Vatican City

Vatican City

Overview
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano (ˈstaːto della t͡ʃitˈta del vatiˈkaːno), which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 whose territory consists of a walled enclave
Enclave and exclave
In political geography, an enclave is a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory.An exclave, on the other hand, is a territory legally or politically attached to another territory with which it is not physically contiguous.These are two...

 within the city of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.
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Timeline

1506   The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican.

1950   Pope Pius XII witnesses "The Miracle of the Sun" while at the Vatican.

1984   The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations after 117 years.

1994   Israel and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations.

 
Encyclopedia
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano (ˈstaːto della t͡ʃitˈta del vatiˈkaːno), which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 whose territory consists of a walled enclave
Enclave and exclave
In political geography, an enclave is a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory.An exclave, on the other hand, is a territory legally or politically attached to another territory with which it is not physically contiguous.These are two...

 within the city of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (108.7 acre), and a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by area, and also the world's least populated.

Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

 Pietro Gasparri
Pietro Gasparri
Pietro Gasparri was a Roman Catholic archbishop, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and signatory of the Lateran Pacts.- Biography :...

, on behalf of the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

 and is the main episcopal see
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

 of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

. The two entities have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports, whereas Vatican City State issues normal passports. In each case very few passports are issued.

The Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

 (756–1870) that had previously encompassed much of central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with Lazio, ten years later, in 1870.

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical
Ecclesiology
Today, ecclesiology usually refers to the theological study of the Christian church. However when the word was coined in the late 1830s, it was defined as the science of the building and decoration of churches and it is still, though rarely, used in this sense.In its theological sense, ecclesiology...

 or sacerdotal
Priesthood (Catholic Church)
The ministerial orders of the Catholic Church include the orders of bishops, deacons and presbyters, which in Latin is sacerdos. The ordained priesthood and common priesthood are different in function and essence....

-monarchical
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome
Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy. The bishop of Rome is the Pope, who is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church...

—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

.

The Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon
Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown....

 in 1377, but have also at times resided in the Quirinal Palace
Quirinal Palace
The Quirinal Palace is a historical building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome...

 in Rome and elsewhere. Previously, they resided in the Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

 on the Caelian Hill
Caelian Hill
The Caelian Hill is one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. Under reign of Tullus Hostilius, the entire population of Alba Longa was forcibly resettled on the Caelian Hill...

 on the far side of Rome from the Vatican. Emperor Constantine
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 gave this site to Pope Miltiades
Pope Miltiades
Pope Saint Miltiades, also called Melchiades , was pope from 2 July 311 to 10 January 314.- Origins :He appears to have been a Berber African by birth, but of his personal history nothing is known.- Pontificate :...

 in 313. The signing of the agreements that established the new state took place in the latter building, giving rise to the name of Lateran Pacts, by which they are known.

Geography


The Vatican climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 is the same as Rome's; a temperate, Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 with mild, rainy winters from September to mid-May and hot, dry summers from May to August. There are some local features, principally mists and dews, caused by the anomalous bulk of St Peter's Basilica, the elevation, the fountains and the size of the large paved square.

The Vatican City is the world's smallest state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

, being only around 44 ha (108.7 acre).

In July 2007, the Vatican agreed to become the first carbon neutral state. They plan to accomplish this by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with the creation of a Vatican Climate Forest
Vatican Climate Forest
The Vatican Climate Forest, to be located in the Bükk National Park, Hungary, was donated to the Vatican City by a carbon offsetting company. The forest is to be sized to offset the carbon emissions generated by the Vatican during 2007...

 in Hungary.

Territory



The name "Vatican" predates Christianity and comes from the Latin , meaning Vatican Mount. The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. It is in this territory that St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

, the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

, the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

, and museums were built, along with various other buildings. The area was part of the Roman rione
Rione
Rione is the name given to a ward in several Italian cities, the best-known of which is Rome. Unlike a quartiere, a rione is usually an official administrative subdivision...

of Borgo
Borgo (rione of Rome)
Borgo , is the 14th historic district of Rome, Italy. It lies on the west bank of the Tiber, and has a trapezoidal shape. Its coat of arms shows a lion , lying in front of three mounts and a star...

 until 1929. Being separated from the city, on the west bank of the Tiber river, the area was an outcrop of the city that was protected by being included within the walls of Leo IV
Pope Leo IV
Pope Saint Leo IV was pope from 10 April 847 to 17 July 855.A Roman by birth, he was unanimously chosen to succeed Sergius II. When he was elected, on 10 April 847, he was cardinal of Santi Quattro Coronati, and had been subdeacon of Gregory IV and archpriest under his predecessor...

 (847–55), and later expanded by the current fortification walls, built under Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

 (1534–49), Pius IV
Pope Pius IV
Pope Pius IV , born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was Pope from 1559 to 1565. He is notable for presiding over the culmination of the Council of Trent.-Biography:...

 (1559–65) and Urban VIII
Pope Urban VIII
Pope Urban VIII , born Maffeo Barberini, was pope from 1623 to 1644. He was the last pope to expand the papal territory by force of arms, and was a prominent patron of the arts and reformer of Church missions...

 (1623–44).

