Our Museums

The Vatican Museums’ origin can be traced back to an inspiration by a Pope with the help of two artists from a single sculpture. The sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons, was discovered in a vineyard near Santa Maria Maggiore in 1506. At the request of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Giuliano da Sangallo viewed the work and recommended that the pope acquire it. Julius II placed this piece with a group of marble sculptures and with that, The Vatican Museums were born. The Laocoön is currently on display in the Octagonal Courtyard in the Vatican Museum. The Vatican Museums house collections acquired by the popes over the centuries.

Today, the Vatican Museums consist of over twenty five galleries, chapels and rooms, including:


  • The Raphael Rooms
  • The Belvedere Palace
  • The Sistine Chapel
  • The Pinacoteca
  • The Collection of Modern Religious Art
  • Apartment of St. Pius V
  • Chapel of Pope Urban VIII
  • Room of the Immaculate Conception
  • The Gregorian Etruscan Museum
  • The Gregorian Egyptian Museum
  • The Pio Christian Museum
  • The Borgia Apartment

Our departments include:

  • The Decorative Arts Department
  • Medieval, Byzantine Tapestries and Textiles Department
  • XV-XVIII Century Art Department
  • XIX Century and Contemporary Art Department
  • Oriental Antiquities Department
  • Missionary Ethnological Museum
  • Pio Christian Museum

For more information on the Vatican Museums please contact us.