Vatican City - Filip Šubrt Photo

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Vatican City

Vatican is the smallest state in the world, based in Rome in Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares and a population of around 800. The independent city-state was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty.

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace.


Vatican city (Citta del Vaticano), the papal residence, was built over the tomb of Saint Peter. The Vatican's position as a sovereign state within a state was quaranteed by the Lateran Treaty of 1929 (signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of Pope Pius XI and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy), marked by the building of a new road, the Via della Conciliazione. This leads from huge St Peter's basilica to Castel Sant' Angelo, a monument to a far grimmer past.

Inside the Vatican city we can find 11 Vatican Museums with the restored Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Gardens, an enchanted place, a system of large and small gardens, fountain, fish pool and enclousure for rabbits. They date back to medieval times when vineyards and orchards extended to the north of the Apostolic Palace. Vatican radio station broadcasts all over the world in 29 languages, it has it's television station, the dialy newspaper, post office with Vatican stamps, shops, offices and publishing house and railway station. All signposted, in highly-sophisticated system of organisation. More than a thousand residents are responsible for the smooth, day-to-day running of this nerve centre of official Christianity, with of course the Pope at its head, all guarded by the Swiss guard.

Vatican facts:
Country: State of the Vatican City (Holy See), Italy
Population: 839 inhabitants
Area: 0.44 sq km
Density: 2273/ Km2
Religions: Roman Catholic
Currency: Euro (EUR) = 100 Cents



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