The Vatican City

Driving Directions Vatican City

VATICAN CITY lies in the heart of Rome in Italy on a low hill on the west bank of the River Tiber; it is the world’s smallest independent state and headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

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The Vatican City was formally created in 1929 and is the last of the Papal States – territories that once came under the direct control of the Pope. It is a walled city with six gates and consists of the Vatican Palace, the Papal Gardens, St Peter’s Square, and St Peter’s Basilica as well as museums, a library, and about a thousand rooms and offices.

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The state has its own police, news­paper, telephone and telegraph services, coinage, stamps, radio station and railway station. The radio station, “Radio Vaticana,” broadcasts a ser­vice in 34 languages from transmitters within the Vatican City.

It’s out­standing museums have collections of antiquities and works by Italian masters, and the Vatican Library’s collection of ancient manuscripts is priceless.

The Pope exercises sovereign­ty and has absolute legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

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