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13 mai 2011 5 13 /05 /mai /2011 05:29

Vatican City or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano (pronounced [?sta?to della t?it?ta del vati?ka?no]), which translates as State of the Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. HP 448007-001 battery

It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800.

Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of the Holy See and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy.HP Pavilion DV7 battery

Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. HP DV6-1120SA battery

The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports; Vatican City State issues normal passports. Very few passports are issued by either authority.HP DV6-1210SA battery

The Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756-1870) that had previously encompassed much of central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with Lazio, ten years later, in 1870.Compaq CQ50 battery

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

The Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377, but have also at times resided in theQuirinal Palace in Rome and elsewhere. Previously, they resided in the Lateran Palace on the Caelian Hill on the far side of Rome from the Vatican.Emperor Constantine gave this site to Pope Miltiades in 313.Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

The signing of the agreements that established the new state took place in the latter building, giving rise to the name of Lateran Pacts, by which they are known.


The Vatican climate is the same as Rome's; a temperate, Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters from September to mid-May and hot, dry summers from May to August.HP Pavilion TX1000 battery

There are some local features, principally mists and dews, caused by the anomalous bulk of St Peter's Basilica, the elevation, the fountains and the size of the large paved square.

The Vatican City is the world's smallest state, being only a few acres.HP Pavilion DV3500  battery

In July 2007, the Vatican agreed to become the first carbon neutral state. They plan to accomplish this by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with the creation of a Vatican Climate Forest in Hungary.


The name "Vatican" predates Christianity and comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount.HP HDX X18-1005EA battery

The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. It is in this territory that St. Peter's Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel, and museums were built, along with various other buildings. The area was part of the Roman rione of Borgo until 1929. Compaq PF723A battery

Being separated from the city, on the west bank of the Tiber river, the area was an outcrop of the city that was protected by being included within the walls of Leo IV (847–55), and later expanded by the current fortification walls, built under Paul III (1534–49), Pius IV (1559–65) and Urban VIII (1623–44).HP G6000 battery

When the Lateran Treaty of 1929 that gave the state its present form was being prepared, the boundaries of the proposed territory were influenced by the fact that much of it was all but enclosed by this loop. For some tracts of the frontier, there was no wall, but the line of certain buildings supplied part of the boundary, and for a small part of the frontier a modern wall was constructed.HP Compaq Business Notebook NW9440 battery

The territory includes St. Peter's Square, distinguished from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it touches Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter's Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione which runs from close to the Tiber River to St. Peter's. Compaq Evo N800W battery

This grand approach was constructed by Benito Mussolini after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty.

According to the Lateran Treaty, certain properties of the Holy See that are located in Italian territory, most notably Castel Gandolfo and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies.Compaq Evo N620C battery

These properties, scattered all over Rome and Italy, house essential offices and institutions necessary to the character and mission of the Holy See. Castel Gandolfo and the named basilicas are patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State and not by Italian police. St. Peter's Square is ordinarily policed jointly by both.HP Pavilion DV7 battery


Within the territory of Vatican City are the Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani), which account for more than half of this territory. The gardens, established during the Renaissance and Baroque era, are decorated with fountains and sculptures.HP Pavilion DV2745SE battery

The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.

The gardens date back to medieval times when orchards and vineyards extended to the north of the Papal Apostolic Palace.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

In 1279 Pope Nicholas III(Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls. He planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridarium). HP Compaq 490306-001 battery


Predecessor states

In this originally uninhabited area (the ager vaticanus) on the opposite side of the Tiber from the city of Rome, Agrippina the Elder (14 BC – 18 October AD 33) drained the hill and environs and built her gardens in the early 1st century AD. HP 520 battery

Emperor Caligula (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41; r. 37–41) started construction of a circus (AD 40) that was later completed by Nero, the Circus Gaii et Neronis, usually called, simply, the Circus of Nero. In AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, when the northern army that brought Aulus Vitellius to power arrived in Rome, HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery

"a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery; and the Tiber being close by, the inability of the Gauls and Germans to bear the heat and the consequent greed with which they drank from the stream weakened their bodies, which were already an easy prey to disease".HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

The Vatican obelisk was originally taken by Caligula from Heliopolis, Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant. This area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. Ancient tradition holds that it was in this circus that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down.Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

