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Photo of Santa Maria Maggiore

Tabernacle in the Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel in the right transept contains the elaborate tomb of Pope Sixtus V (1521-90) and is decorated with frescoes and reliefs of events from his reign. The chapel centers on this great reliquary or tabernacle by Giovanni Battista Ricci (c.1590). It contains part of the Holy Crib, which was carried to Rome by Christian refugees during the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land in the 7th century.

Photo © Holly Hayes.