When the Lateran Treaty of 1929 that gave the state its present form was being prepared, the boundaries of the proposed territory were influenced by the fact that much of it was all but enclosed by this loop. For some tracts of the frontier, there was no wall, but the line of certain buildings supplied part of the boundary, and for a small part of the frontier a modern wall was constructed.

The territory includes St. Peter's Square
Saint Peter's Square
Saint Peter's Square is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome .-History of St...

, distinguished from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it touches Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter's Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione
Via della Conciliazione
Via della Conciliazione is a street in the Rione of Borgo within Rome, Italy. Roughly 500 m in length, it connects Saint Peter's Square to the Castel Sant'Angelo on the western bank of the Tiber River. The road was constructed between 1936 and 1950, and it is the primary access route to the...

 which runs from close to the Tiber River to St. Peter's. This grand approach was constructed by Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty.

According to the Lateran Treaty, certain properties of the Holy See
Properties of the Holy See
The properties of the Holy See are properties of the Holy See which are regulated by the 1929 Lateran Treaty signed with the Kingdom of Italy. Although being part of Italian territory, all of them have an extraterritorial status, similar to those of foreign embassies.- Outside Vatican City but...

 that are located in Italian territory, most notably Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo is a small Italian town or comune in Lazio that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano about 15 miles south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills. It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope. It is an Italian town with the population of 8834...

 and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

. These properties, scattered all over Rome and Italy, house essential offices and institutions necessary to the character and mission of the Holy See. Castel Gandolfo and the named basilicas are patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State and not by Italian police. St. Peter's Square is ordinarily policed jointly by both.



Gardens


Within the territory of Vatican City are the Vatican Gardens
Gardens of Vatican City
The Vatican Gardens in Vatican City are urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the Vatican territory in the South and Northeast. There are some buildings such as Radio Vatican within the gardens....

 , which account for more than half of this territory. The gardens, established during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 era, are decorated with fountains and sculptures.

The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (56.8 acre) which is most of the Vatican Hill
Vatican Hill
Vatican Hill is the name given, long before the founding of Christianity, to one of the hills on the side of the Tiber opposite the traditional seven hills of Rome...

. The highest point is 60 metres (196.9 ft) above mean sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.

The gardens date back to medieval times when orchards and vineyards extended to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

. In 1279 Pope Nicholas III
Pope Nicholas III
Pope Nicholas III , born Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, Pope from November 25, 1277 to his death in 1280, was a Roman nobleman who had served under eight Popes, been made cardinal-deacon of St...

 (Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

 and enclosed this area with walls. He planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridarium).

Predecessor states


In this originally uninhabited area (the ager vaticanus) on the opposite side of the Tiber from the city of Rome, Agrippina the Elder
Agrippina the elder
Vipsania Agrippina or most commonly known as Agrippina Major or Agrippina the Elder was a distinguished and prominent granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus. Agrippina was the wife of the general, statesman Germanicus and a relative to the first Roman Emperors...

 (14 BC – 18 October AD 33) drained the hill and environs and built her gardens in the early 1st century AD. Emperor Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

 (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41; r. 37–41) started construction of a circus (AD 40) that was later completed by Nero, the Circus Gaii et Neronis, usually called, simply, the Circus of Nero
Circus of Nero
The Circus of Nero or Circus of Caligula was a circus in ancient Rome.-Construction:It was begun by Caligula on the property of his mother Agrippina on the Ager Vaticanus , and finished by Nero...

. In AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors
Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, AD 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. These four emperors were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian....

, when the northern army that brought Aulus Vitellius to power arrived in Rome, "a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery; and the Tiber being close by, the inability of the Gauls and Germans to bear the heat and the consequent greed with which they drank from the stream weakened their bodies, which were already an easy prey to disease".

The Vatican obelisk
Obelisk
An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top, and is said to resemble a petrified ray of the sun-disk. A pair of obelisks usually stood in front of a pylon...

 was originally taken by Caligula from Heliopolis
Heliopolis (ancient)
Heliopolis was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome that was located five miles east of the Nile to the north of the apex of the Nile Delta...

, Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant. This area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome
Great Fire of Rome
The Great Fire of Rome was an urban fire that occurred beginning July 19, AD 64.-Background:According to Tacitus, the fire spread quickly and burned for six days. Only four of the fourteen districts of Rome escaped the fire; three districts were completely destroyed and the other seven suffered...

 in AD 64. Ancient tradition holds that it was in this circus that Saint Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 was crucified upside-down
Cross of St. Peter
The Cross of St. Peter or Petrine Cross is an inverted Latin cross traditionally used as a Christian symbol, but in recent times also used widely as an anti-Christ symbol .-In Christianity:The origin of this symbol comes from the Catholic tradition that Simon Peter was crucified upside...

.

Opposite the circus was a cemetery separated by the Via Cornelia
Via Cornelia
Via Cornelia is an ancient Roman Road that supposedly ran east west along the northern wall of the Circus of Nero on land now covered by the southern wall of St. Peter's Basilica. It is closely associated with the Via Aurelia and the Via Triumphalis...

. Funeral monuments and mausoleums and small tombs as well as altars to pagan gods of all kinds of polytheistic religions were constructed lasting until before the construction of the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter's in the first half of the 4th century. Remains of this ancient necropolis were brought to light sporadically during renovations by various popes throughout the centuries increasing in frequency during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 until it was systematically excavated by orders of Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

 from 1939 to 1941.

