Crystals of the Vatican Museum
A trip to the Vatican Museum - a once in a lifetime experience which not only has you in awe, but reminds you of how important crystals have been since ancient times.
We recently visited the Vatican Museum and were pleasantly surprised to find many crystals in the museum. The crystals were both displayed as artefacts and also incorporated in some of the most famous art pieces in the world. Any of these pieces are now priceless and would be extremely expensive to purchase!
At the time of creation, these crystals were very expensive with Lapis Lazuli at the same price of gold! This is due to the extreme rarity of these crystals.
For those not familiar with the Vatican museum, it is one of the biggest and most visited museums in the world. With over 70,000 artefacts, this museum contains the massive collection of the Catholic Church since 1506. In this post, you will discover some of the artefacts that we saw, which contain crystals! At the end of this post, you can find out how to get to this amazing museum. It should definitely be on your bucket list!
Lapis Lazuli in The Sistine Chapel
Pictures are not allowed in this Chapel, which has its walls and ceiling almost entirely painted by Michelangelo. We love how this makes the Chapel particularly special, because you have to see it with your own eyes! We did however manage to get a picture of The Last Judgement, which is a floor to ceiling painting on the altar wall by Michelangelo of 300 figures - containing many Saints who rise and descend to their fates as they are judged by Christ. The figures are portrayed in the blue sky, and the azure blue which is in fact a dye from Lapis Lazuli.
Lapis Lazuli Mosaic in The Gallery of The Candelabra
The tour guide points down to the ground, where we see a mosaic of Italian Cypress in the marble floor, with a background of rich deep blue. This beautiful mosaic is the coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII in the middle of the gallery.
Lapis Lazuli was used to colour this blue, she points out. The blue is intensely striking and there is no doubt this is Lapis Lazuli. There is nowhere else you can get this beautiful colour.
Luigi Medici, his son Paolo Medici, and Giuseppe Rinaldi designed the spectacular inlaid marble floor. They used marble found during excavations of the Tiber River in Testaccio.
Malachite with Saints
In a very intricate trunk, there lies an artefact of sorts made mostly of Malachite. Within the Malachite there are pictures of 2 Saints, ornately embellished. This is one of the artefacts preserved as part of the Vatican Apostolic Library.
Lapis Lazuli in the Greek Cross Room
The Greek Cross Room gets its name from the shape of the room which takes the form of a plus sign. Unlike the Latin cross, which has an elongated descending arm, the arms of the Greek Cross are equal. This room was designed between 1775 and 1799.
One of the first things you will notice is the stunning mosaic floor in the centre of the room. The blue section of the mosaic is made of Lapis Lazuli, which is known to have the same value as gold as it can only be found in Afghanistan! The design is of a shield with the head of the goddess of war, Athena.
Artefacts of Onyx and Porphyry
The Vatican is filled with Imperial Porphyry and these came from a single mine in Egypt, the Mons Porphyrites. Everyone wanted porphyry, and if you wanted it, you had to steal it. Imperial porphyry value is high in that the stone only exists in Europe in things the Romans built.
In the Vatican, there is not only a huge chest of Porphyry, but also a very massive Porphyry bathtub for the mad Roman Emperor Nero.
Adorned throughout the Vatican Museum are numerous artefacts of Onyx vases, which look very much like the banded Onyx mini vases and cups which we have instore!
Malachite altar at The Assumption Altar, St Paul's Basilica in Rome
(Picture from Inside The Vatican Pilgrimages.com)
Assumption Altar, in St. Paul’s Outside the Wall, is decorated in a beautiful blue-green stone called malachite. Malachite is a precious and rare stone. For the Altar of the Assumption, the Czar of Russia donated malachite stone to St. Paul’s Basilica.
You can see the immensely detailed and beautiful patterns on the malachite of this altar.
Since ancient times, crystals have been prized for their beauty, rarity and properties. Throughout the years, we still continue to appreciate the timeless beauty of these crystals, which will hardly fade or deteriorate with time and in fact increase in rarity and value.
Getting to the Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum is easily accessible from Rome, Italy and we would recommend anyone to make a trip there. The museum has one of the most amazing collections of the world, and it's also located in one of the most interesting countries of the world - Vatican City.
If you would like any of these pieces for your home or as jewellery, be sure to click on the links above or search our online store!
The Greek Cross Room https://vaticantips.com/vatican-greek-cross-room/
The Assumption Altar https://insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com/assumption-altar/
Ultimate Guide to the Vatican Gallery of the Candelabra https://theromanguy.com/italy-travel-blog/vatican-city/guide-to-the-gallery-of-the-candelabra-in-the-vatican/
Imperial Porphyry in the Vatican https://milestoneimports.com/2020/08/25/porphyry-in-the-vatican/