Vatican City is a sovereign city-state positioned throughout the larger city of Rome, Italy. It is the world’s smallest independent state whether you think that of size or population. Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and is governed by the Pope, who can also be the spiritual leader of the church.

A Bit of Vatican History

The city-state was established in 1929 following the signing of the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See (the governing body of the Catholic Church) and the Italian government. Vatican City covers an area of just 44 hectares (110 acres), making it roughly one-eighth the dimensions of New York’s Central Park. The population of Vatican City is just over 800 people, nearly all of whom are members of the clergy.

Inside Vatican City

Vatican Landmarks

The Vatican is surrounded by partitions and is home to among the world’s most vital landmarks and artworks, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, or the Vatican Museums. These attractions draw hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, making tourism a major industry for the city-state. The Vatican can also be home to the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica, which may hold as much as 60,000 people directly. Click the link to seek out out more Vatican City Facts.

The Vatican State

In addition to its cultural and spiritual significance, Vatican City is an elective monarchy, with the Pope serving as each the pinnacle of state and the pinnacle of the Catholic Church. The city-state has its own flag and national anthem, each of which feature symbols and imagery related to the Catholic Church. It even has a correct currency, the Vatican lira, even though it is just used for symbolic purposes.

Famous Artworks on the Vatican

Apart from being the biggest church on the planet, St. Peter’s Basilica can also be home to many famous artworks, including Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture. The Sistine Chapel is known for its ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, and for being the placement of the election of recent Popes.

The sculpture Pieta by Michelangelo, inside St. Peter's Basilica

Visiting Vatican City

Tourism is a major industry for Vatican City, with hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to see town’s landmarks and artworks every year. Visitors can even attend Papal Masses, that are held in St. Peter’s Square on Sundays and on special occasions.

Overall, Vatican City is a crucial religious and cultural center. Its historical and artistic significance make it considered one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Rome.


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