Photos: The Sistine Chapel

Updated 4:48 PM ET, Mon March 4, 2013
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In Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is known for housing the papal conclave, in which the College of Cardinals gathers to elect the next pope. Its ceiling is one of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. Getty Images
One of the most iconic parts of the ceiling is the "Creation of Adam." The ceiling features nine main panels with stories from the Old Testament's Genesis. It was completed by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1512. Fotopress/Getty Images
A prayer service is held in the Sistine Chapel on October 31, 2012. The liturgy commemorated the 500th anniversary of the inauguration of the ceiling painted by Michelangelo. L'Osservatore Romano/Vatican Pool/Getty Images
Artists applaud at the end of a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Sistine Chapel on November 21, 2009. About 250 artists accepted an invitation to discuss renewing the alliance of art and the church while encouraging the artists to infuse spirituality into their works. L'Osservatore Romano/Vatican Pool/Getty Images
Journalists view the unveiling of the latest Sistine Chapel restoration on December 10, 1999. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
When the cardinals vote to elect the next pope, they burn their ballots. Here, furnaces sit ready in the Sistine Chapel on April 16, 2005. Eric Vandeville/Vatican Pool/Getty Images
Vatican workers place a chimney pot on the roof of the Sistine Chapel for the conclave in April 2005 that ultimately elected Pope Benedict XVI. Onlookers focus on the chimney for smoke signals that indicate whether a new pope has been elected. Black signals no election yet; white means there's a new pope. PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images
The chapel features another famous painting by Michelangelo, "The Last Judgment," seen on the far wall above the altar. It was completed in 1541. AFP/Getty Images
Michelangelo's "The Last Judgment" is seen through the Sistine Chapel doors on April 16, 2005. PIERPAOLO CITO/AFP/Getty Images