The Vatican Museums are Christian and art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City. The Vatican Museums trace their origin to one marble sculpture, purchased in the 16th century: Laocoön and His Sons which was discovered on 14 January 1506, in a vineyard near the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.  

The museums display works from the immense collection amassed by popes throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. They contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display.  Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. 

The Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael, are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. In 2017, they were visited by 6 million people, which combined makes it the 5th most visited art museum in the world.