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Planning a visit to the holy city Vatican? Here’s some background of the place you want to tour – Vatican City occupies 0.44 sq km (about .2 square miles) and is completely encircled by the city of Rome. Vatican City serves as the spiritual center for millions practicing Roman Catholics worldwide. Here are some impressive fun facts about the Vatican:

1. Vatican is a country in itself – Can you guess the population of this place? It has merely 800 residents in the Vatican and is the smallest country in the world. Vatican citizenship is not guaranteed by birth, but by appointment, and is terminal, ending when a citizen discontinues residency.

Photo source: en.wikipedia.org
Photo source: en.wikipedia.org

2. St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the world – To help you comprehend how huge this church could be, all other basilicas are able to fit within the Basilica. The Church has actually placed the measurements of the largest churches in the world in the marble of the Nave. Take note of the timings if you ever intend to visit this church – St. Peter’s Basilica is open from April to September from 7:00 am-7:00 pm and from October to March from 7:00pm-6:00pm.

Photo source: italiapass.rezdy.com
Photo source: italiapass.rezdy.com

3. The center altar of St. Peter’s, lies directly over where St. Peter, the first pope, is buried – The dimensions of this place is 96 feet high, made from bronze stripped from ancient Roman monuments such as the Pantheon, and the pope is the only person who is permitted to say mass at this altar.

Photo source: romeeye.com
Photo source: romeeye.com

4.  Vatican Museums contain one of the largest art collections in the world – The former wings of the Vatican Palace consists of 1400 rooms, chapels, and galleries with over 9 miles of pieces, which could wrap around the Vatican walls by four and half times.  The Vatican Museums are open from 9am-4pm every day except Sundays.

Photo source: tpetersbasilica.info
Photo source: tpetersbasilica.info

5. Art in St. Peter’s is mostly mosaics although it resembles paintings – The artwork from far looks like they are painting but you’d be surprised to know that they are actually art by mosaics. This method of artwork was used to keep the longevity of these art pieces.

Source: selectitaly.com

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