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St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy. Author Marco Ramerini

Vatican City: the center of the Catholic Church

The State of the Vatican City (Status Civitatis Vaticanae, Stato della Città del Vaticano) is all, which remains of the the Papal States, which extended over parts of central and northern Italy, including large parts of Latium, Umbria, the Marches and Emilia-Romagna.

This tiny state is the smallest independent state of the world and is located within the city of Rome. It is all, which remains of the temporal power of the Catholic Church. The state of the Vatican City was established in 1929 as a result of the Lateran Treaty, which was signed by Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI.

This small territory is composed of the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Gardens and enclosed by the Leonine Walls. The Vatican also administers some churches and palaces situated in the city of Rome (a total of eleven buildings including the basilicas of St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul outside the Walls) and the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. The Vatican is the center of power of the Catholic Church.

Map of Vatican City

Map of Vatican City

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 0,44 sq km
  • Population: 800.
  • State Capital: Vatican City
  • Language: The official languages are Latin and Italian.
  • Religion: Catholicism (100%).
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Time: UTC+1 (Summer Daylight saving time UTC+2).

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