Outline of Vatican City

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The location of Vatican City within Europe Location Vatican City Europe.png
The location of Vatican City within Europe
An enlargeable map of Vatican City State, including extraterritorial properties of the Holy See bordering Vatican City Map of Vatican City.jpg
An enlargeable map of Vatican City State, including extraterritorial properties of the Holy See bordering Vatican City

The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Vatican City:

An outline, also called a hierarchical outline, is a list arranged to show hierarchical relationships and is a type of tree structure. An outline is used to present the main points or topics (terms) of a given subject. Each item in an outline may be divided into additional sub-items. If an organizational level in an outline is to be sub-divided, it shall have at least two subcategories, as advised by major style manuals in current use. An outline may be used as a drafting tool of a document, or as a summary of the content of a document or of the knowledge in an entire field. It is not to be confused with the general context of the term "outline", which a summary or overview of a subject, presented verbally or written in prose. The outlines described in this article are lists, and come in several varieties.


Vatican City an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical [1] state, being the sovereign territory of the Holy See and ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The territory of this landlocked sovereign city-state consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. [2] [3] This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population.

Vatican City Independent city-state within Rome, Italy

Vatican City, officially Vatican City State, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from, yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See. With an area of 44 hectares, and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.

In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Christian Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its polity, its discipline, its destiny, and its leadership.

A sacerdotal state is a state whose head is also an ecclesiastical leader designated by a religious body. An example of this kind of state is the Vatican City, whose head of state is the Pope of the Catholic Church. Andorra operates under a semi-sacerdotal system, as one of its co-heads of state is the Bishop of Urgell, while the other is the President of France. However unlike the Vatican, Andorra's co-princes are not the de facto leaders.

General reference

View of Vatican City from the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome Vatican City view from Castel Sant'Angelo.JPG
View of Vatican City from the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome
Etymology Study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time

Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the phrase "the etymology of [some word]" means the origin of the particular word. For place names, there is a specific term, toponymy.

Vatican Hill hill in Rome that is the location of St. Peters Basilica

Vatican Hill is a hill located across the Tiber river from the traditional seven hills of Rome, that also gave the name of Vatican City. It is the location of St. Peter's Basilica.

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

Geography of Vatican City

An enlargeable map of Vatican City Holy See (Vatican City)-CIA WFB Map.png
An enlargeable map of Vatican City

Geography of Vatican City

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Sovereignty concept that a state or governing body has the right and power to govern itself without outside interference

Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity. In international law, the important concept of sovereignty refers to the exercise of power by a state. De jure sovereignty refers to the legal right to do so; de facto sovereignty refers to the ability, in fact, to do so. This can become an issue of special concern upon the failure of the usual expectation that de jure and de facto sovereignty exist at the place and time of concern, and reside within the same organization.

A city-state is a sovereign state, also described as a type of small independent country, that usually consists of a single city and its dependent territories. Historically, this included cities such as Rome, Athens, Carthage, and the Italian city-states during the Renaissance. As of 2019, only a handful of sovereign city-states exist, with some disagreement as to which are city-states. A great deal of consensus exists that the term properly applies currently to Monaco, Singapore, and Vatican City. City states are also sometimes called microstates which however also includes other configurations of very small countries, not to be confused with micronations.

Location of Vatican City

Eastern Hemisphere half of the Earth that is east of the prime meridian and west of 180° longitude

The Eastern Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of Earth which is east of the prime meridian and west of the antimeridian. It is also used to refer to Afro-Eurasia and Australia, in contrast with the Western Hemisphere, which includes mainly North and South America. The Eastern Hemisphere may also be called the "Oriental Hemisphere". In addition, it may be used in a cultural or geopolitical sense as a synonym for the "Old World".

Northern Hemisphere Half of Earth that is north of the equator

The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is north of the Equator. For other planets in the Solar System, north is defined as being in the same celestial hemisphere relative to the invariable plane of the solar system as Earth's North Pole.

Eurasia The combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia

Eurasia is the largest continent on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Located primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean to the south. The division between Europe and Asia as two different continents is a historical social construct, with no clear physical separation between them; thus, in some parts of the world, Eurasia is recognized as the largest of the six, five, or even four continents on Earth. In geology, Eurasia is often considered as a single rigid megablock. However, the rigidity of Eurasia is debated based on paleomagnetic data.

Environment of Vatican City

A section of the wall in Vatican City, from the outside, behind the Vatican Gardens. Vaticane mura 2.jpg
A section of the wall in Vatican City, from the outside, behind the Vatican Gardens.
Vatikanische Gaerten Museen Rom.jpg
View of the Vatican Gardens from the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. (The Vatican Museums can be seen to the right).

