What is the Vatican?
The Vatican (Vaticano), or Vatican City State is a sovereign city-state that belongs to the Holy See (Sancta Sedes). The Vatican is situated in a walled enclave inside the city of Rome. The Vatican has a population of less than 1000 and is approximately 0.44 square kilometers, (about 110 acres).Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican has its own national Anthem and Flag. The currency in the Vatican is the Euro, although it isn't a member of the European Union. The Vatican Issues its own special Vatican coins. The Vatican also has its own postal service. In the Vatican post office you can buy Vatican Stamps and send postcards or letters to family and friends.
The Vatican has generally been the residence of the Pope since 1337. The Pope's residence is also known as the Apostolic Palace and it is located North-East of the St. Peter's basilica. The Pontifical Swiss Guard is in charge of the security of the Vatican and the Pope's personal safety. The Pontifical Swiss Guard has been filling this duty since the 16th century.The entire Vatican State is acknowledged as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1984. The main tourist attractions in the Vatican are: St. Peter's basilica, St. Peter's Square, The Vatican Museums and the Vatican gardens. The entrance to the Basilica and Square are free of charge. Please note that visitors are asked to dress appropriately when entering the church.
For additional information on the Vatican, please visit Vatican