EVERYONE has heard of Vatican City – the home of the Pope.
But is it really a country? And if so why is it called the city?
Is Vatican City a country?
That’s right, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, with the entire country surrounded by the Italian capital, Rome.
It is an absolute monarchy headed by the Pope, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.
Its government and territorial boundaries are internationally recognized, and although it is not a member of the United Nations, it has permanent non-member observer status.
The Vatican maintains diplomatic relations with 174 other countries, but external defense is the responsibility of Italy.
Electricity, telephone and other utilities are also provided by Italy.
It makes money selling souvenirs, museum entrance fee, stamp the sale and contribute to the fund.
The Vatican mints its own euros, issues passports and license plates, but has no tax system of its own.
It has its own media agencies and web domains.
How big is Vatican City?
Vatican City is the smallest country in the World – it takes about 40 minutes to walk all its walls.
But it holds a lot of terrible stuff for its tiny size – including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and the largest art collection in the world.
It covers only 100 acres within a two-mile border, making it just one-eighth the size of Central Park in New York.
Its border is only two miles long and does not have any border passport control.
The country consists of only one city so there is no capital, but it has its own flag and anthem.
It’s too small, with no buses, trams or trains, and no airports or highways.
The Vatican has a state-of-the-art telescope for astronomical research on Mount Graham in Tucson, Arizona.
Where is Vatican City located?
Vatican City is a country located within a city, as it is completely surrounded by Rome, in the western part of Italy.
This is the last of what was once a wonderful collection of sites known as the Papal States.
After a protracted war, the newly unified Kingdom of Italy placed the Papal States under their administration, in the mid-19th century.
But some religious people took refuge in the Vatican and refused to acknowledge the Kingdom.
In February 1929, Benito Mussolini, former Prime Minister of Italy, and the Church, signed the Lateran Treaty, which confirmed that Italy recognized the Vatican as an independent state.
The tiny country has been awarded the equivalent of one billion pounds in property compensation.
What is the population of Vatican City?
Vatican City is not only the smallest country in terms of area but also in terms of population.
It has about 800 inhabitants, all chosen by the Pope, because you cannot be born a resident of the Vatican.
Roman Emperor Coligula took the monument in St Peter’s Square from Egypt for his mother’s gardener – it’s a piece of red granite weighing over 350 tons.
Who lives in Vatican City?
The only people allowed to live in Vatican City are Roman Catholics.
The pope, Swiss Guard, the cardinals and other clerics are residents of Vatican City – but more than half live abroad as ambassadors.
Nearly one in six citizens are members of the Swiss Guard, who are there to protect the Pope.
They are a fully trained force of unmarried Swiss nationals, between the ages of 19 and 30.
Three-quarters of the Guard was once killed protecting a Pope who had fled to a safe secret passageway in 1529.
The official home of the Pope is the Apostolic Palace, also known as the Vatican Palace, Papal Palace, or Vatican Palace.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8163450/vatican-city-smallest-country/ Is Vatican City a country?