Natural geographic features of Vatican City

Vatican City is an enclave in an urban area, and lacks the geographic features common to (much larger) countries:

Regions of Vatican City

Ecoregions of Vatican City

  • None

Administrative divisions of Vatican City

Demography of Vatican City

Demographics of Vatican City

Government and politics of Vatican City

Politics of Vatican City

Branches of the government of Vatican City

Palace of the Governatorate, Vatican City Roma-villa.jpg
Palace of the Governatorate, Vatican City

Government of Vatican City

Executive branch of the government of Vatican City

Legislative branch of the government of Vatican City

Judicial branch of the government of Vatican City

  • Absolute judicial authority: Pope, currently Pope Francis
    • Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione)
      • The Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura serves ex officio as the President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione). The two other members of the Supreme Court are also Cardinals of the Apostolic Signatura and are chosen by the Cardinal Prefect on a yearly basis. [12]
    • Appellate Court of Vatican City
    • Tribunal of Vatican City State
    • Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty, [13] Italy will, at the request of the Holy See, punish individuals for crimes committed within Vatican City and will itself proceed against the person who committed the offence, if that person takes refuge in Italian territory. Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that under the treaty enjoy immunity. [14] [15]

Foreign relations of Vatican City

International organization membership

International organization membership of Vatican City Vatican City State is a member of: [16]

Law and order in Vatican City

Law of Vatican City State

Military in Vatican City

Vatican City State has no military, but resident within it is the Swiss Guard.

A Swiss Guard Vatican 2.jpg
A Swiss Guard

Military in Vatican City

Local government in Vatican City

History of Vatican City

History of Vatican City

Culture of Vatican City

Saint Peter's Square and beyond it Rome, as viewed from the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica. St Peter's Square, Vatican City - April 2007.jpg
Saint Peter's Square and beyond it Rome, as viewed from the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica.
St. Peter's Basilica from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of this part of Rome. Vatican City at Large.jpg
St. Peter's Basilica from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of this part of Rome.

Culture of Vatican City

Art in Vatican City

Vatican Museum Queue - April 2007.jpg
On the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum is open to the public for free. This is extremely popular and it is common to wait in line for many hours. This image is a panoramic view of one small stretch of the entire queue in April 2007, which continues for some distance in both directions beyond view. In the background is the Vatican City's wall.

Sports in Vatican City

Economy and infrastructure of Vatican City

The Vatican Radio building Vatican-radio.jpg
The Vatican Radio building
Euro banknotes Euro banknotes 2002.png
Euro banknotes

Economy of Vatican City

Education in Vatican City

See also

Related Research Articles

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law.

The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.

Politics of Vatican City

The politics of Vatican City take place in a framework of a theocratic absolute elective monarchy, in which the Pope, religiously speaking, the leader of the Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome, exercises ex officio supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the Vatican City, a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy.

Lateran Treaty Treaty between the Holy See and Italy establishing Vatican City State

The Lateran Treaty was one component agreement that made up the Lateran Pacts of 1929, the agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See settling the "Roman Question". The treaty and associated pacts are named after the Lateran Palace, where they were signed on 11 February 1929. The Italian parliament ratified them on 7 June 1929. The Lateran Treaty recognized Vatican City as an independent state under the sovereignty of the Holy See. The Italian government, at the time led by Benito Mussolini as prime minister, also agreed to give the Roman Catholic Church financial compensation for the loss of the Papal States. In 1947, the Lateran Treaty was recognized in the Constitution of Italy as regulating the relations between the state and the Catholic Church.

Prisoner in the Vatican phrase describing status of the Pope during the 59-year dispute with Italy

A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican is how Pope Pius IX was described following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes over central Italy and allowed Rome to be designated the capital of the new nation. The appellation is also applied to Pius' successors through Pope Pius XI.

Patrick Coveney is an Irish prelate of the Catholic Church who worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1966 to 2009. He became an archbishop in 1985 and fulfilled several assignments as Apostolic Nuncio, including stints in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, New Zealand, and Greece.

Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State legislative body for Vatican City

The Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City is the legislative body of Vatican City. It consists of the President of the Pontifical Commission, who is also President of the Governorate of Vatican City State; and six other cardinals appointed by the pope for five-year terms.

Major basilica title given to the four highest-ranking Roman Catholic churches

A major basilica is one of the four highest-ranking Roman Catholic church buildings, all of which are also papal basilicas: the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, St. Peter's Basilica, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. All of them are located within the diocese of Rome: St. Peter's Basilica is located in Vatican City and thus within the territory and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See. The other three are geographically located in Italian territory, but enjoy extraterritorial status under the Lateran Treaty. The Archbasilica of Saint John in the Lateran is the seat of the Pope and the site of the Papal Cathedra, and is the oldest and first in rank of the major basilicas.

Holy See–European Union relations

Holy See–European Union relations is the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the Holy See. This is framed by the geography of the Holy See's territory while being unable to join.

