The Vatican enclave state is located in Italy, inside the territory of Rome. This is the smallest state in the world. Going to the Italian capital, tourists certainly look into the Vatican – the heart of world Catholicism. This is where the residence of the Pope is located. Why is this dwarf state so interesting? Next, we suggest reading more unique and interesting facts about the Vatican.
1. The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world.
2. The Vatican is named after the MonsVaticanus hill. Translated from the Latin Vacitinia means a place of divination.
3. The area of the state is 440 thousand square meters. By comparison, that’s 0.7 times the area of TheMall in Washington, DC.
4. The length of the state border of the Vatican is 3.2 kilometers.
5. The Vatican acquired the status of an independent state on February 11, 1929.
6. The political regime of the Vatican is an absolute theocratic monarchy.
7. All residents of the Vatican are ministers of the Catholic Church.
8. Citizenship of the Vatican has the right to receive only selected people – the ministers of the Holy See, as well as representatives of the Swiss Guard of the Pope. Approximately 50% of the country’s population has a passport with the diplomatic status of the Holy See, which confirms their citizenship. Citizenship is not inherited, is not given at birth and is canceled due to the end of employment.
9. The Pope is the Sovereign of the Holy See, he controls all types of power: legislative, executive and judicial.
10. Cardinals elect the Pope for life.
11. All residents of the Vatican have the citizenship of the country where they were born.
12. Diplomats accredited to the Vatican live in Rome, because they have nowhere to stay on the territory of the state.
13. A few objects, namely 78, have been marked on the map of the state.
14. Pope Benedict XVI actively uses a mobile phone, regularly sending messages to his subscribers with sermons. A special channel has been created on YouTube, where various ceremonies are broadcast. And on the iPhone, you can install an application with daily prayers for Catholics.
15. Solar panels are installed on the roof of one Vatican building, which provide power for electrical, lighting and heating devices.
16. The Vatican does not have its own official language. Documents are most often published in Italian and Latin, and people speak English, Italian, French, German, Spanish and other languages.
17. The population of the Vatican is slightly over 1000 people.
18. 95% of the state’s inhabitants are men.
19. There is no agriculture in the Vatican.
20. The Vatican is a non-profit state, the economy is supported mainly by taxes levied on Roman Catholic dioceses in different countries.
21. Tourism and donations from Catholics make up a huge share of the income of the Vatican.
22. The production of coins and postage stamps is developed.
23. In the Vatican, absolute literacy, i. 100% of the population are literate people.
24. People of many nationalities live in the state: Italians, Swiss, Spaniards and others.
25. The Vatican has no access to the sea.
26. The standard of living here is comparable to Italian, as well as the income of workers.
27. There are practically no highways here, and most of them are streets and alleys.
28. On the flag of the Vatican there are white and yellow vertical stripes, and in the center of the white one is the coat of arms of the state in the form of two crossed keys of St. Peter under the tiara (papal crown).
29. The residence of the head of state is the Lateran Palace, where the Lateran Agreement was signed.
30. Before the advent of Christianity, the place where the modern Vatican is located was considered sacred, access to ordinary people was forbidden here.
31. Such great artists as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Bernini lived and worked in the Vatican.
32. You will be surprised, but the Vatican has a very high crime rate. According to statistics, for each person there is at least 1 crime (!) per year. Such frightening statistics are explained by the fact that tourists and employees living in Italy violate the law. 90% of atrocities remain unsolved.
33. The Vatican has a planned economy. This means that the government is entrusted with managing the state budget in the amount of 310 million US dollars.
34. A small state has several types of armed forces: the Palatine (Palace) Guard, the Papal Gendarmerie, the Noble Guard. Separately, it is worth mentioning the famous Swiss Guard, subordinate exclusively to the Holy See.
35. There are no airports in the Vatican, but there is a heliport and a railway with a length of 852 meters.
36. There is no own television, as well as a mobile operator.
37. There is only one bank in the Vatican called the Institute for Religious Affairs.
38. Marriages and children are very rare in the Vatican. During the entire existence of the state, only 150 marriages were concluded.
39. The Vatican radio station broadcasts in 20 languages in different parts of the world.
40. All state buildings are sights.
41. The majestic St. Peter’s Cathedral is larger than all the world’s Christian churches. The author of the grandiose architectural ensemble is the Italian Giovanni Bernini.
42. The square of the cathedral is surrounded by two symmetrical semicircular colonnades, which consist of 4 rows of Doric columns with a total of 284.
43. A huge 136-meter dome rises above the cathedral building – the brainchild of Michelangelo.
44. To climb to the top of the cathedral, you have to overcome 537 steps. If you don’t feel like walking, you can take the elevator.
45. The Vatican produces printed materials, in particular the newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, which is published in various languages.
46. A small country has a low age of consent of 12 years. In other European countries it is higher.
47. For most countries, it has long been obvious that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and in the Vatican this fact was officially recognized only in 1992.
48. Many materials stored in the state were classified for a long time. In 1881, Pope Leo XIII allowed seminary students to visit the archives.
49. Today you can easily get acquainted with the papal correspondence even a thousand years ago, but you need to know what exactly you want to read. The length of the bookshelves is 83 kilometers, and no one will allow you to walk around the halls in search of the necessary literature.
50. The Swiss army has long been famous for its combat power and ability to handle weapons. Warriors from this country made a strong impression on Pope Julius II, and he “borrowed” several people for protection. Since that time, the Swiss Guard has been guarding the Holy See.
51. The territory of the state is surrounded by medieval walls.
52. The border of the Vatican with Italy is not officially marked, but formally it passes through St. Peter’s Square.
53. The Vatican owns some objects located in Italy. These are the Santa Maria di Gallery radio station, the Basilica of San Giovanni, the summer residence of the Pope in Castel Gandolfo and a number of educational institutions.
