The Vatican City State, An Independent Country

The Vatican City is tiny, but tremendously powerful and, above all, very attractive for tourism.
The Vatican City State, an independent country

The Vatican City State, official name, is an independent sovereign country. But not only that, we are talking about the smallest country in the world, with just 0.44 km² in size.

However, if you are thinking of visiting it, do not think that in just a few hours you will visit it. Its dimensions may be very accessible, but it has so much treasured art inside that one could spend days in this tiny country and would always have something to admire.

The size of the Vatican City State

Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums

To get an idea of ​​the small size of the Vatican, just look at its official name, which already indicates that it is a city-state, like others around the world, such as Singapore. But in this case it is much smaller, since its size, as we anticipated, does not even reach half a square kilometer of surface.

It is one of the six microstates in Europe, but none of the others, such as Monaco or Lichtenstein, are so small. In fact, to get an idea of ​​its smallness, let’s think about the great symbol of the Vatican: the famous St. Peter’s Square, with the great basilica in the background. Well, the square occupies, more or less, a fifth of the surface.

The Holy thirst

However, it is known that, although it is a tiny territory, its power is enormous. Here is the Holy See of the Catholic Church and it is the residence of the Pope, the High Pontiff for millions and millions of people around the world. Therefore, it is tremendously influential and any of us have a more or less clear idea of ​​the independence of the Vatican City State.

Brief history of the Vatican City State

View of the Vatican City State
View of the Vatican

It is true that for centuries the Papal States, ruled by the pope and his court of cardinals, were a much larger territory. In fact, they were lands within Italy that many times were not won by faith, but by military conquests.

However, those Papal States were completely annexed in the 19th century by Italy, which at that time was a kingdom ruled by Victor Emmanuel II (the same one that gives name to the famous commercial galleries of Milan).

Completely surrounded by Rome

As we said at the beginning, despite its size, there is much to see in this small city totally embedded in the heart of the great city of Rome. Starting with the two places that we have already named above: St. Peter’s Square and the basilica.

St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter's Square in Vatican City State
St. Peter’s Square

Who has not seen this square on television? Surely, the Vatican square is one of the most famous on the entire planet. And yet when you are there in person, no one is not left in awe.

It is a grandiose and very theatrical space, where everything is conceived so that visitors, and especially the faithful, feel tiny in front of God’s work and at the same time feel that they are part of an immense community.

St Peter’s basilica

Baldachin of the basilica of San Pedro
Bernini’s Baldachin

In this theatrical effect, the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica appears with a leading role, and especially its great dome, which by ecclesiastical norms has to be the largest of all the Catholic churches in the world.

But the building not only impresses from the outside, those overwhelming sensations are multiplied when visiting its interior. It is absolutely packed with works of art made from the richest materials and all in colossal dimensions.

It is difficult to be left with just one work, so we will choose two: Bernini’s impressive canopy and the marble delicacy of Michelangelo’s Pieta .

The Vatican Museums

Frescoes in the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel

And in addition to these two places, the inexhaustible Vatican Museums still have to be visited, with paintings, sculptures, manuscripts or liturgical jewels created over centuries and centuries and which are the maximum expression of the Church’s patronage role. Many of the great masters of all time are represented here.

What to see there? It would be necessary to make a very long list with the works to discover, but we will only say two. On the one hand, the magnificent set of wall paintings in the Sistine Chapel stands out. And on the other, the rooms painted by another of the great masters of the Renaissance: the great Raphael. Just to see these treasures of the Vatican, it is already worth a trip to Rome.

The Vatican Rooms of Rafael Sanzio

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button