a funny looking flute. :)

I love your pictures. :)

Marvett Smith said...

Great images once again. So glad you got to go!

JennyLynn said...

I could really enjoy a bath in a tub like that. I really enjoyed each photo. Now I have to go for a visit to see it all in person.

Kristin said...

Isn't Rome and particularly Vatican City just amazing! I could spend oooodles of time in the Vatican museum and St. Pauls - so majestic, and such incredible artwork - it takes your breath away. I'm loving your photographs!! Enjoy!


Julie B-G said...

These pictures of Vatican City are really wonderful.
I wish I could have been there with you.