In 326, the first church, the Constantinian basilica, was built over the site that early Roman Catholic apologists
Christian apologetics
Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and expose the perceived flaws of other world views...

 (from the first century on) as well as noted Italian archaeologists argue was the tomb of Saint Peter
Saint Peter's tomb
Saint Peter's tomb is a site under St. Peter's Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of St. Peter's grave. St. Peter's tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and...

, buried in a common cemetery on the spot. From then on the area started to become more populated, but mostly only by dwelling houses connected with the activity of St. Peter's. A palace was constructed near the site of the basilica as early as the 5th century during the pontificate of Pope Symmachus
Pope Symmachus
Saint Symmachus was pope from 498 to 514. His tenure was marked by a serious schism over who was legitimately elected pope by the citizens of Rome....

 (reigned 498–514).

Popes in their secular role gradually came to govern neighbouring regions and, through the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

, ruled a large portion of the Italian peninsula
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 for more than a thousand years until the mid 19th century, when all of the territory of the Papal States was seized by the newly created
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 Kingdom of Italy. For much of this time the Vatican was not the habitual residence
Habitual residence
In conflict of laws, habitual residence is the standard used to determine the law which should be applied to determine a given legal dispute. It can be contrasted with the law on domicile, traditionally used in common law jurisdictions to do the same thing....

 of the Popes, but rather the Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

, and in recent centuries, the Quirinal Palace
Quirinal Palace
The Quirinal Palace is a historical building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome...

, while the residence from 1309–77 was at Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 in France.

Italian unification




In 1870, the Pope's holdings were left in an uncertain situation when Rome itself was annexed by the Piedmont
Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

-led forces which had united the rest of Italy, after a nominal resistance by the papal forces. Between 1861 and 1929 the status of the Pope was referred to as the "Roman Question
Roman Question
thumb|300px|The breach of [[Porta Pia]], on the right, in a contemporaneous photograph.The Roman Question was a political dispute between the Italian Government and the Papacy from 1861 to 1929....

". The successive Popes were undisturbed in their palace, and certain prerogatives recognized by the Law of Guarantees
Law of Guarantees
After the occupation of the Papal States in 1870, Italy's Law of Guarantees accorded the Pope certain honors and privileges similar to those enjoyed by the King of Italy, including the right to send and receive ambassadors who would have full diplomatic immunity, just as if he still had temporal...

, including the right to send and receive ambassadors. But the Popes did not recognise the Italian king's right to rule in Rome, and they refused to leave the Vatican compound
Prisoner in the Vatican
A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican is how Pope Pius IX described himself following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes...

 until the dispute was resolved in 1929. Other states continued to maintain international recognition of the Holy See as a sovereign entity.

In practice Italy made no attempt to interfere with the Holy See within the Vatican walls. However, they confiscated church property in many other places, including, perhaps most notably, the Quirinal Palace
Quirinal Palace
The Quirinal Palace is a historical building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome...

, formerly the pope's official residence
Official residence
An official residence is the residence at which heads of state, heads of government, gubernatorial or other senior figures officially reside...

. Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

 (1846–78), the last ruler of the Papal States, claimed that after Rome was annexed he was a "Prisoner in the Vatican
Prisoner in the Vatican
A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican is how Pope Pius IX described himself following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes...

".

Lateran treaties




This situation was resolved on 11 February 1929 between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy. The Lateran Treaty was signed by Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III and by Cardinal Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

 Pietro Gasparri
Pietro Gasparri
Pietro Gasparri was a Roman Catholic archbishop, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and signatory of the Lateran Pacts.- Biography :...

 for Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

. The treaty, which became effective on 7 June 1929, and the Concordat established the independent State of the Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy.

World War II



Vatican City officially pursued a policy of neutrality during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

. Although the city of Rome was occupied by Germany from 1943 and the Allies from 1944, Vatican City itself was not occupied. One of Pius XII's main diplomatic priorities was to prevent the bombing of Rome; so sensitive was the pontiff that he protested even the British air dropping of pamphlets over Rome, claiming that the few landing within the city-state violated the Vatican's neutrality. Before the American entry into the war, there was little impetus for such a bombing, as the British saw little strategic value in it.

After the American entry, the US opposed such a bombing, fearful of offending Catholic members of its military forces, while the British then supported it. Pius XII similarly advocated for the declaration of Rome as an "open city
Open city
In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the nation that controls the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts....

", but this occurred only on 14 August 1943, after Rome had already been bombed twice. Although the Italians consulted the Vatican on the wording of the open city declaration, the impetus for the change had little to do with the Vatican.

Recent history


In 1984, a new concordat
Concordat
A concordat is an agreement between the Holy See of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state on religious matters. Legally, they are international treaties. They often includes both recognition and privileges for the Catholic Church in a particular country...

 between the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 and Italy modified certain provisions of the earlier treaty, including the position of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion.

Governance


The politics of Vatican City takes place in an absolute
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 elective monarchy
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...

, in which the head of the Roman Catholic Church takes power. The Pope exercises principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of Vatican City (an entity distinct from the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

), which is a rare case of a non-hereditary monarchy.