Opposite the circus was a cemetery separated by the Via Cornelia. Funeral monuments and mausoleums and small tombs as well as altars to pagan gods of all kinds of polytheistic religions were constructed lasting until before the construction of the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter's in the first half of the 4th century. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Remains of this ancient necropolis were brought to light sporadically during renovations by various popes throughout the centuries increasing in frequency during the Renaissance until it was systematically excavated by orders of Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1941.Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

In 326, the first church, the Constantinian basilica, was built over the site that early Roman Catholic apologists (from the first century on) as well as noted Italian archaeologists argue was the tomb of Saint Peter, buried in a common cemetery on the spot.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

From then on the area started to become more populated, but mostly only by dwelling houses connected with the activity of St. Peter's. A palace was constructed near the site of the basilica as early as the 5th century during the pontificate of Pope Symmachus (reigned 498–514).Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

Popes in their secular role gradually came to govern neighbouring regions and, through the Papal States, ruled a large portion of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid 19th century, when all of the territory of the Papal States was seized by the newly created Kingdom of Italy.HP Compaq 572190-001 battery

For much of this time the Vatican was not the habitual residence of the Popes, but rather theLateran Palace, and in recent centuries, the Quirinal Palace, while the residence from 1309–77 was at Avignon in France.HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery

Italian unification

In 1870, the Pope's holdings were left in an uncertain situation when Rome itself was annexed by the Piedmont-led forces which had united the rest of Italy, after a nominal resistance by the papal forces. Between 1861 and 1929 the status of the Pope was referred to as the "Roman Question". HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

The successive Popes were undisturbed in their palace, and certain prerogatives recognized by theLaw of Guarantees, including the right to send and receive ambassadors. But the Popes did not recognise the Italian king's right to rule in Rome, and they refused to leave the Vatican compound until the dispute was resolved in 1929.HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

Other states continued to maintain international recognition of the Holy See as a sovereign entity.

In practice Italy made no attempt to interfere with the Holy See within the Vatican walls. However, they confiscated church property in many other places, including, perhaps most notably, the Quirinal Palace, formerly the pope's official residence. Compaq Presario 300 battery

Pope Pius IX (1846–78), the last ruler of the Papal States, claimed that after Rome was annexed he was a "Prisoner in the Vatican".

Lateran treaties

This situation was resolved on 11 February 1929 between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy. HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

The treaty was signed by Benito Mussolini on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III and by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri for Pope Pius XI. The Lateran Treaty and the Concordat established the independent State of the Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy.HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

Recent history

In 1984, a new concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain provisions of the earlier treaty, including the position of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion.HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

Head of state

The Pope is ex officio head of state of Vatican City, functions dependent on his primordial function as bishop of the diocese of Rome. The term Holy Seerefers not to the Vatican state but to the Pope's spiritual and pastoral governance, largely exercised through the Roman Curia.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

His official title with regard to Vatican City is Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City.

His principal subordinate government official for Vatican City is the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, who since 1952 exercises the functions previously belonging to the Governor of Vatican City.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Since 2001, the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State also has the title of President of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City.

The Pope resides in the Papal Apartments of the Papal Palace overlooking off Saint Peter's Square. It is here he carries out his business and meets foreign representatives.HP DV9700 battery

The current Pope is Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Bavaria, Germany. Italian Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo serves as President of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 11 September 2006.Compaq CQ35-100 battery


The politics of Vatican City takes place in an absolute elective monarchy, in which the head of the Roman Catholic Church takes power. The Pope exercises principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of Vatican City (an entity distinct from the Holy See), which is a rare case of a non-hereditary monarchy.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Vatican City is currently the only widely recognised independent state that has not become a member of the United Nations. The Holy See, which is distinct from Vatican City State, has permanent observer status with all the rights of a full member except for a vote in the UN General Assembly.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

Political system

The government of Vatican City has a unique structure. The Pope is the sovereign of the state. Legislative authority is vested in the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, a body of cardinals appointed by the Pope for five-year periods. Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

Executive power is in the hands of the President of that commission, assisted by the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary. The state's foreign relations are entrusted to the Holy See's Secretariat of State and diplomatic service. Nevertheless, the pope has full and absolute executive, legislative and judicial power over Vatican City. Sony VGN-CR11M Battery

He is currently the only absolute monarch in Europe.

