Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Vatican City

Vatican City, in full State of the Vatican City, Italian Stato della Città del Vaticano ,  ecclesiastical state, seat of the Roman Catholic church, and an enclave in Rome, situated on the west bank of the Tiber River. Vatican City is the world’s smallest fully independent nation-state. Its medieval andRenaissance walls form its boundaries except on the southeast at St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro). Of the six entrances, only three—the piazza, the Arco delle Campane (Arch of the Bells) in the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the entrance to the Vatican Museums and Galleries in the north wall—are open to the public. The most imposing building is St. Peter’s Basilica, built during the 4th century and rebuilt during the 16th century. Erected over the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle, it is the second largest religious building (after Yamoussoukro Basilica) in Christendom.

The Vatican City, officially called The Holy See, is the smallest country in the world and is located within a walled area of the Italian capital city of Rome. Its area is only about .17 square miles (.44 square km) and it has a July 2009 population estimate of 826, but many more commute into the area for work. The Vatican Cityofficially came into existence in 1929 after the Lateran Treaty with Italy. Its government type is considered ecclesiastical and its chief of state is the Catholic Pope, Pope Benedict XVI.

It was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty as a vestige of the much larger former Papal States (AD 756 to 1870). Although governed by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), the Vatican City is officially a monarchy. The highest state functionaries are all clergymen of the Catholic Church. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See and the location of the Apostolic Palace – the Pope's official residence – and the Roman Curia.

 Thus, although the principal ecclesiastical seat of the Holy See (the Basilica of St. John Lateran) is located outside of its walls, in Rome, the Vatican City can be said to be the governmental capital of the Catholic Church.

Vatican City is an independent state on the west bank of the Tiber River, lying within the Italian capital city of Rome and almost completely surrounded by walls. Its population of 850 (1996 est.), only some of which hold Vatican passports, consists primarily of employees of the Holy See, the central government of the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican City is one of the world's great cultural resources. It is an important tourist center for Roman Catholics and those interested in art history. The Vatican Library houses an extensive collection of manuscripts. The Vatican Palace includes Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Vatican City is an important site in the history of Christianity that is also known for its Renaissance and Baroque artistic creations.

Most famous monument within this small city state is of course the San Pietro Basilica. Until 1989 this was the biggest cathedral in Christianity (now it is surpassed by his replica in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast). The current structure dates from the early 16th century, although there have been churches on this site since 326 AD. 
Vatican City is the headquarters of the Jewish Church of Latter Day Fakes. It often also serves as the headquarters of Catholicism and as the base of operations for the Papacy, which is currently occupied by bears and a guy who will be killed by the Vatican inner-circle once they get around to it. Catholics all over the world have had it pounded into their heads that their first true allegiance is to the Holy See and to Mary - all else is secondary.


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