54. It will take about an hour to go around the perimeter of the Vatican.
55. State telephone code: 0-03906
56. Vatican ATMs are unique in that they have menus in Latin.
57. In this state you will not find a single traffic light.
58. Citizens of the Vatican are exempt from paying Italian taxes.
59. The magnificent Vatican gardens are closely guarded. Of the many fountains installed here, the Galleon Fountain stands out – a small copy of an Italian sailing ship that shoots water from cannons.
60. The Vatican has the oldest pharmacy in the world, founded in 1277. It sells rare medicines that are not always found in Italy.
61. In the Historical Museum you can get acquainted with various collections of weapons, for example, ancient Venetian sabers and unusual muskets.
62. For more than a hundred years, the Vatican has not known fires, but 20 firefighters are on duty around the clock. By the way, there are only 3 fire trucks.
63. The Vatican Apostolic Library is the repository of the richest collection of medieval manuscripts and manuscripts. Here is the oldest copy of the Bible, released in 325.
64. The halls of the palace and park complex of the Vatican are named after the Renaissance artist Raphael. Every year thousands of people come to admire the master’s creations.
65. There is only one supermarket in the Vatican called Annona. Not everyone can buy goods there, but only those who have a special DIRESCO pass.
66. The Vatican Post delivers approximately 8 million letters annually.
67. It is profitable to buy fuel in the Vatican, since it is 30% cheaper than Italian.
68. Vatican priests regularly exorcise evil spirits. According to chief exorcist Father Gabriel Amort, about 300 demons are exorcised each year.
69. Every priest has the right to forgive the sins of the converted person.
70. Homer and Bart Simpson are both Catholics according to the local newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. They pray before eating and believe in an afterlife, while Homer prefers to sleep in on Sunday sermons in a Presbyterian church.
71. The Vatican, as you know, is located in Italy, so you need a Schengen visa to visit it.
72. The Pope has a Twitter account.
73. Michelangelo at first categorically did not want to paint the Sistine Chapel, claiming that he was a sculptor, not an artist. Then he agreed.
74. You can take pictures almost everywhere in the Vatican, except for the Sistine Chapel.
75. Pius IX ruled the longest in the Vatican: 32 years.
76. Stephen II was Pope for only 4 days. He died due to an attack of apoplexy and did not even live to see the coronation.
77. Papa-mobiles, designed to move the Pope, look very extravagant.
78. St. Peter’s Square is the largest Roman square, its dimensions are 340 by 240 meters.
79. The famous Sistine Chapel was built at the end of the 15th century by order of Pope Sixtus IV, the construction was led by the architect G. de Dolci.
80. The Sistine Chapel is closed only during the election of the Pope. The voting results can be seen by the column of smoke from the burning of ballots. If a new head of the Vatican is chosen, the chapel is enveloped in white smoke, otherwise black.
81. The currency of the Vatican is the euro. The state mints coins with its own symbols.
82. The Pio Cristiano Museum houses ancient works of Christian art, most of which were created within 150 years after the crucifixion of Jesus.
83. Ethnological Missionary Museum, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, contains exhibits from all over the world, sent by dioceses and individuals.
84. In the Vatican museums, you can see 800 paintings of a religious nature, which were painted by world-famous artists: Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Dali, Picasso and others.
85. If you want to rent a car, you can’t do without $100, a credit card and an international driver’s license.
86. When calling a taxi by phone, it is advisable to agree on the fare in advance.
87. In the shops of the Vatican you can buy a variety of souvenirs – magnets, calendars, postcards, key chains and more.
88. The Castle of Sant’Angelo was a hiding place for the Popes, there was a torture chamber, and now the National Military Museum and the Museum of Art are located in the fortress.
89. Under St. Peter’s Basilica are the Sacred Grottoes of the Vatican – catacombs, narrow tunnels, niches and chapels.
90. Every Sunday afternoon, the Pope blesses the people who come to St. Peter’s Square.
91. The Vatican football team is officially recognized but not part of FIFA. The players of the national team are the Swiss Guards, members of the Pontifical Council and curators of museums. The team has its own emblem and a white and yellow football uniform.
92. St. Peter’s Stadium in Rome is the only football field, if you can call it that. In fact, this is just a clearing on which it is difficult to play. In this regard, the Vatican national team plays matches at the Stadio Pius XII, located in Albano Laziale. This is the home arena of the ASD Albalonga club from the Italian Serie D. The stadium can accommodate 1500 spectators.
93. The Vatican Football League is played by the teams “Guards”, “Bank”, “Telemail”, “Library” and others. In addition to the championship, competitions are held within the framework of the “Cleric Cup” among seminarians and priests from Catholic educational institutions. The winners receive an interesting trophy – a metal soccer ball mounted on a pair of boots and decorated with a hat of Catholic clergy.
94. Football rules in the Vatican are somewhat different than in other countries. The match lasts an hour, i.e. each time is 30 minutes. For violation of the rules, the player receives a blue card, replacing the usual yellow and red ones. The violator serves a 5-minute penalty and returns to the field.
95. The Polish documentary “Discovering the Vatican” tells about the untold cultural wealth of a small state.
96. How the Vatican lived during the occupation of Rome by the Nazis is described in the film “Scarlet and Black”.
97. The film “Torments and Joys” is dedicated to the details of the conflict between the sculptor and painter Michelangelo and Pope Julius II.
98. Documentary-historical film “Secret Access: Vatican” reveals the secrets of the largest city-museum.
99. The documentary “Scrinium Domini Papae”, produced by the Vatican Television Center, tells about the center of world Catholicism.
100. Dan Brown’s book “Angels and Demons” deals with the connection of modern science with the search for the divine principle in the Vatican.