Vatican City is currently the only widely recognised independent state that has not become a member of the UN. The Holy See, which is distinct from Vatican City State, has permanent observer status
United Nations General Assembly observers
In addition to the current 193 member states, the United Nations welcomes many international organizations, entities, and non-member states as observers. Observer status is granted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution...

 with all the rights of a full member except for a vote in the UN General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

.

Political system


The government of Vatican City has a unique structure. The Pope is the sovereign of the state. Legislative authority is vested in the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
The Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State is the legislative body of Vatican City...

, a body of cardinals appointed by the Pope for five-year periods. Executive power is in the hands of the President of that commission, assisted by the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary. The state's foreign relations are entrusted to the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

's Secretariat of State and diplomatic service. Nevertheless, the pope has full and absolute executive, legislative and judicial power over Vatican City. He is currently the only absolute monarch in Europe.

There are specific departments that deal with health, security, telecommunications, etc.

The Cardinal Camerlengo presides over the Apostolic Camera
Apostolic Camera
The Apostolic Camera, or in Latin Camera Apostolica or Apostolica Camera, is the central board of finance in the Papal administrative system, which at one time was of great importance in the government of the States of the Church, and in the administration of justice, led by the Camerlengo of the...

 to which is entrusted the administration of the property and the protection of the temporal rights of the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 during a papal vacancy
Sede vacante
Sede vacante is an expression, used in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, that refers to the vacancy of the episcopal see of a particular church...

. Those of the Vatican State remain under the control of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City. Acting with three other cardinals chosen by lot every three days, one from each order of cardinals (cardinal bishop, cardinal priest, and cardinal deacon), he in a sense performs during that period the functions of head of state. All the decisions these four cardinals take must be approved by the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...

 as a whole.

The nobility that was closely associated with the Holy See at the time of the Papal States continued to be associated with the Papal Court after the loss of these territories, generally with merely nominal duties (see Papal Master of the Horse, Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, Hereditary officers of the Roman Curia
Hereditary officers of the Roman Curia
The Roman Court or Papal Curia was reformed by the Bull Pontificalis Domus of 1969. This abolished the role of the old Roman nobility at the Papal Court with the exception of the position of Prince Assistant to the Papal Throne...

, Black Nobility
Black Nobility
The Black Nobility are Roman aristocratic families who sided with the Papacy under Pope Pius IX after the Savoy family-led army of the Kingdom of Italy entered Rome on September 20, 1870, overthrew the Pope and the Papal States, and took over the Apostolic Palace, and any nobles subsequently...

). They also formed the ceremonial Noble Guard. In the first decades of the existence of the Vatican City State, executive functions
Executive functions
The executive system is a theorized cognitive system in psychology that controls and manages other cognitive processes. It is responsible for processes that are sometimes referred to as the executive function, executive functions, supervisory attentional system, or cognitive control...

 were entrusted to some of them, including that of Delegate for the State of Vatican City (now denominated President of the Commission for Vatican City). But with the motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

 Pontificalis Domus
Pontificalis Domus
The apostolic letter motu proprio Pontificalis Domus was issued by Pope Paul VI on March 28, 1968, in the fifth year of his pontificate. Its purpose was the reorganization of the Papal Household, which had been known as the Papal Court before the promulgation of the letter.-Introduction:Paul VI...

of 28 March 1968, Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 abolished the honorary positions that had continued to exist until then, such as Quartermaster General
Quartermaster general
A Quartermaster general is the staff officer in charge of supplies for a whole army.- The United Kingdom :In the United Kingdom, the Quartermaster-General to the Forces is one of the most senior generals in the British Army...

 and Master of the Horse
Master of the Horse
The Master of the Horse was a position of varying importance in several European nations.-Magister Equitum :...

.

The State of the Vatican City, created in 1929 by the Lateran Pacts, provides the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 with a temporal jurisdiction and independence within a small territory. It is distinct from the Holy See. The state can thus be deemed a significant but not essential instrument of the Holy See. The Holy See itself has existed continuously as a juridical entity since Roman Imperial times and has been internationally recognised as a powerful and independent sovereign entity since late antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

 to the present, without interruption even at times when it was deprived of territory (e.g. 1870 to 1929). The Holy See has the oldest active continuous diplomatic service in the world, dating back to at least AD 325 with its legation to the Council of Nicea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

. Ambassadors are accredited to the Holy See, never to the Vatican City State.

Head of state


The Pope is ex officio head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of Vatican City, functions dependent on his primordial function as bishop of the diocese of Rome
Diocese of Rome
The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy. The bishop of Rome is the Pope, who is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church...

. The term Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 refers not to the Vatican state but to the Pope's spiritual and pastoral governance, largely exercised through the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

. His official title with regard to Vatican City is Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City.

His principal subordinate government official for Vatican City is the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
The President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State is the leader of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, the legislative body of Vatican City. As a senior member of the Roman Curia, the president is normally a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church...

, who since 1952 exercises the functions previously belonging to the Governor of Vatican City
Governor of Vatican City
The post of Governor of Vatican City was held by Marchese Camillo Serafini from the foundation of the state in 1929 until his death in 1952...

. Since 2001, the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State also has the title of President of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City.

