vatican city

Vatican City's History

The present Vatican City state was created with the 1929 Lateran Pact, allowing the Catholic Church a degree of independence from Mussolini’s Italy. However the rich history of the Vatican stretches back to Roman times when this swampy area was first drained by Agrippina the Elder, a powerful noblewoman before 33AD. In 40AD the sadistic Emperor Caligula began construction of a ring road in the present location of St Peter’s Square.  His successor completed it and the Egyptian obelisk marks the centre of ‘The Circus of Nero’. In 326 the first St Peter’s Basilica was erected on the site of St Peter’s grave; the high alter being directly above his mortal remains. The ‘new’ St Peter’s Basilica represents the combined efforts of several architects, 20 popes, generations of artists and 120 years of sacrifice and efforts. The dome was completed in 1590.

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Vatican City

A VIP after hours tour to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican museums without the crowds promises to be one of the memorable moments of your life. Early bookings compulsory. book-now

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The Holy See Vatican City State, at just 44 hectares (110 acres) and with fewer than 1000 citizens is the world’s smallest nation. The Vatican's Apostolic Palace is the residence of the Holy Father, the Pope. The Vatican may be the world's smallest country but is bursting with Galleries, Museums, Libraries, Archives and Academies; the greatest storehouses of culture and learning not just for the Catholic Church but for mankind and Western civilisation. It is no exaggeration to say that no single square kilometre of the world’s surface is so heavily packed with history, art, culture and spirituality as the Vatican City. No visit to Italy is thinkable without a tour of this remarkable part of Rome. If you're lucky you may receive a blessing from the first Pope from the Americas.

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