There are specific departments that deal with health, security, telecommunications, etc.

The Cardinal Camerlengo presides over the Apostolic Camera to which is entrusted the administration of the property and the protection of the temporal rights of the Holy See during a papal vacancy. Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery

Those of the Vatican State remain under the control of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City. Acting with three other cardinals chosen by lot every three days, one from each order of cardinals (cardinal bishop, cardinal priest, and cardinal deacon), he in a sense performs during that period the functions of head of state. Sony VGN-NR11S Battery

All the decisions these four cardinals take must be approved by the College of Cardinalsas a whole.

The nobility that was closely associated with the Holy See at the time of the Papal States continued to be associated with the Papal Court after the loss of these territories, generally with merely nominal duties (see Papal Master of the Horse, Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, Hereditary officers of the Roman Curia, Black Nobility). Sony VGN-NR110E Battery

They also formed the ceremonial Noble Guard. In the first decades of the existence of the Vatican City State, executive functions were entrusted to some of them, including that of Delegate for the State of Vatican City (now denominated President of the Commission for Vatican City). Sony VGN-NR110E/T Battery

But with the motu proprio Pontificalis Domus of 28 March 1968, Pope Paul VIabolished the honorary positions that had continued to exist until then, such as Quartermaster General and Master of the Horse.

The State of the Vatican City, created in 1929 by the Lateran Pacts, provides the Holy See with a temporal jurisdiction and independence within a small territory. Sony VGN-NR110E/S Battery

It is distinct from the Holy See. The state can thus be deemed a significant but not essential instrument of the Holy See. The Holy See itself has existed continuously as a juridical entity since Roman Imperial times and has been internationally recognised as a powerful and independent sovereign entity since late antiquity to the present, without interruption even at times when it was deprived of territory (e.g. 1870 to 1929).Sony VGN-NR110E/W Battery

The Holy See has the oldest active continuous diplomatic service in the world, dating back to at least AD 325 with its legation to the Council of Nicea. Ambassadors are accredited to the Holy See, never to the Vatican City State.HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

Military and police

Though, like various European powers, earlier Popes recruited Swiss mercenaries as part of an army, the Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded by Pope Julius II on 22 January 1506 as the personal bodyguard of the Pope and continues to fulfil that function. It is listed in the Annuario Pontificio under "Holy See", not under "State of Vatican City".Dell Latitude E6400 battery

At the end of 2005, the Guard had 134 members. Recruitment is arranged by a special agreement between the Holy See and Switzerland. All recruits must be Catholic, unmarried males with Swiss citizenship who have completed their basic training with the Swiss Army with certificates of good conduct, be between the ages of 19 and 30, and be at least 175 cm (68.90 in) in height.Apple A1281 battery

Members are armed with small arms and the traditional halberd (also called the Swiss voulge), and trained in bodyguarding tactics.

The Palatine Guard and the Noble Guard were disbanded by Pope Paul VI in 1970. While the first body was founded as a militia at the service of the Papal States, its functions within the Vatican State, like those of the Noble Guard, were merely ceremonial.Apple A1280 battery

The Corpo della Gendarmeria acts as a police force. Its full name is Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano (which means "Gendarmerie Corps of the Vatican City State"), although it is sometimes referred to as the Vigilanza, as a shortening of an earlier name. Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

The Gendarmeria is responsible for public order, law enforcement, crowd and traffic control, and criminal investigations in Vatican City.

The military defence of the Vatican City is provided by Italy and its armed forces, given the fact that Vatican City is an enclave within the Italian Republic.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Vatican City has no armed force of its own, the Swiss Guard being a corps responsible for the security of the Pope. (See: Military of Vatican City)


Legislative functions are delegated to the unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, led by the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

Its seven members are cardinals appointed by the Pope for terms of five years. Acts of the commission must be approved by the pope, through the Holy See'sSecretariat of State, and before taking effect must be published in a special appendix of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.HP 448007-001 battery

Most of the content of this appendix consists of routine executive decrees, such as approval for a new set of postage stamps.