The Pope resides in the Papal Apartments
Papal Apartments
The Papal Apartments is the non-official designation for the collection of apartments, both private and state, that wrap around a courtyard on two sides of the third floor of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City in Rome...

 of the Papal Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

 overlooking off Saint Peter's Square
Saint Peter's Square
Saint Peter's Square is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome .-History of St...

. It is here he carries out his business and meets foreign representatives.

The current Pope is Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany. Italian Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo
Giovanni Lajolo
Giovanni Lajolo is the Cardinal emeritus President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and emeritus President of the Governorate of Vatican City State.-Early life and ordination:...

 serves as President of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 11 September 2006.

Administration


Legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 functions are delegated to the unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
The Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State is the legislative body of Vatican City...

, led by the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
The President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State is the leader of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, the legislative body of Vatican City. As a senior member of the Roman Curia, the president is normally a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church...

. Its seven members are cardinals appointed by the Pope for terms of five years. Acts of the commission must be approved by the pope, through the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

's Secretariat of State, and before taking effect must be published in a special appendix of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Acta Apostolicae Sedis , often cited as AAS, is the official gazette of the Holy See, appearing about twelve times a year. It was established by Pope Pius X with the decree Promulgandi Pontificias Constitutiones , and publication began in January 1909...

. Most of the content of this appendix consists of routine executive decrees, such as approval for a new set of postage stamps.

Executive authority
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 is delegated to the Governorate of Vatican City. The Governorate consists of the President of the Pontifical Commission—using the title "President of the Governorate of Vatican City"—a General Secretary, and a Vice General Secretary, each appointed by the pope for five year terms. Important actions of the Governorate must be confirmed by the Pontifical Commission and by the Pope through the Secretariat of State.

The Governorate oversees the central governmental functions through several departments and offices. The directors and officials of these offices are appointed by the pope for five year terms. These organs concentrate on material questions concerning the state's territory, including local security, records, transportation, and finances. The Governorate oversees a modern security and police corps, the Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano
Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City
The Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano is the gendarmerie, or police and security force, of Vatican City. The corps is responsible for security, public order, border control, traffic control, criminal investigation, and other general police duties in Vatican City...

.

Judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 functions are delegated to a supreme court, an appeals court
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

, a tribunal, and a trial judge. In all cases, the pope may choose at any time to exercise supreme legislative, executive, or judicial functions in the state.

The Country code prefix is SCV, and the only postal code is 00120 – altogether SCV-00120.

Military and police



Though, like various European powers, earlier Popes recruited Swiss mercenaries
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 as part of an army, the Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded by Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 on 22 January 1506 as the personal bodyguard of the Pope and continues to fulfil that function. It is listed in the Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
The Annuario Pontificio is the annual directory of the Holy See. It lists all the popes to date and all officials of the Holy See's departments...

 under "Holy See", not under "State of Vatican City". At the end of 2005, the Guard had 134 members. Recruitment is arranged by a special agreement between the Holy See and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. All recruits must be Catholic, unmarried males with Swiss citizenship who have completed their basic training
Basic Training
Basic Training may refer to:* Basic Training, a 1971 American documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman* Basic Training , an American sex comedy* Recruit training...

 with the Swiss Army with certificates of good conduct, be between the ages of 19 and 30, and be at least 175 cm (68.9 in) in height. Members are armed with small arms and the traditional halberd
Halberd
A halberd is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. Possibly the word halberd comes from the German words Halm , and Barte - in modern-day German, the weapon is called Hellebarde. The halberd consists of an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on...

 (also called the Swiss voulge), and trained in bodyguarding tactics.



The Palatine Guard
Palatine Guard
The Palatine Guard was a military unit of the Vatican. It was formed in 1850 by Pope Pius IX, who ordered that the two militia units of the Papal States be amalgamated...

 and the Noble Guard were disbanded by Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 in 1970. While the first body was founded as a militia at the service of the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

, its functions within the Vatican State, like those of the Noble Guard, were merely ceremonial.

The Corpo della Gendarmeria
Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City
The Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano is the gendarmerie, or police and security force, of Vatican City. The corps is responsible for security, public order, border control, traffic control, criminal investigation, and other general police duties in Vatican City...

 acts as a police force. Its full name is Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano (which means "Gendarmerie
Gendarmerie
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

 Corps of the Vatican City State"), although it is sometimes referred to as the Vigilanza, as a shortening of an earlier name. The Gendarmeria is responsible for public order
Public order crime
In criminology, public-order crime is defined by Siegel as "...crime which involves acts that interfere with the operations of society and the ability of people to function efficiently", i.e. it is behaviour that has been labelled criminal because it is contrary to shared norms, social values, and...

, law enforcement, crowd and traffic control, and criminal investigations in Vatican City.

The military defence of the Vatican City is provided by Italy and its armed forces
Military of Italy
The Italian armed forces are the military of Italy, they are under the command of the Italian Supreme Council of Defence, presided over by the President of the Italian Republic. The total number of active military personnel is 293,202...

, given the fact that Vatican City is an enclave within the Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Vatican City has no armed force of its own, the Swiss Guard
Swiss Guard
Swiss Guards or Schweizergarde is the name given to the Swiss soldiers who have served as bodyguards, ceremonial guards, and palace guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century. They have had a high reputation for discipline, as well as loyalty to their employers...

 being a corps responsible for the security of the Pope.