Rail transport in Vatican City railway system, railway company

The Vatican Railway was opened in 1934 to serve Vatican City and its only station, Vatican City. The main rail tracks are standard gauge and 300 metres (980 ft) long, with two freight sidings, making it the shortest national railway system in the world. Access to the Italian rail network is over a viaduct to Roma San Pietro railway station, and is guaranteed by the Lateran Treaty dating from 1929. The tracks and station were constructed during the reign of Pope Pius XI, shortly after the treaty.

Holy See–Italy relations Diplomatic relations between Holy See and the Republic of Italy

Holy See–Italy relations refers to the special relationship between the Holy See, which is sovereign over the Vatican City, and the Italian Republic.

Diocese of Rome Diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Diocese of Rome is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome. The Bishop of Rome or the Roman Bishop is the Pope, the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church. As the Holy See, the papacy is a sovereign entity with diplomatic relations, and civil jurisdiction over the Vatican City State located geographically within Rome. The Diocese of Rome is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Rome, an ecclesiastical province in Italy. The first Bishop of Rome was Saint Peter in the first century. The incumbent since 13 March 2013 is Pope Francis.

This is an index of Vatican City–related topics.

Foreign relations of the Holy See

The Holy See has long been recognised as a subject of international law and as an active participant in international relations. One observer has stated that its interaction with the world has, in the period since World War II, been at its highest level ever. It is distinct from the city-state of the Vatican City, over which the Holy See has "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction".

Coats of arms of the Holy See and Vatican City coat of arms

The coats of arms of the Holy See and Vatican City State in the form that combines two crossed keys and a tiara used as a coat of arms of the Holy See have origins attested from the 14th century. The combination of one gold and one silver key is somewhat later.

Law of Vatican City

The law of Vatican City State consists of many forms, the most important of which is the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State. The Code of Penal Procedure governs tribunals and the Lateran Treaty governs relations with the Italian Republic.

Giuseppe Sciacca Secretary of the Apostolic Signature (since 2016)

Giuseppe Sciacca is the current Secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura since his appointment by Pope Francis on July 16, 2016, replacing the retiring Archbishop Frans Daneels. Previously, he had served as Adjunct Secretary of the Apostolic Signatura, since Saturday, 24 August 2013. Previously, he had been serving as the Secretary General of the Governatorate of Vatican City State since his appointment by Benedict XVI on 3 September 2011.

Karl-Josef Rauber German archbishop

Karl-Josef Rauber is a cardinal of the Catholic Church, who served as a papal nuncio from 1982 until his retirement in 2009.

Giambattista Diquattro Italian priest and theologian

Giambattista Diquattro is an Italian archbishop and Vatican diplomat. He has been Apostolic Nuncio to India and to Nepal since 2017. He was previously Nuncio to Bolivia.


  1. 1 2 "catholic-pages.com". catholic-pages.com. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  2. "Holy See (Vatican City)". CIA—The World Factbook. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  3. "Vatican City State". Vatican City Government. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2007.
  4. Vatican City State Institutional Portal
  5. International Telecommunication Union Member States
  6. "Stato della Città del Vaticano" is the name used in the state's founding document, the Treaty between the Holy See and Italy Archived 2012-03-09 at the Wayback Machine , article 26.
  7. Cf. The Geography Site, "What do call a person from ?"
  8. "Holy See (Vatican City)". CIA—The World Factbook. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  9. "Internet portal of Vatican City State". Vatican City State. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  10. Gerhard Robbers, Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (Infobase Publishing 2006 ISBN   978-0-81606078-8), p. 1009
  11. Nick Megoran, "Theocracy" in International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, vol. 11, Elsevier 2009 ISBN   978-0-08-044911-1, p.226| Quote:elective theocracy (although its representatives would be unlikely to accept that label)
  12. "Legge che approva l'ordinamento giudiziario dello Stato della Città del Vaticano (Suppl. 12)". Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) 79. Holy See. 1987.
  13. "INTER SANCTAM SEDEM ET ITALIAE REGNUM CONVENTIONES INITAE DIE 11 FEBRUARII 1929" (in Italian). Vatican.va. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  14. "INTER SANCTAM SEDEM ET ITALIAE REGNUM CONVENTIONES* INITAE DIE 11 FEBRUARII 1929" (in Italian). Vatican.va. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  15. Shea, Alison. "Researching the Law of the Vatican City State". Hauser Global Law School Program. New York University School of Law. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  16. "Holy See (Vatican City)". The World Factbook . United States Central Intelligence Agency. July 2, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  17. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/documentazione/documents/sp_ss_scv/informazione_generale/sp_ss_scv_info-generale_en.html

Gnome-globe.svg Wikimedia Atlas of Vatican City