The Vatican City State or territory is the residence of the Pope, and the world’s smallest country.
It is a landlocked walled territory within the city of Rome Italy and has area of 44 hectares (110 acres) and a population of just over 800.
The Vatican City consists of Saint Peters Square, Saint Peters Basilica, at least 13 museums which contain an exceptional collection of masterpiece Renaissance and Baroque art, Swiss guards and landscaped gardens decorated with fountains and sculptures.
Its centrepiece is the world-famous and revered Saint Peters Basilica. Completed and consecrated in 1626, The Basilica of Saint Peter (Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican) is a late renaissance church and the largest religious building in the world.
It occupies the site where Saint Peter was martyred and buried and draws millions of Catholic pilgrims and tourists
Its sights are numerous and some of the greatest artists of all time have helped design its buildings and sculptures, including Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Carlo Maderno. It is perhaps the greatest church of Christendom.
Another highlight is the monumental Saint Peters Square (Piazza San Pietro), the masterful work of Bernini, who designed and built it between 1656 and 1667.
Embracing the square is the colossal majestic Tuscan colonnades which are crowned by statutes of 140 Saints. In the middle of the Square is the granite obelisk which dates from the 13th century BC and was originally erected in Heliopolis, Egypt.
At the limit of the square there is a white line which separates the territories of the Vatican City and Italy.
The Vatican City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
All images, text and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.