By agreement between the Roman Catholic Church and Italy in 1929, an independent small state Vatican was created. The peculiarity of the Vatican is that it is a small city. It is the smallest state in the world that you can walk around in an hour. The Vatican is located on the right bank of the Tiber in the west of Rome.
It is worth mentioning that the highest governing bodies of Catholicism are concentrated in the Vatican and it also houses the residence of the Pope . The area of the state is 44,000 square meters. The population is about a thousand people and consists of residents of different nationalities. The Vatican is named after the hill on which it is located. The outer borders of the city are fenced in by walls that were erected in the Middle Ages.
Obtaining Vatican citizenship is quite problematic. It is received by the highest dignitaries of the church, close to the Pope. All citizens of the city have dual citizenship. The first citizenship is of the country where they come from. Residents of the Vatican, who do not have citizenship, are disadvantaged in their rights. Even access to shops and malls is limited.
In the Vatican, any tourist has something to be surprised at and what to stop his eyes on. Numerous squares, palaces and museums will not leave anyone indifferent.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Thousands of pilgrims and tourists arrive at the Vatican every year. Many of them dream of receiving the blessing of the Pope and enjoying the historical architecture. Peter’s Square is located in the middle of the Vatican. In the center of the square, an Egyptian obelisk about twenty-five meters long was erected. The length of the square itself is 340 m., With a width of 240 m. St. Peter’s Basilica, which was built during the Renaissance, is the main attraction of these places. The work of Michelangelo adorns St. Peter’s Basilica, while the façade of the cathedral was designed and implemented by Carlo Maderno himself. Most tourists know that it is better to climb the golden tower of St. Peter early at dawn, as the sunrise over the city is something amazing.
The Vatican palaces, which are being rebuilt into each other, are the largest museum complexes in the world. Priceless exhibits are kept in their exhibition galleries, richly decorated halls and courtyards. Every pontiff of Rome for many centuries collected pieces of this wealth, which today we can see in the Vatican. The Sistine Hall is home to a fourth century handwritten Bible.
The chapel is open to tourists day and night, but it is strictly under the castle at the time when the election of a new Pontiff of Rome is taking place in the Vatican. The election of a new Pope is considered a feature and tradition. When at the meeting of the cardinals all votes are unanimous and not discussed, then smoke from the burned ballots comes from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel . If a decision is made at the vote and a new Pontiff is elected, then the smoke is contrasting white, and if not, then dark.
No gardens in the world are protected like the gardens of the Vatican City. They are by far the most picturesque and greenest in Europe. Only a select few can rest in these gardens, everything in them is conducive to the pacification of the soul and body. About a quarter of a hundred gardeners take care of the ever-breathing gardens every day. There are many fountains in them, but the most impressive is the Galleon Fountain (or galley), dated to the seventeenth century. The Vatican Galleon is a small twin of the galleon, which is located in Italy and shoots water streams from sixteen cannons. Pope Urban Seventh awarded the fountain with wise words. Translated from Latin, this phrase sounded like this: “The weapon for military operations, which belongs to the popes, shoots not with bullets or fire, but with water, which is capable of extinguishing an ignited war.”
Vatican History Museum
The museum was founded in the second half of the twentieth century by Pope Paul the Sixth. The museum contains collectibles that are associated with the history of the Vatican:
- Saddles for horses;
- Cars (papamobiles);
- Flags and soldiers’ uniforms;
- Documents of past ceremonies and photographs;
- Palanquins (hand carriages).
One of the main exhibits is the Vatican locomotive dating from 1929 and the Leo Seventh carriage for parades. This carriage was operated for a hundred years before the arrival of Pope Pius the Sixth.
Vatican Apostolic Library
Most of the Renaissance and Middle Ages manuscripts are kept within the walls of this library. It was founded in the fifteenth century by Pope Nicholas the fifth. To this day, the library is replenished with literary publications. At the moment it has about one and a half million printed books, one and a half hundred thousand manuscripts, more than a hundred thousand prints, three hundred thousand coins and medals.
The library building is divided into many rooms:
- Hall of Aldobrandini . It contains antique frescoes and copper engravings from the early 19th century. In the same room there is an engraving depicting scenes from the Odyssey;
- The Hall of Papyri . There are gold cups and images of Jewish and Christian scenes. Equal papyri of the 6-9th century are also kept;
- Alexander Hall. The hall is based on frescoes depicting the story of Pope Pius the Sixth, when he was captured by Napoleon.
- The Sistine Halls . They are the Sistine Museums. Museum of Sacred Art. The hall displays such artifacts as clay vases, bronze lamps, the icon of St. Theodore, metal and glass products. All of these exhibits date back to the early Christian era;
- Hall of Praise . Within the walls of this hall, things of the era of early Christianity and ancient Rome are exhibited: goblets and tablets made of ivory, enamel, a statue of Christ and the five apostles made of gilded copper.
The Vatican is rich in history, architectural art and spirituality. Many tourists know that every Sunday the Pope appears in one of the windows of St. Peter’s Basilica and blesses Peace. A Vatican visitor who has received a pass to the Pope’s speech at St. Peter’s Basilica, which is held every Wednesday, will never forget this solemn occasion.