Foreign relations



Vatican City State is a recognised national territory under international law, but it is the Holy See that conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf, in addition to the Holy See's own diplomacy, entering into international agreements
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 in its regard. The Vatican City State thus has no diplomatic service of its own. Because of space limitations, Vatican City is one of the few countries in the world that is unable to host embassies.

Foreign embassies to the Holy See are located in the city of Rome; only during the Second World War were the staff of some embassies accredited to the Holy See given what hospitality was possible within the narrow confines of Vatican City—embassies such as that of the United Kingdom while Rome was held by the Axis Powers and Germany's when the Allies controlled Rome.

The size of Vatican City is thus unrelated to the large global reach exercised by the Holy See as an entity quite distinct from the state.

However, Vatican City State itself participates in some international organizations whose functions relate to the state as a geographical entity, distinct from the non-territorial legal persona of the Holy See.

These organizations are much less numerous than those in which the Holy See participates either as a member or with observer status.

They include the following seven, in each of which Vatican City State holds membership:
  • European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations
    European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations
    The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations was established on June 26, 1959, as a coordinating body for European state telecommunications and postal organizations...

     (CEPT)
  • European Telecommunications Satellite Organization
    Eutelsat
    Eutelsat S.A. is a French-based satellite provider. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, it is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues.Eutelsat’s satellites...

     (Eutelsat IGO)
  • International Grains Council
    International Grains Agreement
    The International Grains Agreement , which replaced the International Wheat Agreement in 1995, comprises a Grains Trade Convention and a Food Aid Convention...

     (IGC)
  • International Institute of Administrative Sciences
    International Institute of Administrative Sciences
    Created in 1930, the International Institute of Administrative Sciences is an International Association with Scientific Purpose whose seat is in Brussels...

     (IIAS)
  • International Telecommunication Union
    International Telecommunication Union
    The International Telecommunication Union is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies...

     (ITU)
  • International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
    International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
    The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization is an intergovernmental organisation charged with overseeing the public service obligations of Intelsat.-External links:*...

     (ITSO)
  • Universal Postal Union
    Universal Postal Union
    The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

     (UPU)


It also participates in:
  • World Medical Association
    World Medical Association
    The World Medical Association is an international and independent confederation of free professional Medical Associations, therefore representing physicians worldwide...

  • World Intellectual Property Organization
    World Intellectual Property Organization
    The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world"....

     (WIPO)

Economy


The Vatican City State budget includes the Vatican museums
Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums , in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and...

 and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins
Vatican euro coins
Vatican euro coins are issued by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State and minted by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato , in Rome, Italy...

, medals and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publications sales. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome. Other industries include printing, the production of mosaics, and the manufacture of staff uniforms.

The Vatican also conducts worldwide financial activities, having its own bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione (also known as the Vatican Bank
Vatican Bank
The Institute for Works of Religion , commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is a privately held institute located inside Vatican City run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope...

, and with the acronym IOR). This bank has an ATM
Automated teller machine
An automated teller machine or automatic teller machine, also known as a Cashpoint , cash machine or sometimes a hole in the wall in British English, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the clients of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public...

 with instructions in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, possibly the only such ATM in the world.

Vatican City issues its own coins
Vatican euro coins
Vatican euro coins are issued by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State and minted by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato , in Rome, Italy...

. It has used the euro as its currency since 1 January 1999, owing to a special agreement with the European Union (council decision 1999/98/CE). Euro coins and notes were introduced in 1 January 2002—the Vatican does not issue euro banknotes
Euro banknotes
Euro banknotes are the banknotes of the euro, the currency of the eurozone and have been in circulation since 2002. They are issued by the national central banks of the euro area or the European Central Bank...

. Issuance of euro-denominated coins is strictly limited by treaty, though somewhat more than usual is allowed in a year in which there is a change in the papacy. Because of their rarity, Vatican euro coins are highly sought by collectors. Until the adoption of the Euro, Vatican coinage and stamps were denominated in their own Vatican lira
Vatican lira
The lira was the currency of the Vatican City between 1929 and 2002.-History:The Papal States, by then reduced to a smaller area close to Rome, used its own lira between 1866 and 1870, after which it ceased to exist...

 currency, which was on par with the Italian lira
Lira
Lira is the name of the monetary unit of a number of countries, as well as the former currency of Italy, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican City and Israel. The term originates from the value of a Troy pound of high purity silver. The libra was the basis of the monetary system of the Roman Empire...

.

The Vatican City State, which employs nearly 2000 people, had a surplus of 6.7 million euros in 2007 but ran a deficit in 2008 of over 15 million euros.

Population and languages




Almost all of Vatican City's 826 (2009 est.) citizens either live inside the Vatican's walls or serve in the Holy See's diplomatic service in embassies (called "nunciatures
Apostolic Nunciature
An Apostolic Nunciature is a top-level diplomatic mission of the Holy See, equivalent to an embassy.The head of the Apostolic Nunciature is called nuncio. A nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomatic title, derived from the ancient Latin nuntius, meaning messenger...

