Photos from The Vatican - the world's smallest country

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February 27th 2005
Published: February 27th 2005
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Disputes between a series of "prisoner" popes and Italy were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain of the earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion.

At 0.44sq km - The Holy See is the world's smallest country; but crammed in this tiny state are so many of the worlds treasures, and one of the most amazing museums I've ever visited. For the visitor there are two main buildings: St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum.

St Peter's Basilica

Massive church built on the burial place of St. Peter, work started on the Basilica in 1506, was taken over by Michelangelo in 1547 and completed in - well haven't found that out yet. Maybe someone will enlighten me in a comment. I climbed to the top of the dome, and looked over St Peter's Square and the rest of Rome, worth doing, but be prepared for 320 stairs and seemingly endless spirals.

Vatican Museum

Incorporates the Sistine Chapel, but includes so many amazing frescos, sculptures, beautiful spaces from the world's master artists that it's hard to pick this one as a highlight. The Vatican kindly tolerates photographs of most of the artwork, but requests that people turn off the flash - which is generally respected but still some idiots pay no attention. We were lucky enough to visit on the last Sunday of February, so entry was free, unfortunately the queue was enormous, we were really surprised to queue only for an hour, in the summer I imagine that this is not the case. Artists whose work is included are: Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pinturicchio and Signorelli, but I confess that most of the time I had no idea what I was looking at, just wandered round in some kind of stupefied awe for 2 hours, finally entered the Sistine Chapel and tried to keep my jaw from hitting the ground.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


The Vatican MuseumThe Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum

From the top of St. Peters
Candle HoldersCandle Holders
Candle Holders

On the top of the Basilica, wouldn't want the job of putting out the candles here... (least I think they're candle holders)

From the Vatican Museum
Even More Stunning Ceiling.Even More Stunning Ceiling.
Even More Stunning Ceiling.

It went on like this till I got to the Sistine Chapel..
Accidental Shot of the Sistine ChapelAccidental Shot of the Sistine Chapel
Accidental Shot of the Sistine Chapel

honest, my finger slipped...
Map of Europe - 1529Map of Europe - 1529
Map of Europe - 1529

Not bad... part of a world map, Australia was completly missed off though ;)
Stained GlassStained Glass
Stained Glass

Probably painted - not an expert!

27th February 2005

yo sup
hey well this web site is so interesting i love it it helped me with my homework and i will surly vist it all the time i love learning about geograpy and i hope more people find out about your site good luck and keep up the EXELANT WORK bless yall byebye - julissa
4th March 2005

Just to let u know I used to live there it is very beatiful and I miss it lots - Kayla
30th March 2005

The Smallest Country!
The smallest inhabited Country yes! But not the smallest..that title goes to "Bassas da India" a possession of France. Over to you. John - John Hyde, Spain
6th April 2005

The dome itself was completed by Della Porta (who took over when Michelango died) in May 1590. Pope Paul V decided the design of the Greek Cross was too small, and had Maderno pull down the front wall and extend the eastern end by 116 yards. That part was finished in 1626. The colonnade (Bernini)was built over the next 30 years. - Rachel
16th January 2006

i used to live there too.. and God!! i soo miss that place!
8th December 2007

This does not look like the smallest country! but it does look pretty cool. I wonder if there are a lot of people there to.
13th July 2008

I also checked out the "candle holders" while visiting the dome... they do seem to fit the bill of what i would think they would look like. Also, if you check out the wall that would be directly behind you when looking at the elevated portion with the holders, there are great big steel hooks for a rope or chain. They are obviously in connection with the supposed candle holders as they are only located where the holders are.
3rd February 2011
Sculptures from St. Peter's

What is the title of this specific sculpture? Where is it located in St. Peter's?

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