5 facts about the Vatican City

5 facts about the Vatican city
TJ
By Tochi Juliet

Vatican City is the seat of the Catholic church. You might have heard about Vatican city as the seat for the pope; however, there are other facts about Vatican City you may not have known.

Clacified brings you 5 facts about Vatican city you might not have known.

1. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world.

Vatican City is considered the smallest country in the world. Being the smallest country globally, Vatican City has a 3.2-km (2-mile) border within the city of Rome but functions as an independent state. The entire country is about one-eighth the size of New York’s Central Park.

As of 2011, the population of the Vatican numbered just 594. This is by far the smallest nation in the world. It also attracts more tourists than anywhere else globally, with nearly 5 ½ million visitors each year. 

Vatican City is governed by the Pope, which is the head of the Catholic church. But the Pope’s power extends far beyond The Vatican. His summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, lies 20 km (12 miles) outside of Rome. This 17th-century villa holds special status and is considered part of Vatican City, with all the same laws.

The Vatican mints its own euros, prints its own stamps, issues passports and license plates, operates media outlets and has its own flag and anthem.

One government function the Vatican City lacks is taxation. Museum admission fees, stamp and souvenir sales, and contributions generate the Vatican’s revenue.

Vatican City is considered the smallest country in the world.

2. The Pope is the king of Vatican City.

Vatican City is ruled by the King of Vatican City, known to all of us as the Pope. This dual role results from the Pope’s dual role as head of state and religion.

It also means that the Vatican City ranks alongside Saudi Arabia and Brunei as one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies. This is also why it cannot join the European Union; they only allow democracies.

Vatican City practices absolute monarchy. This means the Pope is the leader of hundreds of millions of Catholics worldwide and the country's ruler. The Pope’s home is fittingly called the Apostolic Palace.

The Palace houses the Papal apartments, the Pope’s offices, the magnificent Vatican museums, and over 1,400 rooms. Michaelangelo’s awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel also lies within the Apostolic Palace.

The Palace houses the Papal apartments, the Pope’s offices, the magnificent Vatican museums

3. The Vatican City has the biggest library in the world

Ever wondered what the Pope reads in his spare time? Another fact about the Vatican city is that it has the biggest library in the world.

Housing one of the world's biggest book collections, the Vatican Library is part of the Vatican Museums.

Formally established in 1475, the Vatican Library is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts.

With over 1.1 million texts in its collections, with around 6,000 new acquisitions being added each year. It is one of the largest collections of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew texts in the world.

The library is notable for featuring the largest archive of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew texts.

The library is still used for research and is open to scholars and academics. Over 1.1 million printed books and 75,000 historical manuscripts are held in the library, the oldest dating back to the first century. With so many books, the library has 42 km (26 miles).

The Vatican Library contains texts on everything from the classics to religion and philosophy, with the oldest texts dating as far back as the first century.

Vatican Library is one of the oldest libraries in the world

4. The Apostolic Palace has more than 1,400 rooms

The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the pope. It is also known as the 'Papal Palace', the 'palace of the Vatican' and the 'Vatican Palace'. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the palace of Sixtus V, in honour of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the palace's present form.

The building contains the papal Apartments, various Catholic Church offices and the Holy See, private and public chapels, Vatican Museums, and the Vatican Library, as well as the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and Borgia Apartment.

It’s really huge. The most famous room in the Apostolic Palace is the Sistine Chapel.

St Peter’s Basilica has an area of 40,000 square meters. It’s enormous. It is more than the area of six football fields.

St Peter’s Basilica has an area of 40,000 square meters. It’s enormous. It is more than the area of six football fields.

5. The Vatican City is home to wine

Wine features prominently throughout the Bible. A good example is when Jesus changed water into wine. Wine is also used as part of the Holy Communion in the catholic church, where it represents the blood of Christ.

Another fact about the Vatican city that most people don't know about is that it is home to wine.

Wine is predominant in the Catholic tradition and Italian culture. So it should come as no surprise that Vatican City is one of the biggest consumers of wine per capita in the world.

With just 842 people, the Vatican gets through an enormous amount of wine, with the figure being touted essentially working out to 74 litres of wine per person every single year.

This is twice that of the Italians and more than seven times consumed by those in the United States annually.

The Vatican is listed as the largest consumer of wine globally when considered per capita, and several different factors contribute to this.

Some of the factors that contribute to higher wine consumption in the Vatican city include wine being used for ceremonial communions; the city sells wine almost tax-free and a higher number of educated older men who tend to eat communally.

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