With a population of approximately 800,Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world in both size and population, with the Pope as its head of state. Even though it is situated within Rome,Vatican is an independent country.
It is the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church - and has earned two gold, one silver, and one bronze Hillman Wonders medals.
Spread over a hill west of the Tiber River, this tourist attraction is popular for its architectural marvels. The city-state is home to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican museum offering a significant guide to the cultural history of Rome and Italy. This place holds great attraction among the Christian community.
Saint Peter's Basilica
Saint Peter's Basilica, the world's largest church, is the center of Christianity. The opulence of the building's interior bears testimony to the wealth of the Catholic Church in the 16th century.
Saint Peter's Square
T his is the large public square outside Saint Peter's Basilica, which is considered the greatest church on Earth. The square is actually round, with the perimeter marked by two huge colonnades.
The Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums begin just beyond a massive bronze door that, like magic, takes you out of Italy and into the smallest country in the world: the Vatican. More than 70,000 pieces are on exhibition in over 42,000 square meters, with another 50,000 pieces preserved in the vaults and storerooms.
The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina) in Vatican City has become one of the most famous art galleries in the western world.
Michelangelo's famous Sistine ceiling depicts scenes from Genesis in dramatic and moving detail, while The Last Judgment on the end wall is striking and powerful.