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Vatican City (/ˈvætɪkən/ (listen)), officially the Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano;[lower-alpha 5] Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae),[lower-alpha 6][lower-alpha 7] is an independent city-state, microstate and enclave within Rome, Italy.[13][14] Also known as The Vatican, the state became independent from Italy in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty, and it is a distinct territory under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state's temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence.[lower-alpha 8][15] With an area of 49 hectares (121 acres)[lower-alpha 2] and a 2019 population of about 453,[10] it is the smallest state in the world both by area and population.[16] As governed by the Holy See, Vatican City State is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church.[3][17] The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various origins. After the Avignon Papacy (13091377) the popes have mainly resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.

Quick facts: Vatican City StateStatus Civitatis Vaticanae&...
Vatican City State
  • Status Civitatis Vaticanae (Latin)
  • Stato della Città del Vaticano (Italian)
Anthem: Inno e Marcia Pontificale (Italian)
"Pontifical Anthem and March"
Seal of the State of Vatican City
Sigillum Stati Civitatis Vaticanae
Sigillo dello Stato della Città del Vaticano
Location of Vatican City (green)

in Europe (dark grey)   [Legend]

Official languagesItalian[lower-alpha 1]
Roman Catholicism
(State religion)
GovernmentUnitary Catholic theocratic elective absolute monarchy[2][3][4][5]
Holy See
Pietro Parolin
Fernando Vérgez Alzaga
LegislaturePontifical Commission (all powers delegated by the sovereign)[6][7]
Independence from Italy
11 February 1929; 93 years ago
0.49[lower-alpha 2] km2 (0.19 sq mi) (195th)
 2019 estimate
453[10] (240th)
924/km2 (2,393.1/sq mi) (12th)
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 Summer (DST)
Driving sideright[lower-alpha 3]
Calling code+379[lower-alpha 4]
ISO 3166 codeVA
Quick facts: UNESCO World Heritage Site, Criteria, Referen...
Vatican City
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Vatican City
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iv, vi
Inscription1984 (8th Session)

The Holy See dates back to Early Christianity and is the principal episcopal see of the Catholic Church, which has approximately 1.329 billion baptized Catholics in the world as of 2018 in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches.[18] The independent state of Vatican City, on the other hand, came into existence on 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation,[19] not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.

Vatican City contains 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. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by donations from the faithful, by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications. Vatican City has no taxes and items are duty-free.

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