Vaticanæ (Latin)Stato della Citta del Vaticano
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The Vatican City (Stato della Citt®§ del Vaticano) is
located in the western part of the Italian capital Rome
and is the smallest country in the world with an area of
0.4 km². It is the rest of the former Papal States on
Italian soil, which received full sovereignty in 1929
through the Lateran treaties with the Italian
The Vatican is located on the west bank of the Tiber
River on a hill (Mons Vaticanus). The center of the
country is the Peterskirche, the funeral church of the
Apostle Peter and the second largest church in the
world. On its north side are the Sistine Chapel and the
Vatican Palace, in which the Pope, the head of the
Catholic Church, resides. The state territory also
includes the Vatican Museums and Gardens, the Governor's
Palace and the Pontifical Academy. The Vatican has its
own radio station (Radio Vaticano), post office,
telegraph office, train station and print shop. Outside
the delimited territory west of the Tiber, other
buildings in and around Rome belong to the Vatican.
These include, for example, the churches of San Giovanni
in Laterano, San Paolo fuori le mura and the summer
residence of the Pope (Castel Gandolfo),
The Vatican has a Mediterranean climate with hot
summers and mild winters. The average July values are
around 25 °„ C, in January an average of 7 °„ C is
measured. The annual rainfall is around 750 mm.
The Vatican as the official seat of the Pope is the
spiritual and administrative center of the Roman
Catholic Church. Accordingly, the population is largely
made up of clergymen. The approximately 550 citizens
(total population: approx. 700) are cardinals, prelates,
members of the Swiss Guard (who are citizens during
their service) and around 50 lay people. Citizenship of
the Vatican City is granted "on demand" for a limited
period of time and is carried in addition to regular
citizenship. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the majority of the 3,000 or so employees
of the Vatican do not live on the territory of the
country and do not have citizenship.
The social and health care of the population is very
well developed. The official languages are Latin (for
official statements), Italian and French.
The Vatican City has been a sovereign, independent
state since 1929, which is subordinate to the Holy See,
the highest authority of the world Catholic Church. The
Basic Law, which came into force in 2001, applies. The
head of state is the Pope (Jorge Mario Bergoglio as
Francis since March 2013), the holder of the highest
legislative, executive and judicial power. The Pope is
elected for life by the College of Cardinals (includes
all cardinals who have not yet reached the age of 80).
The Cardinal Secretary of State (Pietro Parolin since
October 2013) is the permanent representative of the
Pope with the secular leadership of the Vatican State.
In the absence of the Pope, the College of Cardinals
takes over the papal powers.The legislative power lies
with the Pontifical Commission (unless the Pope does not
withhold the decision), which is appointed by the Pope
every five years. Executive power is exercised by the
Vatican City Governorate.
The Vatican City does not have its own army. The
Swiss Guard is used for security services in the
The Vatican City is a wealthy state. In 1929 he
received a sum of around 1.75 billion lire from Italy as
compensation for the dissolution of the Papal States,
which was invested profitably and today brings high
annual distributions. The state owns real estate, shares
in foreign companies and share capital. Further
government revenue is generated from the sale of stamps,
telephone cards and coins and from tourism (sale of
religious items, entrance fees). Donations also make up
a significant proportion of government revenue.
The Vatican City is connected to the Italian rail
network and has its own train station.
The currency is the euro.