The facts about the Vatican City including the Vatican museum, its arts and history connected to Italy and other travel tips during your stay.
Vatican City Facts
The City of Vatican only has 109 acres of land. However, it is a state within a state. It has its own media outlets, banking and communication systems. The Vatican was the prime seat of the papacy. Although it lost its power when the Catholic Church moved the papal court to Avignon, France in 1309. It was before returning again after more than six decades in 1377. From the return of the papacy up to the rise of the Renaissance, the Vatican City flourished. The construction of the Apostolic Palace by Pope Nicholas V in 1450 became the permanent home of the later popes.
Pope Sixtus IV was in charge of the rise of the Sistine Chapel. The location is where the great Michelangelo did his now famous ceiling paintings in 1508. The Vatican has been the home of what was then the biggest church in the world. Pope Julius II rebuilt the new St. Peter’s Basilica. He ordered to tear down the old, 1,200-year- old basilica in the early 1500s. Aside from that, he was also active in paving the way to make the Vatican a home to valuable arts. The Vatican Museums hold main information related to the Catholic Church.
A nation within a nation
After hundreds of years of supremacy, the Papal States faced a confrontation in 1870 with the new Italian government. For the following sixty years, the territorial dispute strained the relationship between the two nations. Not until in 1929 when Benito Mussolini signed the Lateran Pact. It granted the Pope the liberty to govern the Vatican City. It was together with $92 million compensation after losing most of the Papal States. Despite being shrunk to its current size, this mini-state maintains its hold. Due to its history and religious significance, it is one of the world’s centre point of tourism.
Learn more about Christianity
Catholic or not, a trip to the Vatican Museums is a trip of a lifetime you shouldn’t miss. The vast labyrinth full of priceless world treasures collected by the Roman Catholic Church. It shows the varying types and beauty of art from each period of the world’s existence. From paintings, sculptures, almost all forms of art are present inside the Vatican Museums. They include UNESCO World Heritage Sites and of course, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting.
Touring around the Vatican Museums is often accompanied by a tour of the St. Peter Basilica. It can already take most of your entire day. Hence, it is highly recommended for prospective visitors to come to the place early in the morning. Appropriate dress code should be kept in mind. However, should you forget to dress according to the standards, there are plenty of peddlers around. You can buy the necessary clothing to be eligible to enter the place!
feature photo of the Vatican courtesy of Diego Cambiaso