The Vatican Museums (Musei del Vaticano) is a great complex of museums and galleries located mostly inside papal palaces in the Vatican.
They have an unusual value mostly due to the variety and richness of masterpieces kept there. During the years papal authorities have gathered a huge collection of works of art of unbelievable financial as well as artistic value. Another trump of the museums are their rooms which house expositions designed and made by the best Italian masters among others. There are galleries, libraries, chapels, courtyards and gardens of a great artistic value themselves, with rich museum collections of different kinds.
The first popes to collect the works of art in such a well-thought-out way were Sixtus IV and Julius II in the 15th and 16th centuries. What is regarded as the onset of the museum activity is placing the sculpture of Apollo in the courtyard of the palace of Belvedere by Julius II in 1503. Next, in 1506, so called group of Laokoon joined it. Further exhibits were gathered by the next popes to supply the collection.
Nowadays, included the collection is exhibited in the following venues: the Pinacotheca, Museo Egizio, Museo Chiaramonti, Museo Pio-Clementino, Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, and the Vatican Library among others.
The Pinacotheca found by Pope Pius VI in 1799, consists today of more or less 460 paintings in 15 rooms assigned to different artists.
Museo Egizio created by Gregory XVI in 1839 holds exhibitions connected with Egyptian culture.
Museo Chiaramonti started by Pius VII contains of masterpieces of Greece and Rome.
Museo Pio-Clementino found by Clemens XIV contains an exposition of antique pieces of art. Inside gabinets and rooms there are busts, sculptures and monuments.
Museo Gregoriano Etrusco was created by Gregory XVI and presents sculptures and works of art from Etruria.
Finally, the Vatican Library contains the biggest collection of manuscripts and is the oldest library in Europe. There are original manuscripts of the most famous artists of different epochs, from the ancient till the modern times. At the same time, a huge attraction of the library is its decoration and the way of storage of the literary masterpieces.