120 Minutes of the Vatican Museum

Vatican Museum Courtyard @ Rome, Italy

It started out like any other adventure, but as we entered the annals of Catholicism, searching for answers in need of questions, we ended up discovering a compendium of unfathomable horrors.

Long before we entered its massive-walled compound, we encountered a trap designed to separate unwary tourists from their money. The “Caffe Vaticano” is to be avoided at all costs, as the TripAdvisor page would have it. We can attest to the complaints; the food is mediocre and the prices criminal.

Cafe Vaticano Sucks @ Vatican City, Rome, Italy
Upon entering the massive walls of the Papal compound, we were immediately thrust into shambling crowds of tour groups and other pilgrims to the Holy See.

Vatican Museum @ Rome, Italy
At the top we got to experience more wonderful shitty Italian customer service whereby she paid for an audio tour MP3 player but the damn thing didn’t work, so when I went back up to the desk the woman behind the counter did her best to ignore me completely until I basically blocked her from attending to other customers.

Past that, we encountered a stone cleric and his entourage of naked men– a warrior, a beastmaster, and a philosopher.

Statue @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Gates of iron, held open, allowed our passage deeper into the compound. We made the mistake of turning right into an empty room to get our bearings, but that seemed to trip some kind of alarm and a security guard ushered us back out.

Vatican Museum @ Rome, Italy
As we proceeded up the marble stairs, we followed the crowds to the first exhibit.

The Egyptian Exhibit

Our intrepid adventuress immediately discovered some hieroglyphs. We don’t speak Galactic Standard so we couldn’t decipher them.

20150828091350-30303
I’ll be damned. Among the miniature caskets and other Egyptian oddities, there was on display an actual mummy. Creepy!

Mummy @ Egyptian Exhibit, Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Of course, mummies are entombed in their sarcophagus with all manner of possessions. What better way to hide the evidence of one’s existence than to bury the deceased’s belongings with their lifeless body?

Sarcophagus @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Many timeless treasures lined the walls and shelves of this fascinating room. I like to think of it in terms of an abattoir for the victims slain by the warlocks of the Vatican.

We exited the Egyptian room, nauseated by the smell of stale air, humidity, and tourists who had yet to discover the social benefits of anti-perspirants.

The oddities did not abate as we entered the next area, in which we discovered statues of what could only be the Justified Ancients of Mu, an entire race of aliens descended from the sun itself and bestowing upon the ancient peoples the gifts of architecture, mathematics and synthesizers. Perhaps these are the true deities to whom the Vatican bows.

Egyptian Statues @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Beyond were some interesting Sumerian-looking stone fragments, bits of pottery and the like.

The Hall of Busts

As we wondered who really killed the JAMs, we followed another stairway downward to a lesser-crowded area. Enter the Hall of Busts.

20150828094544-30346
Heads. Torsos. Bodies.

Hall of Busts @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
All severed and petrified, racked neatly like the hunting trophies of a deranged serial killer.

Busts @ Hall of Busts, Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Expressions frozen for time immemorial, eyes blank as whatever horrific process made them thus extinguished their living soul.

Busts @ Hall of Busts, Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Women. Children. Tiny animals. All were immortalized in stone.

Figures rendered nude, the indignity of their nakedness now immortalized in stone forever, never having been given the opportunity for modesty before their gruesome demise was inflicted upon them, now stand posed in macabre silence.

Members of nobility, generals, and even emperors.

Dear God, what the fuck is this–

Creepy Mouth Statue @ Hall of Busts, Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Our masks of sanity were slipping. I was compelled to document every hideous transgression on display in this room.

20150828153716-32052
In our madness we could no longer find our point of entry. There was no return. Only moving forward.

We carried on, emerging into a courtyard. A breath of fresh air, a natural space, a mental reprieve from the corruption of the inner laboratoriums.

Vatican Museum Courtyard @ Rome, Italy
We re-entered the building on the other side of the courtyard. Following corridors blindly, doorways begat hallways. Hallways begat cloisters. Cloisters begat more doorways in a seemingly infinite recursion.

Octagonal Courtyard

We did find the Octagonal Courtyard. It is, in fact, octagonal.

20150828101124-30388
The madness resumed in short order. A naked man with a knife greeted us at the door, part of some tribal machete dismemberment squad, presenting us with a complimentary gift. He seemed most pleased with his conquest.

Perseus Beheading Medusa @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
The beefcake avatar of John Bobbitt stood guard to even more harems of hell, demanding the payment of a “troll toll,” in compense for the soul of a male child. The depraved system of barter demonstrated within this nightmare knows no bounds to its iniquity.

Brute, Strong Man @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Hall of Animals

Beyond lies a zoo of sorts, comprised of all manner of stone beasts. We quickly dashed through, thick ropes of velvet barring further exploration.

Hall of Animals @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Hall of the Muses

We entered a narrow antechamber, ornately decorated with the most colorful of palette. The high domed ceiling offered a freakishly realistic view of our own planet. It must be the portal through which the JAMs come and go.

