Disclosure: I was provided tickets to the Vatican Splendors exhibit to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
The dust may have settled from the Pope’s historic visit to Philadelphia last September for the World Meeting of Families, but you still have a chance to get in on the excitement. The Franklin Institute’s incredible exhibit, ‘Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith & Art’, is on display through February 15.
This phenomenal exhibit celebrates the history of the Catholic Church with one of the largest touring collections of art, artifacts and relics from the Vatican, many of which have never before been on public display. Whether your interest is religious, historic or artistic (or all of the above), the magnitude of this collection is guaranteed to move you. From the bones of beloved Saints to historic documents that shaped history to the very tools Michelangelo used to create the famous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Splendors is a breathtaking experience.
As a lover of art and history, I found the exhibit to be particularly heavenly (see what I did there?). Ancient mosaics and icons, marble reliefs and bejeweled chalices chronicled the Catholic Church from its humble beginnings to Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff. With over 200 exquisitely detailed and breathtakingly beautiful items on display, Vatican Splendors is truly a sight to see.
Tip: Don’t miss the Lego model of St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square (complete with Lego Pope Francis on the balcony) built by Rev. Bob Simon using over a half million Lego pieces. Rev. Simon’s model is on display in the main atrium.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit fi.edu. You can also follow The Franklin Institute on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Franklin Institute is located at 222 North 20th Street in Philadelphia.