The history of the Vatican


The state The world's smallest sovereign (barely 0.44 square kilometers), the Vatican sits atop the lower reaches of Vatican Hill not too far west of the Tiber River. Focusing its attention on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and Piazza San Pietro, for travelers it is known as the capital of Catholicism. Created under the terms of the 1929 Lateran Treaty, the Vatican City State is the only modern remnant of the Papal states.

For over a thousand years, the Papal States in RomeThey covered much of central Italy, but when Italy was unified in 1861 and Rome fell in 1870, Pope Pius IX was forced to relinquish the last of his territorial possessions. The relationships between Italy and the landless papacy remained tense until Mussolini and Pope Pius XI agreed to form the Vatican State in 1929.


Under the terms of Lateran Treaty, the Holy See was granted extraterritorial authority. As an independent state, the Vatican has its own postal service, coins, newspapers, radio stations and its own army. The strikingly dressed Swiss guards were "created" in 1506 by Julius II to defend the Papal States against the invading armies and are still today directly responsible for the personal security of the father.


Essential during your visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, which were commissioned by Pope Eugene III in the 12th century. Later Popes have been fortifying and decorating the area according to their artistic and political whims. The Basilica of Saint Peter It is almost totally rebuilt but many of the best artists of all time have passed through it: Bramante, Rafael, Antonio da Sangallo, Miguel Ángel, Giacomo della Porta, etc.

Vatican City Explained (May 2022)


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