Stato Della Città Del Vaticano (Vatican City) is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under ‘full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction’ of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares it is the smallest sovereign state in the world.
The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins.
The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church. The independent Vatican City-state came into existence 0n 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy. Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures.
Below are some photos made during a visit to the Vatican City. St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, Swiss Guards and many more. Click on a miniature-photo to enlarge it, then navigate using the arrows left/right of the photo or use the cursor keys on your keyboard.