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Vatican City-State


Vatican City-State

Vatican is located within the city of Rome on the right bank of the Tiber River between Mount Mario on the north and Yanikul Hill on the south. In ancient times on its territory which was called Ager Vatikanus there were the circus and gardens of Nero. In 1929 based on the Lateran Treaty between the Catholic Church and the State of Italy the city in which the most precious treasures of architecture and art were concentrated became an independent state of Vatican. In honor of this event a street was built with a corresponding name “Via Della Conciliazione” (Reconciliation Street).

Vatican is the smallest independent and sovereign country in the world. The city’s population is several hundred people and it occupies territory bordered by Porta Angelica Street, Risorgimento Square, Leone VI Street, small Vaticano Street, Della Sagrestia Street and St. Peter’s Square.

At the time of the state’s formation around 400 people lived on the territory of Vatican. This included 200 diplomats, 90 Swiss Guards and 46 cardinals of the Curia. Vatican’s citizens work only in the interest of the church – either within the territory of the state or outside as diplomats. To have a Vatican passport is a great privilege although it merely means being near his Holiness. Around 2,5 thousand people work in Vatican but do not have permanent residency there..

The Head of the state of Vatican is the Pope which is elected to this office for term of life by a board of cardinals and has absolute power over the city and the Roman Catholic Church. Through his bishops of the Roman Curia the Pope influences political and social life in the entire world.

Vatican City is completely independent from the state of Italy, although maintains intimate and friendly ties with it. In Vatican there are all the attributes of an independent state: its own anthem, flag, bank, currency, prison, mass media, television, post mark, its own railway network connected to the Italian net of railways; there’s no industry and very few cars. Besides, Vatican has its own security service, the so-called carabineers, and since XVI century its own gendarmerie – the famous Swiss Guards who are personal guards of the Pope; they up to this day wear old uniform that may have been made according to Michelangelo’s drawings.

Surrounded by a medieval wall on all sides, the territory of Vatican has the shape of an irregular trapezium. An ordinary tourist can enter here only through three entries (out of six): through the museum of Vatican, through St. Peter’s Square and Campane’s Arch.

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