The Vatican, the smallest sovereign state in the world, is home to the Pope and the center of the Catholic Church. It is located within the city of Rome and is home to many historical and cultural treasures. Here are some interesting facts and curiosities about the Vatican:
- The Vatican is home to the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica, which was built over the burial site of St. Peter, one of the apostles of Jesus and the first Pope.
- The Vatican’s art collection is one of the finest in the world, with works by masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini. The Sistine Chapel is particularly famous for its frescoes by Michelangelo, including the iconic “Creation of Adam” on the ceiling.
- The Vatican Library, founded in the 4th century, is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains over 150,000 manuscripts and 1.6 million printed books.
- The Vatican City has its own postal system, radio station, and newspaper. It is also the only country in the world to be completely surrounded by another country (Italy).
- The Vatican has its own soccer team, known as the “Vatican City State football team,” which plays against other teams from small countries and territories.
- The Vatican has a collection of unique and rare animals, including several exotic birds and a colony of Swiss Guard bees that produce honey for the Pope.
- The Vatican is home to the Vatican Secret Archives, which contain documents dating back to the 8th century, including letters from Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo.
- The Vatican’s gardens cover over 50 acres and contain over 8,500 different species of plants, including olive trees, orange trees, and cypress trees.
- The Vatican has its own pharmacy, which has been in operation since the 16th century and is still run by a team of monks. It produces and sells traditional medications, including herbal remedies and cosmetics.
- The Vatican has a small rail system, known as the Vatican Railway, which was built in the 1930s to transport materials and people within the city-state.
These are just a few of the many interesting and unique aspects of the Vatican. It is a fascinating place with a rich history and culture that is worth exploring.