"; a papal ambassador is a "nuncio") around the world. The Vatican citizenry consists almost entirely of two groups: clergy, most of whom work in the service of the Holy See, and a very few as officials of the state; and the Swiss Guard. Most of the 3,000 lay workers who comprise the majority of the Vatican workforce reside outside the Vatican and are citizens of Italy, while a few are citizens of other nations. As a result, all of the City's actual citizens are Catholic as are all the places of worship
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

.
Vatican City has no formally enacted official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

, but, unlike the Holy See, which most often uses Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for the authoritative version of its official documents, Vatican City uses only Italian in its legislation and official communications. Italian is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state. In the Swiss Guard, German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages, German, French, Romansh or Italian. Vatican City's official website languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish. (This site should not be confused with that of the Holy See, which uses all these languages, along with Portuguese, with Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 since 9 May 2008 and Chinese since 18 March 2009.)

Citizenship


Pre-March 2011
Unlike citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 of other states, which is based either on jus sanguinis (birth from a citizen, even outside the state's territory) or on jus soli (birth within the territory of the state), citizenship of Vatican City is granted jus officii, namely on the grounds of appointment to work in a certain capacity in the service of the Holy See. It usually ceases upon cessation of the appointment. Citizenship is extended also to the spouse, parents and descendants of a citizen, provided they are living with the person who is a citizen.

Anyone who loses Vatican citizenship and does not possess other citizenship automatically becomes an Italian citizen as judged by Italian law.

As of 31 December 2005, there were, apart from the Pope himself, 557 people with Vatican citizenship, while there were 246 residents in the state who did not have its citizenship.

Of the 557 citizens, 74% were clergy:
  • 58 cardinals
    Cardinal (Catholicism)
    A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

    , resident in Rome, mostly outside the Vatican;
  • 293 clergy, members of the Holy See's diplomatic missions, resident in other countries, and forming well over half the total of the citizens;
  • 62 other clergy, working but not necessarily living in the Vatican.


The 101 members of the Papal Swiss Guard
Swiss Guard
Swiss Guards or Schweizergarde is the name given to the Swiss soldiers who have served as bodyguards, ceremonial guards, and palace guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century. They have had a high reputation for discipline, as well as loyalty to their employers...

 constituted 18% of the total, and there were only 43 other lay persons with Vatican citizenship.

Post-February 2011
On 22 February 2011, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a new "Law concerning citizenship, residency and access" to Vatican City, which became effective on 1 March. It replaced the 1929 "Law concerning citizenship and residence". There are 16 articles in the new law, whereas the old law had 33 articles. Vatican citizenship now has four categories: (1) the pope, (2) cardinals residing in Vatican City, (3) active members of the Holy See's diplomatic corps, and (4) other directors of Vatican offices and services. The new law created a new status, that of official Vatican "residents", i.e., people who live in Vatican City but are not citizens. As of 1 March 2011, the Vatican had 572 citizens, but only 220 of them were living in Vatican City. The other 352 citizens were apostolic nuncios and diplomatic staff. The 220 citizens living in Vatican City were among more than 800 people living in the Vatican.

Culture


Vatican City is home to some of the most famous art in the world. St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

, whose successive architects include Bramante, Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta was an Italian architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica. He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.-Biography:...

, Maderno
Carlo Maderno
Carlo Maderno was a Swiss-Italian architect, born in Ticino, who is remembered as one of the fathers of Baroque architecture. His façades of Santa Susanna, St. Peter's Basilica and Sant'Andrea della Valle were of key importance in the evolution of the Italian Baroque...

 and Bernini is a renowned work of Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

. The Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

 is famous for its frescos, which include works by Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

 and Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

 as well as the ceiling
Sistine Chapel ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, at the commission of Pope Julius II, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named...

 and Last Judgement by Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

. Artists who decorated the interiors of the Vatican include Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

 and Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico , born Guido di Pietro, was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent"...

.

The Vatican Library
Vatican Library
The Vatican Library is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from...

 and the collections of the Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums , in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and...

 are of the highest historical, scientific and cultural importance. In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 to the List of World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s; it is the only one to consist of an entire state. Furthermore, it is the only site to date registered with the UNESCO as a centre containing monuments in the "International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection" according to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict is an international treaty that requires its signatories to protect cultural property in war. It was signed at The Hague, Netherlands, on May 14, 1954, and entered into force August 7, 1956...

.

Infrastructure




Transport



Vatican City has a reasonably well developed transport network considering its size (consisting mostly of a plaza and walkways). As a country that is 1.05 kilometres (0.6 mi) long and 0.85 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide, it has a small transportation system
Transport network
A transport network, or transportation network in American English, is typically a network of roads, streets, pipes, aqueducts, power lines, or nearly any structure which permits either vehicular movement or flow of some commodity....

 with no airports or highways. There is one heliport
Heliport
A heliport is a small airport suitable only for use by helicopters. Heliports typically contain one or more helipads and may have limited facilities such as fuel, lighting, a windsock, or even hangars...

 and a standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

 railway connected to Italy's network at Rome's Saint Peter's station by an 852 metres (932 yd) long spur, only 300 metres (328 yd) of which is within Vatican territory.

Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

 was the first Pope to make use of this railway, and Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 used it as well, albeit very rarely. The railway is mainly used to transport freight. As Vatican City has no airports (it is one of the few independent states in the world without one, except for the aforementioned heliport), it is served by the airports that serve the city of Rome, within which the Vatican is located, namely: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and to a lesser extent, Ciampino Airport, which both serve as the departure gateway for the Pope's international visits.

