What is special about the Bramante Staircase?

The Vatican Museum holds one of the most stunning staircases in the world.

The Vatican is not only the smallest city and country in the world, but it is also home to the famous Bramante Staircase. There are many impressive features this staircase has, but the most impressive and special thing is the fact it’s a double helix staircase.

Commonly the staircase is said to look like a DNA shape, but Donato Bramante designed the staircase before DNA was discovered!

There are two of these staircases with the same name. These staircases are found in Vatican City inside the Vatican Museums.

What is the difference between the two staircases?

Bramante Staircase

The Bramante Staircase is given to both of the double helix staircases that are inside the Vatican Museums. However, there is a difference between the original and the modern staircases.

Original Bramante Staircase
Donato Bramante designed the original staircase which was built in 1505. Pope Julius II commissioned the staircase so he could enter his private home while still in his carriage.

Today, the staircase isn’t open to the public, but there are limited tours available to see the staircase. These tours can be a bit pricey, but worth it to see the staircase along with other parts of the museum that are not open to the public.

Modern Bramante Staircase
Giuseppe Momo designed the modern Bramante Staircase in 1932. The modern staircase still has the double helix and has similar features to the original 1505 staircase.

Unlike the original staircase, the modern one you can still in the Vatican Museums, which is at the very end as you’re exiting.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel hold some impressive artwork from famous artists like Michelangelo, and Raphael.

You can see some of Michelangelo’s most famous frescos including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement.

The Raphael Rooms are four rooms within the Vatican Museums that Raphael painted along with his workshop which was completed in 1508.

To see the modern Bramante Staircase, along with masterpieces from the Renaissance era, book a morning Vatican City tour! The tour guide takes you to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and a chance to walk around St Peter’s Square.

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