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.

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

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Interior of St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican

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

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The Vatican Museums

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The Vatican Gardens

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The Palace of the Governorate of the Vatican


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