Communications


The City is served by an independent, modern telephone system, the Vatican Pharmacy
Vatican Pharmacy
The Vatican Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in the Vatican City, founded in 1874 by Eusebio Ludvig Fronmen, a Fatebenefratelli monk. According to Vatican sources, it is the busiest pharmacy in the world, with 2,000 customers per day.The current director of the pharmacy is Joseph Kattackal, also a...

, and post office. The postal system
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

 was founded on 11 February 1929, and two days later became operational. On 1 August, the state started to release its own postal stamps, under the authority of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State
Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State is responsible for issuing Vatican postal stamps and Vatican coins.While Vatican stamps may only be used within the city of Rome, and the quantity of euro coins is limited by treaty with Italy , Vatican coins and stamps serve as an...

. The City's postal service
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

 is sometimes recognised as "the best in the world" and mail has been noted to get to its target before the postal service in Rome.

The Vatican also controls its own Internet TLD
Top-level domain
A top-level domain is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. The top-level domain names are installed in the root zone of the name space. For all domains in lower levels, it is the last part of the domain name, that is, the last label of a...

, which is registered as (.va
.va
.va is the Internet country code top-level domain for the State of the Vatican City. It is administered by the Internet Office of the Holy See.There are 23 easily found names starting with "www" in the va zone, listed below...

). Broadband service is widely provided within Vatican City. Vatican City has also been given a radio ITU prefix
ITU prefix
The International Telecommunication Union allocates call sign prefixes for radio and television stations of all types. They also form the basis for, but do not exactly match, aircraft registration identifiers. These prefixes are agreed upon internationally, and are a form of country code...

, HV, and this is sometimes used by amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 operators.

Vatican Radio
Vatican Radio
Vatican Radio is the official broadcasting service of the Vatican.Set up in 1931 by Guglielmo Marconi, today its programs are offered in 47 languages, and are sent out on short wave , medium wave, FM, satellite and the Internet. The Jesuit Order has been charged with the management of Vatican...

, which was organised by Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

, broadcasts on short-wave
Shortwave
Shortwave radio refers to the upper MF and all of the HF portion of the radio spectrum, between 1,800–30,000 kHz. Shortwave radio received its name because the wavelengths in this band are shorter than 200 m which marked the original upper limit of the medium frequency band first used...

, medium-wave and FM frequencies and on the Internet. Its main transmission antennae are located in Italian territory. Television services are provided through another entity, the Vatican Television Center
Vatican Television Center
The Vatican Television Center is the national broadcaster of the state of Vatican City. Vatican Central Television was first aired in 1983.-History of the channel :...

.

L'Osservatore Romano
L'Osservatore Romano
L'Osservatore Romano is the "semi-official" newspaper of the Holy See. It covers all the Pope's public activities, publishes editorials by important churchmen, and runs official documents after being released...

is the multilingual semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. It is published by a private corporation under the direction of Roman Catholic laymen but reports on official information. However, the official texts of documents are in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Acta Apostolicae Sedis , often cited as AAS, is the official gazette of the Holy See, appearing about twelve times a year. It was established by Pope Pius X with the decree Promulgandi Pontificias Constitutiones , and publication began in January 1909...

, the official gazette
Gazette
A gazette is a public journal, a newspaper of record, or simply a newspaper.In English- and French-speaking countries, newspaper publishers have applied the name Gazette since the 17th century; today, numerous weekly and daily newspapers bear the name The Gazette.Gazette is a loanword from the...

 of the Holy See, which has an appendix for documents of the Vatican City State.

Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and L'Osservatore Romano are organs not of the Vatican State but of the Holy See, and are listed as such in the Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
The Annuario Pontificio is the annual directory of the Holy See. It lists all the popes to date and all officials of the Holy See's departments...

, which places them in the section "Institutions linked with the Holy See", ahead of the sections on the Holy See's diplomatic service abroad and the Diplomatic Corps
Diplomatic corps
The diplomatic corps or corps diplomatique is the collective body of foreign diplomats accredited to a particular country or body.The diplomatic corps may, in certain contexts, refer to the collection of accredited heads of mission who represent their countries in another state or country...

 accredited to the Holy See, after which is placed the section on the State of Vatican City.

Crime


In accordance with Article 22 of the 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, the Italian government
Politics of Italy
The politics of Italy is conducted through a parliamentary, democratic republic with a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised collectively by the Council of Ministers, which is led by the President of the Council of Ministers, referred to as "Presidente del Consiglio" in Italian...

, when requested by the Holy See, handles the prosecution and detention of criminal suspects, at the expense of the Vatican. Capital punishment was envisaged in the legislation adopted in 1929 on the basis of Italian law, but the Vatican state never exercised it and abolished it in 1969.

See also


  • List of diplomatic missions of the Holy See
  • List of Popes
  • Music of Vatican City
  • Passetto di Borgo
    Passetto di Borgo
    The Passetto di Borgo, or simply Passetto, is an elevated passage that links the Vatican City with the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is an approximately 800 m long corridor, located in the rione of Borgo. It was erected in 1277 by Pope Nicholas III, but parts of the wall were built by Totila during the...

  • The Vatican Today News Portal

External links