The Vatican: A Sovereign City-State Inside Rome

Vatican City

The Vatican (Italian: Vaticano) is a sovereign city-state, located in a walled enclave inside the city of Rome, Italy.

Five interesting facts about the Vatican:

  • It was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy in 1929.
  • It is the seat of the Pope – the head of the worldwide Catholic Church.
  • With an area of 44 ha (110 ac), and a population of about 800, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.
  • The Roman Emperor Caligula (37–41 AD) had a private circus built here.
  • In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites.

St. Peter's Basilica (built in 1506–1626) and the Obelisk (built around 50 BC), the Vatican

Interior of St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican

The Apostolic Palace (built in the 16th century), the Vatican

The Vatican Museums

The Vatican Gardens

The Palace of the Governorate of the Vatican

Location map

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