44 Facts About Vatican City


Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State, is an independent city-state and enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy.

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Vatican City contains religious and cultural sites such as St Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.

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The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by donations from the faithful, by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.

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Name Vatican City was first used in the Lateran Treaty, signed on 11 February 1929, which established the modern city-state named after Vatican Hill, the geographic location of the state within the city of Rome.

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Tacitus wrote that in AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, when the northern army that brought Vitellius to power arrived in Rome, "a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican City, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery; and the Tiber being close by, q the inability of the Gauls and Germans to bear the heat and the consequent greed with which they drank from the stream weakened their bodies, which were already an easy prey to disease".

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Vatican City Obelisk was originally taken by Caligula from Heliopolis in Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant.

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The treaty, which became effective on 7 June 1929, established the independent state of Vatican City and reaffirmed the special status of Catholic Christianity in Italy.

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Holy See, which ruled Vatican City, pursued a policy of neutrality during World War II, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII.

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The territory of Vatican City is part of the Vatican Hill, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields.

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The Vatican City Museums, incorporating the Sistine Chapel, usually charge an entrance fee.

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In July 2007, the Vatican City accepted a proposal by two firms based respectively in San Francisco and Budapest, whereby it would become the first carbon neutral state by offsetting its carbon dioxide emissions with the creation of a Vatican City Climate Forest in Hungary, as a purely symbolic gesture to encourage Catholics to do more to safeguard the planet.

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On 26 November 2008, the Vatican City itself put into effect a plan announced in May 2007 to cover the roof of the Paul VI Audience Hall with solar panels.

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Politics of Vatican City takes place in the context of an absolute elective monarchy, in which the head of the Catholic Church holds power.

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The pope exercises principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of Vatican City, which is a rare case of a non-hereditary monarchy.

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Vatican City State, created in 1929 by the Lateran Pacts, provides the Holy See with a temporal jurisdiction and independence within a small territory.

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Vatican City is one of the few widely recognized independent states that has not become a member of the United Nations.

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The Holy See, which is distinct from Vatican City State, has permanent observer status, with all the rights of a full member except for a vote in the UN General Assembly.

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Since 2001, the president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State has the title of president of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City.

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Legislative functions are delegated to the unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, led by the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

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However, there is no formal defence treaty with Italy, as Vatican City is a neutral state.

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Vatican City has no armed forces of its own, although the Swiss Guard is a military corps of the Holy See responsible for the personal security of the Pope, and residents in the state.

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The corps is responsible for security, public order, border control, traffic control, criminal investigation, and other general police duties in Vatican City including providing security for the Pope outside of Vatican City.

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Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that enjoy immunity under the treaty.

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Vatican City has no prison system, apart from a few detention cells for pre-trial detention.

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People convicted of committing crimes in the Vatican City serve terms in Italian prisons, with costs covered by the Vatican City.

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Vatican City State is a recognized national territory under international law, but it is the Holy See that conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf, in addition to the Holy See's own diplomacy, entering into international agreements in its regard.

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Size of Vatican City is thus unrelated to the large global reach exercised by the Holy See as an entity quite distinct from the state.

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Vatican City is not a member of the United Nations, but was granted observer status to the United Nations General Assembly in 1968; the only other Country in a similar position is the partially recognized State of Palestine.

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Since it is not a member of the UN, the Vatican City is not subjected to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice .

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Vatican City State is not a member of the International Criminal Court .

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Vatican City State is not a member of the European Court of Human Rights.

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The Vatican City State has been criticized for money laundering practises in the past decades.

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Vatican City State is one of few countries in the world that does not provide any publicly available financial data to the IMF.

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Institute for Works of Religion, known as the Vatican City Bank, is a financial agency situated in the Vatican City that conducts worldwide financial activities.

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Vatican City has no formally enacted official language, but, unlike the Holy See which most often uses Latin for the authoritative version of its official documents, Vatican City uses only Italian in its legislation and official communications.

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The official websites of the Holy See and of Vatican City are primarily in Italian, with versions of their pages in a large number of languages to varying extents.

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Unlike citizenship of other states, which is based either on jus sanguinis or on jus soli, citizenship of Vatican City is granted on jus officii, namely on the grounds of appointment to work in a certain capacity in the service of the Holy See.

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In statistics comparing countries in various per capita or per area metrics, Vatican City is often an outlier—these can stem from the state's small size and ecclesiastical function.

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Vatican City is home to some of the most famous art in the world.

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In 1984, the Vatican City was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites; it is the only one to consist of an entire state.

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Vatican City has a reasonably well-developed transport network considering its size .

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Vatican City is one of the few independent countries without an airport, and is served by the airports that serve the city of Rome, Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and to a lesser extent Ciampino Airport.

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Vatican City has been given a radio ITU prefix, HV, and this is sometimes used by amateur radio operators.

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In 2008, the Vatican City began an "ecological island" for renewable waste and has continued the initiative throughout the papacy of Francis.

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