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Vatican City State

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VATICAN CITY STATE COAT OF ARMS
Coat of arms of the Vatican City.svg
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Location of Vatican City State within the Continent of Europe
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Map of Vatican City State
Flag of the Vatican City.svg
Flag description of Vatican City State: The Vatican City (Holy See) flag was adopted on June 7, 1929.

The colors of gold and silvery-white are the colors of the keys of St. Peter's (the keys to heaven). The emblem centered on the white panel features those keys supporting the papal crown. The keys are tied together by a reddish rope. The flag, like that of Switzerland, is perfectly square.

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Official name(s) State of the Vatican City; Stato della Città del Vaticano (Italian)
Form of government Papacy
Population (2013 est.) 800COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 0.17
Total area (sq km) 0.44

Background of Vatican City State

Popes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid 19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly united Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, the pope's holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed. Disputes between a series of "prisoner" popes and Italy were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain of the earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion. Present concerns of the Holy See include religious freedom, threats against minority Christian communities in Africa and the Middle East, sexual misconduct by clergy, international development, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About 1.2 billion people worldwide profess Catholicism - the world's largest Christian faith.

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 and Renaissance 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 palace is the residence of the pope within the city walls. The Holy See is the name given to the government of the Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the pope as the bishop of Rome. As such, the Holy See’s authority extends over Catholics throughout the world. Since 1929 it has resided in Vatican City, which was established as an independent state to enable the pope to exercise his universal authority.

Vatican City has its own telephone system, post office, gardens, astronomical observatory, radio station, banking system, and pharmacy, as well as a contingent of Swiss Guards responsible for the personal safety of the pope since 1506. Almost all supplies—including food, water, electricity, and gas—must be imported. There is no income tax and no restriction on the import or export of funds. As the Holy See, it derives its income from the voluntary contributions of more than one billion Roman Catholics worldwide, as well as interest on investments and the sale of stamps, coins, and publications. Banking operations and expenditures have been reported publicly since the early 1980s.

During the period from the 4th century to 1870, the Vatican gained control of territory around Rome and served as capital of the Papal States. In 1929 Vatican City’s independent sovereignty was recognized by the Fascist Italian government in the Lateran Treaty. Sovereignty is exercised by the pope upon his election as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He has absolute executive, legislative, and judicial powers within the city. In 1984 a major reshuffle of offices in the Roman Curia resulted in the delegation of the routine administration of Vatican City to a pontifically appointed commission of five cardinals headed by the Secretariat of State. The inhabitants of Vatican City, the majority of whom are priests and nuns, also include several hundred laypersons engaged in secretarial, domestic, trade, and service occupations.

Special extraterritorial privileges are extended to more than 10 other buildings in Rome and to Castel Gandolfo, the pope’s summer residence in the Alban Hills. In addition, Vatican City maintains embassies in numerous foreign nations.

Vatican cultural life has much declined since the Renaissance, when the popes were among Italy’s foremost patrons of the arts. The Vatican Museums and Galleries, the frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, the frescoes by Pinturicchio in the Borgia Apartment, and Raphael’s Stanze (“Rooms”) nevertheless attract critics, artists, and flocks of tourists from throughout the world. Years of restoration work on the Sistine Chapel frescoes were completed in 1994, making it possible to view Michelangelo’s work in full vibrant colours. In 2000 the millennial Jubilee focused world attention on Vatican City.

The Vatican Apostolic Library contains a priceless collection of some 150,000 manuscripts and 1.6 million printed books, many from pre-Christian and early Christian times. The Vatican publishes its own influential daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, and its press can print books and pamphlets in any of 30 languages, from old Ecclesiastical Georgian to Indian Tamil. Since 1983 the Vatican has produced its own television programming. Its radio broadcasts are heard in some 40 languages in many parts of the world. Vatican City was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.


The Vatican Palace

Vatican palace, papal residence in the Vatican north of St. Peter’s Basilica. From the 4th century until the Avignonese period (1309–77) the customary residence of the popes was at the Lateran. Pope Symmachus built two episcopal residences in the Vatican, one on either side of the basilica, to be used for brief stays. Charlemagne built the Palatium Caroli on the north of St. Peter’s to house his subjects during their visits to Rome. Other buildings added by Leo III and Eugenius III were modernized by Innocent III, who gave them added protection when he built a second fortified wall within that of Leo IV. Nicholas III began the first of the many buildings known today as papal palaces.

In the Renaissance Nicholas V rebuilt the north and west walls of the palace of Nicholas III and founded the Vatican Library (see Vatican Apostolic Library), making use of such architects as Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino. He also commissioned Fra Angelico to paint the stories of St. Stephen and St. Lawrence in the Chapel of Nicholas V.

Under commission from Sixtus IV, Giovanni dei Dolci built the Sistine Chapel. He also remodelled and decorated the Vatican Library. The rooms remodelled by Alexander VI are called the Borgia Apartments. Under Julius II, Bramante completed the north facade, two of the so-called logge (to which Raphael added a third). Raphael was commissioned to decorate the rooms of the Segnatura and of Heliodorus as well as the loggia overlooking the Courtyard of the Maresciallo.

