Vatican City Facts

Interesting Facts About the Vatican City

The Vatican Museums, located within Vatican City, are a treasure trove of art and history spanning over 2,000 years. These world-renowned museums house an extensive collection of masterpieces, including sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and archaeological artifacts. Visitors can marvel at iconic works like Michelangelo's awe-inspiring frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and the intricate details of the Raphael Rooms. The museums also feature the Pio Clementino Museum, showcasing classical sculptures, and the Gallery of Maps, displaying ancient cartographic masterpieces. With over 70,000 works on display, the Vatican Museums offer an unparalleled journey through human creativity and cultural heritage, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Smallest Country in the World

The only country in the world that is also a city, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. The area is spread roughly across 121 acres, with a population numbering 800 people. In fact, the next smallest country on the list, which is Monaco, is more than double its size.

There’s an ATM with instructions in Latin

Despite not being the official language of Christianity, Latin holds significant importance and recognition among those who practice the religion. This classical language has a unique association with the Vatican, and it's fascinating to learn that the City houses an ATM with instructions solely in Latin. The presence of pictorial aids alongside the Latin text offers assistance to users, making it an intriguing and lesser-known fact about the Vatican.

It Owns a Telescope in Arizona, USA

One of the captivating and lesser-known facts about the Vatican is the ownership of its private observatory, aptly named the Vatican Observatory. Due to the challenge of light pollution in Rome, using telescopes within the city becomes impractical. As a solution, the Vatican made an intriguing decision to acquire its own telescope in Mount Graham, Arizona. This telescope, known as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, finds its home at the Mount Graham International Observatory, allowing the Church to conduct celestial observations and research beyond the confines of Vatican City.


Must Read: Best Time to Visit Vatican Museums

It has its own football team

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II took a significant step to promote the significance of sports within the Christian community by establishing a sports department. This initiative led to the creation of the Vatican National football team, also known as "Selezione di calcio della Città del Vaticano" in Italian. What sets this team apart is its unique distinction of being one of the only nine football teams representing sovereign nations that are not affiliated with FIFA.


Suggested Read: Highlights of The Vatican Museums

It has the World’s Shortest Railway

Vatican City boasts the world's shortest railway, spanning a mere 300 meters in length. This railway has been in operation since 1934, primarily serving as a means for freight transfer within the city's confines. However, in a noteworthy development, passenger service was introduced in 2015, adding a new dimension to the functionality of this tiny but historic railway system.


Suggested Read: Room of the Chiaroscuri

It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Country

A fascinating and unique aspect of Vatican City is that it holds the exclusive distinction of being the only country in the world to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Country. This prestigious status was granted to the entire nation in 1984, acknowledging its extraordinary collection of museums, libraries, churches, and other historically significant landmarks.


Must Explore: Carriage Pavilion

The Armed Forces of Vatican City are Swiss

Membership in the Swiss Guards is a prestigious opportunity reserved exclusively for Swiss nationals who have undergone training with the Swiss Armed Forces. Their presence serves as a symbol of historical continuity and dedication to safeguarding the security and sovereignty of the Vatican. Throughout the centuries, the Swiss Guards have faithfully stood as a symbol of loyalty, exemplifying their enduring commitment to protecting the pontiff and the city-state they serve.


Also Checkout: Niccoline Chapel

No Permanent Citizenship at the Vatican City

One of the most interesting Vatican city facts is that it has no hospitals within its borders; as a result, no children are born in Vatican City, and thus no one becomes an automatic citizen here. Instead, one becomes a citizen only when one becomes an employee at the city. These citizenship rights are then revoked one the jobs are transferred out of the city.


Also Checkout: Galleries in Vatican Museums

FAQs Of Vatican Museum

Why Vatican Museum is famous?

The Vatican Museum is known to hold the entire collection of architectural wealth currently owned by the Catholic Church. In fact, it is best known for its stunning pieces of art and architecture, which include the Sistine Chapel, the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Raphael Rooms and the Chapel of Beato Angelico.

Must Visit: Gallery Of The Candelabra

What does the Vatican Museum include?

The Vatican Museums display all of the collections gathered by the papacy over the centuries, including some of the most renowned Roman sculptures and Renaissance art found anywhere in the world. Displays at the Museum include works by Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, Raphael, and Carvaggio among others. The Vatican Historical Museum also displays the portraits and artifacts peddled down through papacy since the 16th century.

Check This Out: St. Peter's Basilica Entrances

Is St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican Museum?

While the St. Peter’s Basilica is not located within the Museum itself, it’s located at a very short distance from them.

Can anyone go to the Vatican?

The Vatican City is open to tourists. Its museums, chapels and churches welcome visitors, although tourists are not allowed to entire places where official papal proceedings take place.

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Is the Vatican worth visiting?

The artistic wealth of the city is one of the best known Vatican facts, and has earned it the title of a UNESCO Heritage Site. Home to one of the world’s biggest and most impressive collections of art and architecture, the city is definitely worth a visit.

Must Read: Attractions at Vatican Museums

How much time do you need at the Vatican?

One should reserve at least one entire day to tour all that Vatican City has to offer. The nine Vatican Museums themselves require about 3-4 hours to explore, while the other popular landmarks should require about 2 hours each.

Do Read: Highlights of St. Peter's Basilica

Is it important to book Vatican Museums tickets in advance?

Yes, it is important to book Vatican Museums tickets in advance. The Vatican Museums are a popular tourist attraction, and they can get extremely crowded, especially during peak seasons. By booking in advance, you can skip the long lines, ensure entry, and have more flexibility in choosing your preferred time slot. It is highly recommended to secure your tickets ahead of time to make the most of your visit to the Vatican Museums.

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