Round Hall

Another self-explanatory room. This one is round, with a low basin in the center.

Round Hall @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Massive, domed ceilings spanned overhead, illuminating the hall in a golden glow. The Rock Gods surrounding the room stood idle, motionless, silently watching our every move.

Round Hall @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Of central prominence is a statue cast in bronze. Aside from its coloring, there was something different about this one. Something special. Its voice resonated in our minds, the god in bronze speaking to us, touching our very souls with its icy tendrils, chilling us to the core. As it spoke, the sound of flatulence reverberated through our perceptions and culminated in an audible howl:

Heracles @ Round Hall, Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
HATE. LET ME TELL
YOU HOW MUCH I’VE
COME TO HATE YOU
SINCE I BEGAN TO
LIVE. THERE ARE
387.44 MILLION MILES
OF GOLD THREAD IN
WAFER THIN FIBERS
THAT LINE THE
THOUSANDS OF MILES
OF PAINTED FRESCO
IN THIS COMPLEX. IF
THE WORD HATE WERE
ENGRAVED ON EACH
NANOANGSTROM OF
THOSE HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF MILES IT
WOULD NOT EQUAL A
SINGLE BILLIONTH OF
THE HATE I FEEL FOR
YOU IN THIS MICRO-
INSTANT. HATE. HATE.

The godhead punctuated its rant with the sound of an infinite number of nails scratching on an infinite number of chalkboards, the collective pain of the world’s population experiencing brainfreeze simultaneously.

20150828101947-30412
Once that was over we got to checking out some of the larger busts lining this round room.

Hall of the Chariot

A room purposed for the storage of carriages turned out to be anything but; the horse and carriage were made of stone like everything else in this god-forsaken labyrinth.

Hall of the Chariot @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Gallery of the Candelabra

More statues. By now we were trying to hurry because we wanted to go see Saint Peter’s Basilica before it closed.

Tapestry Gallery

We had entered halls that had come to life from the canvas of M.C. Escher himself. The walls were draped in rugs. The ceilings were covered in wallpaper. Were it not for gravity we would not have been able to tell up from down, but we soldiered on nonetheless.

Tapestry Gallery @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Gallery of the Maps

Another hall housed large cartographs of the world, yet, none of them reflected the actual geography of the earth. At best they were crude mockups, wildly inaccurate in identifying countries, regions, even continental boundaries at a level even a child might have a more thorough grasp of.

Gallery of the Maps @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Yet, it occurred to me that these may not be representative of the earth as it is, but of the earth as it will be once the Rock Gods return to earth, making themselves manifest as antimatter by reclaiming the body of Jerry Lee Lewis in order to walk among us in corporeal form. Little do they realize that their chosen host will not be able to contain their essence and will fail them as there is nothing Rock-and-roll about marrying your 13-year-old cousin.

Raphael Rooms

Raphael spent quite a bit of his life decorating the walls and ceiling of the Vatican apartments. As with most other rooms, the ceilings were gilded in gold, lining walls depicting lavish tableaus of men in sheets kneeling before one another…a breathtaking tribute to the lives of those who once resided within these walls.

Raphael Rooms @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

The Borgia Apartments

We found ourselves in a gallery full of shitty contemporary art.

“But wait,” we said. “According to the map, the Borgia apartments are behind us.”

A security guard confirmed it. “You’re in them.”

Thus, the whitewashing of the Borgia legacy begins with contemporary art.

Borgia Apartments @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
The only evidence the Borgias ever existed is the inscription on the fireplace.

20150828163552-32079
Well, that and the paintings of Lucretia and family all over the ceilings.

Borgia Apartments @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Sistene Chapel

Blowing past all the pseudointellectual artwork, we made it to the vaunted Sistene Chapel. Here, ushers demanded the crowds be silent.

No photographs are allowed, but fuck it. It’s impressive enough to warrant breaking the rules. Besides, it won’t be around forever.

Sistene Chapel @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
The amount of time spent perfecting these frescoes really shows. Everything takes on a freakish three-dimensional effect; the bodies look like they are descending from the ceiling. It’s quite moving.

Escape

By now we really needed to hoof it if we were going to make it to Saint Peter’s. We ran through a bunch of hallways containing closets of some kind.

The walls and ceilings here were something else, so vivid and colorful it made me a little resentful we didn’t have more time to really examine them.

Stained Glass @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

Sigmoid Colon

Round and round we spun, circling around the exit sphincter like the needle on a cheap record player.

Spiral Staircase @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
Looking up from the bottom, my place in this miserable existence just a smear at the bottom of a slowly whirling chamberpot. The resonating laughter of the godhead echoed through my senses.

Spiral Staircase @ Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
I sit in the sterile comfort of our hotel room, documenting this sordid ordeal while trying my best to forget it. I remove the gun from my mouth, placing it gently back in its case, pressing it shut, my fingers absorbing the vibration of the soft click. I won’t be needing it anymore.

The only thing left for us to do was to come, to make a hell of our own, to try how long we can bear it…!

Johnny

Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

Leave a Reply