Tiny but powerful: things to know about Vatican

Even though the territory of Vatican is incredibly small, just 44 hectares, its international significance both for the political and cultural life of planet is...

Bramante staircase

Even though the territory of Vatican is incredibly small, just 44 hectares, its international significance both for the political and cultural life of planet is rather impressive.

The absolute monarchy ruled by the Pope was founded on February 11th in the 1929 and is located “inside” the territory of Rome, the Italian capital.

The biggest open air museum

Vatican city, view from above

There are only few streets and two squares in Vatican, but this country has definitely the biggest amount of places of interest per square meter in the whole world. In other words, nearly every building in Vatican City is a monument or a touristic attraction. The city is surrounded by the Vatican walls that are interrupted only on the side of the St. Peter’s square.

Vatican’s population, languages and army

There are two types of persons who owns a citizenship of Vatican: the clergy and the Swiss Guard of the Pope. The Vatican citizenship is not passed from father to son, what is more, it is cancelled as soon as a citizen retires.

Swiss Guard and the Pope
Swiss Guard and the Pope

The country, however, has its own passports, currency, newspapers, football teams, postal stamps, an official emblem, an anthem, one bank and even an internet server.

The world’s smallest country has two types of armed forces: the Pontifical Swiss Guard and the Gendarmerie Corps which is actually the Vatican police.

There is no official language of Vatican but the national radio broadcasts in different languages in more than 20 countries.

The infrastructure

There is little more than just 700 metres of a railway on the territory of Vatican. The air transportation system can be called quite developed for such a small country: the Vatican City Heliport is located right on one of the country boundaries. Another point of interest is the national library: it’s actually one of the biggest libraries in the world as it contains the biggest number of manuscripts.

Economy of Vatican City

St. Peter's basilica
St. Peter’s basilica

The Pope is elected by the cardinals for the life term and keeps all the branches of government.

The major sources of income for Vatican are the numerous donations of the Catholics from all over the world as well as tourism and the earnings from the souvenir selling. The country annual budget is estimated at about 310 million dollars, but the earned profit exceeds it by 100 per cent.