The city-state, an island of unlimited power of the Catholic Church, located in the middle of secular Rome – the Vatican. Formally, it has existed since 1929 and is officially the smallest state in the world. However, it is here that all the governing bodies of such a complex structure as the Roman Catholic Church are located. Every year on February 11, the Vatican celebrates its own independence, because it was on this day in 1929 that the state received its desired freedom from Italy.

The population of the Vatican is only 1,000 people (of which only half have citizenship, because it is incredibly difficult to get it), 0.44 km2 of simple, medieval walls, a huge influence on the whole world and a huge cultural heritage. We bring to your attention a selection of interesting facts about the Vatican.

  1. 95% of Vatican residents are men. A total of 1,000 people live in the country (according to 2017 data).
  2. The Vatican has its own radio station, electrical supply, post office, bank, publishing house, railway station, mints coins and issues stamps.
  3. The railway connecting the Vatican and the rest of Italy is only one kilometer long. At the same time, the territory of the Catholic capital of the world accounts for only 200 meters.
  4. Only bachelors are accepted in the Guards for the protection of the Pope. A guardsman has the right to marry only after reaching the rank of corporal. The candidacy of the future wife of each guardsman must first be approved by the clergy.
  5. The Sistine Chapel is closed only during the election of the Pope. You can find out about the voting results from the column of smoke from the burning of the ballots. If the new head of the Vatican is elected, the chapel will be surrounded by white smoke, otherwise – black.
  6. The currency of the Vatican is the euro. The state mints coins with its own symbols.
  7. The Pio Cristiano Museum houses ancient works of Christian art, most of which were created within 150 years after the crucifixion of Jesus.
  8. The Ethnological Missionary Museum, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, contains exhibits from around the world sent by dioceses and private individuals.
  9. In the Vatican Museums, you can see 800 paintings of a religious nature, painted by world-famous artists: Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Dali, Picasso and others.
  10. Castel Sant’Angelo was a hideout for the Popes, there was a torture chamber, and now the fortress houses the National Military Museum and the Art Museum.
  11. Under the Cathedral of St. Peter are the Holy Grottoes of the Vatican – catacombs, narrow tunnels, niches and chapels.
  12. Every Sunday afternoon, the Pope blesses people who come to St. Peter’s Square.
  13. ⚽ The Vatican football team is officially recognized, but is not part of FIFA. The players of the national team are Swiss Guardsmen, members of the Pontifical Council and museum curators. The team has its own emblem and a white and yellow football uniform.
  14. ⚽ Rome’s St. Peter’s Stadium is the only football field, if you can call it that. In fact, it is just a lawn that is difficult to play on. In this regard, the Vatican national team plays matches at the Stadio Pius XII, located in Albano Laziale. This is the home arena of the club “ASD Albalonga” from the Italian Serie D. The stadium has a capacity of 1,500 spectators.
  15. ⚽ Teams “Guardians”, “Bank”, “Teleposhta”, “Library” and others play in the Vatican football league. In addition to the championship, competitions are held within the framework of the “Clerics Cup” among seminarians and priests from Catholic educational institutions. The winners receive an interesting trophy – a metal soccer ball mounted on a pair of boots and decorated with a Catholic priest’s hat.
  16. 🎥 The Polish documentary “Discovering the Vatican” tells about the countless cultural riches of the small state.
  17. 🎥 The film “Red and Black” tells about the Vatican during the occupation of Rome by the Nazis.
  18. 🎥 The film “Torments and Joys” is dedicated to the details of Michelangelo’s conflict with Pope Julius II.
  19. 🎥 The documentary-historical film “Secret Access: The Vatican” reveals the secrets of the largest city-museum.
  20. 🎥 The documentary “Scrinium Domini Papae”, created by the Vatican Television Center, tells about the center of world Catholicism.
  21. 🎥 The popular series “The Young Pope” reflects an alternative reality on the papal life.
  22. 🎥 Based on non-real events, the film “Two Popes” tells about the brief meetings between Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis.
  23. 📖 Dan Brown’s book “Angels and Demons” talks about the connection of modern science with the search for divine nature in the Vatican.
  24. The Vatican is an independent state that is not part of the United Nations.
  25. The official name of the Vatican in Italy is Citta Del Vaticano or Stato Della Citta del Vaticano.
  26. The Vatican stands on a hill called the Vatican (Mons Vaticanus, from the Latin vaticinia – “place of divination”).
  27. Gardens make up more than half of the land in the Vatican.
  28. Italian is the official language of the Vatican.
  29. The Vatican flag is yellow and white. The yellow side symbolizes the spiritual power of the pope, and the white side symbolizes his worldly power.
  30. The Vatican is known for its annual high wine consumption, estimated at an average of 54 liters per person per year.
  31. About 5.5 million people visit the Vatican annually.
  32. There are no hospitals in the Vatican.
  33. The Vatican and the Philippines are the only two countries that do not have divorce laws. Divorce is not allowed, only marriage annulment is allowed.
  34. The economy is mainly supported by the tourism industry.
  35. In the Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library, a Bible written by hand in the 4th century AD is kept.
  36. The Vatican pharmacy is the oldest in the world – it was founded in 1277 and is still working! Sells about 6,000 recipes every month. Here you can find the most rare and unusual means.
  37. On 0.44 square kilometers – 3 fire engines and 20 people who are on duty around the clock. By the way, there have been no fires for more than 100 years.
  38. There is only one supermarket in the Vatican for the entire state, and only people with special permits can shop there. They are issued by the administration. Prices in the Vatican supermarket are lower than the average for Rome.
  39. The post office in the Vatican has been operating since the 14th century, delivers about 8 million postcards and letters a year, and also has an excellent reputation. The Italian national post cannot boast of this.
  40. There are only three gas stations. Fuel is cheaper than in Rome, but you can refuel only with a permit.
  41. The largest Catholic church in the world is located here.
  42. The Vatican has the highest crime rate in the world, due to the fact that there are always many people in a small area. However, most crimes are pickpocketing.
  43. There are no prisons in the Vatican.
  44. The Swiss Guard is the official guard of the Vatican.
  45. The Vatican has the only ATM in the world where you can choose the Latin language.
  46. The Vatican has its own astronomy department.
  47. The museums in the Vatican are up to 10 kilometers long. It is estimated that if you spend at least 1 minute viewing each painting, it will take 4 years to view the entire museum.
  48. St. Peter’s Basilica is the second largest church in the world and took 120 years to build.
  49. The Sistine Chapel is recognized as the most outstanding artistic achievement in the world – the ceiling of the chapel was painted by Michelangelo. It took him 4 years.
  50. “Institute of Religious Affairs” is the name of the only bank in the Vatican.

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Vatican - interesting facts


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