Among the things built for Paul III were the Sala Regia and the Pauline Chapel, both designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The painters Giorgio Vasari, Taddeo Zucaro, and Daniele da Volterra decorated the Sala Regia; Michelangelo painted the martyrdom of St. Peter and the conversion of St. Paul in the Pauline Chapel (1542–50). The Casino of Pius IV was the work of Pirro Ligorio and Giovanni Salustio Peruzzi; today this building is the seat of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The three chapels of St. Stephen, of St. Peter, and of St. Michael, with paintings by Vasari and with stuccoes by Guglielmo della Porta, and the chapel of the Swiss Guards, painted by Giulio Mazzoni and Daniele da Volterra, date from the time of Pius V. Gregory XIII (1572–85) was responsible for the wing closing the north side of the present Courtyard of S. Damaso, containing rooms decorated by Antonio Tempestà and Mathys Bril and for the famous Gallery of Maps, designed by Ottaviano Mascherino, with maps of the regions of Italy from designs by Ignazio Danti. The present apartments along the eastern side of the Courtyard of S. Damaso were built in the time of Sixtus V by Domenico Fontana, who also made a new wing for the Vatican Library including the Sala Sistina, thereby cutting the Belvedere Courtyard in half.

In the Baroque period Urban VIII built the Hall of the Countess Matilda, today called the Matilda Chapel, which was decorated by Pietro da Cortona. Under Alexander VII, Bernini built the Scala Regia. In the late 18th and 19th centuries many of the additions and alterations had to do with the development of the Vatican Museum.


Vatican Apostolic Library

Vatican Apostolic Library, Italian Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV), official library of the Vatican, located inside the Vatican palace. It is especially notable as one of the world’s richest manuscript depositories. The library is the direct heir of the first library of the Roman pontiffs. Very little is known of this library up to the 13th century, but it appears to have remained only a modest collection of works until Pope Nicholas V (1447–55) greatly enlarged it with his purchase of the remnants of the imperial library of Constantinople (now Istanbul), which had recently been conquered by the Ottoman Turks. Popes Sixtus IV (1471–84) and Julius II (1503–13) further enlarged the library, and under Sixtus V (1585–90) the architect Domenico Fontana erected the library’s present building. In the early 21st century the library possessed more than 80,000 archival manuscripts (mostly in Latin or Greek), more than 1.6 million printed volumes, and some 8,600 incunabula, in addition to coins, medals, prints, drawings, engravings, and photographs. In 2010 the BAV, in association with a number of partners, began a long-term project to digitize and make available online its entire collection of historic manuscripts and incunabula. The project was expected to require nine years to accomplish. The process would not only open a vast resource to a much wider public, but it would enable fragile documents and bindings to be protected from further potential damage caused by handling.


Vatican City State in 2011

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2011 est.): about 800, of whom about 450 have Vatican citizenship (including about 225 living abroad mostly as diplomatic personnel) Head of state...>>>read more<<<

Vatican City State in 2010

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2010 est.): about 800, of whom about 450 have Vatican citizenship (including about 225 living abroad mostly as diplomatic personnel) Head of state...>>>read more<<<

Vatican City State in 2009

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2009 est.): about 800 Chief of state: (sovereign pontiff) Pope Benedict XVI Head of administration: Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone...>>>read more<<<

Vatican City State in 2008

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2007 est.): 930; about 3,000 workers live outside the Vatican Chief of state: (sovereign pontiff) Pope Benedict XVI Head of administration.Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2008 est.): 930; about 3,000 workers live outside the Vatican Chief of state: (sovereign pontiff) Pope Benedict XVI Head of administration...>>>read more<<<

Vatican City State in 2007

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2007 est.): 930; about 3,000 workers live outside the Vatican Chief of state: (sovereign pontiff) Pope Benedict XVI Head of administration...>>>read more<<<

Vatican City State in 2005

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2005 est.): 920; about 3,000 workers live outside the Vatican Chief of state: (sovereign pontiff) Pope John Paul II, (chamberlain) Eduardo...>>>read more<<<

Vatican City State in 2004

Vatican City State Area: 44 ha (109 ac) Population (2004 est.): 800; about 3,000 workers live outside the Vatican Chief of state: (sovereign pontiff) Pope John Paul II Head of administration...>>>read more<<<

History of Vatican City State

The history of the Vatican as a papal residence dates from the 5th cent., when, after Emperor Constantine I had built the basilica of St. Peter's, Pope Symmachus built a palace nearby. The pope usually resided in the Lateran Palace until the "Babylonian captivity" (14th cent.) in Avignon, France. After the return of the papacy to Rome (1377) the Vatican became the usual residence. The Renaissance popes, principally Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII, Alexander VI, Julius II, Leo X, and Clement VII, were great patrons of the arts, and it was they who began to assemble the great collections and to construct the wonderful galleries. Gregory XIII and Sixtus V spent huge sums on the Vatican and also began the Quirinal, a palace that served as the papal residence from the 17th to the 19th cent., was the Italian royal palace from 1870 to 1946, and is now the home of the president of Italy.

Disclaimer

This is not the official site of this country. Most of the information in this site were taken from the U.S. Department of State, The Central Intelligence Agency, The United Nations, [1],[2], [3], [4], [5],[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14],[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24],[25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30],[31], [32], [33], [34], and the [35].

Other sources of information will be mentioned as they are posted.