Where’s Your Sistine Chapel?

Vatican Museum

“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.” – Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 23 August 1787

The highlight of our tour of the Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museum) in Rome, Italy, was a visit to the fabled Sistine Chapel, the sacred sanctum sanctorum where a Papal conclave meets to elect a new head of the Roman Catholic church.

Sistine Chapel ceiling

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Santa Maria Maggiore – In Pictures

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Rome built in 440 AD by Pope Sixtus III.  

It was one of four great pilgrimage churches in Rome, and is a mind-boggling awe-inspiring monument.

Inside, mosaics from the 5th century narrate 36 scenes from the Old Testament, and the wood ceiling is gilded with the first gold brought from the New World.

Santa Maria Maggiore mosaics

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Being Steeped In History

Colosseum Rome Italy

Human lifetimes are usually limited to a century.

My grandpa was born, lived and died within the same century.  My father’s life spanned two.  My daughter might be lucky enough to see three, if she’s a centenarian.

But, by and large, our minds have trouble fathoming time spans longer than one hundred years.

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Wonder and Awe of Modern Travel

Austria

Until just a few decades ago, most of humanity lived and died within a small area.  

After our hunter-gatherer ancestors learned to grow food and settled down, only the rare exception travelled further than 25 km. from his or her birthplace.

My great-grandfather was born in a small village.  His wife was from a nearby village.  They didn’t travel outside it at all.  

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Travel Thoughts & Life’s Purpose

Zurich to Innsbruck

We were on the superfast RailJet from Salzburg, Austria to Zurich, Switzerland.

A few minutes back, the train had stopped at Innsbruck, a skiing resort where James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” was shot.  

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