Within the sprawling complex of the Vatican Museums, the Bramante Courtyard is easily identifiable by its famous bronze pigna or pinecone sculpture mounted on a staircase designed by Michelangelo and flanked by two sculpted peacocks, copies of the birds that stood at Hadrian’s Tomb. The Courtyard connects the main galleries of the Vatican Museums, and provides visitors with a central gathering area of the most theatrical, accomplished Renaissance architecture. The Bramante Courtyard is undoubtedly the heart of the Vatican Museums. Its North Wall is now completed and we are facing the restoration of the South Wall.

 

North Wall – restoration completed

 

South Wall – ongoing restoration