Executive authority is delegated to the Governorate of Vatican City. The Governorate consists of the President of the Pontifical Commission—using the title "President of the Governorate of Vatican City"—a General Secretary, and a Vice General Secretary, each appointed by the pope for five year terms. Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Important actions of the Governorate must be confirmed by the Pontifical Commission and by the Pope through the Secretariat of State.

The Governorate oversees the central governmental functions through several departments and offices. The directors and officials of these offices are appointed by the pope for five year terms. HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

These organs concentrate on material questions concerning the state's territory, including local security, records, transportation, and finances. The Governorate oversees a modern security and police corps, the Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

Judicial functions are delegated to a supreme court, an appeals court, a tribunal, and a trial judge. In all cases, the pope may choose at any time to exercise supreme legislative, executive, or judicial functions in the state.

The Country code prefix is SCV, and the only postal code is 00120 -- altogether SCV-00120.HP DV9700 battery

Foreign relations

Vatican City State is a recognised national territory under international law, but it is the Holy See that conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf, in addition to the Holy See's own diplomacy, entering into international agreements in its regard. The Vatican City State thus has no diplomatic service of its own. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

Because of space limitations, Vatican City is one of the few countries in the world that is unable to host embassies.

Foreign embassies to the Holy See are located in the city of Rome; only during the Second World War were the staff of some embassies accredited to the Holy See given what hospitality was possible within the narrow confines of Vatican City  --Compaq CQ50 battery

embassies such as that of the United Kingdom while Rome was held by the Axis Powers and Germany's when the Allies controlled Rome.

The size of Vatican City is thus unrelated to the large global reach exercised by the Holy See as an entity quite distinct from the state.HP Pavilion DV7 battery

However, Vatican City State itself participates in some international organizations whose functions relate to the state as a geographical entity, distinct from the non-territorial legal persona of the Holy See.

These organizations are much less numerous than those in which the Holy See participates either as a member or with observer status.Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

They include the following seven, in each of which Vatican City State holds membership:

  • European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT)
  • European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Eutelsat IGO)
  • International Grains Council (IGC)  Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery
  • International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IISA)
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO)
  • Universal Postal Union (UPU)  Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

It also participates in:


The Vatican City State budget includes the Vatican museums and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publications sales. Asus M52N Battery

Moreover, an annual collection taken up in dioceses and direct donations go to a non-budgetary fund known as Peter's Pence, which is used directly by the Pope for charity, disaster relief, and aid to churches in developing nations. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery

Other industries include printing, the production of mosaics, and the manufacture of staff uniforms.

The Vatican also conducts worldwide financial activities, having its own bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione (also known as the Vatican Bank, and with the acronym IOR). SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

This bank has an ATM with instructions in Latin, possibly the only such ATM in the world.

Vatican City issues its own coins. It has used the euro as its currency since 1 January 1999, owing to a special agreement with the European Union (council decision 1999/98/CE). SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Euro coins and notes were introduced in 1 January 2002—the Vatican does not issue euro banknotes. Issuance of euro-denominated coins is strictly limited by treaty, though somewhat more than usual is allowed in a year in which there is a change in the papacy.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

Because of their rarity, Vatican euro coins are highly sought by collectors. Until the adoption of the Euro, Vatican coinage and stamps were denominated in their own Vatican lira currency, which was on par with the Italian lira.

The Vatican City State, which employs nearly 2000 people, ran a deficit in 2008 of over 15 million euros, but in 2007 had a surplus of 6.7 million euros.SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery

Population and languages

Almost all of Vatican City's 826 (2009 est.) citizens either live inside the Vatican's walls or serve in the Holy See's diplomatic service in embassies (called "nunciatures"; a papal ambassador is a "nuncio") around the world. Dell XPS M1210 Battery

The Vatican citizenry consists almost entirely of two groups: clergy, most of whom work in the service of the Holy See, and a very few as officials of the state; and the Swiss Guard. Most of the 3,000 lay workers who comprise the majority of the Vatican workforce reside outside the Vatican and are citizens of Italy, while a few are citizens of other nations. Dell KM958 battery

As a result, all of the City's actual citizens are Catholic as are all the places of worship.

Vatican City has no set official language. Unlike the Holy See, which most often uses Latin for the authoritative version of its official documents, Vatican City uses Italian in its legislation and official communications.Dell Studio 1555 battery

Italian is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state. In the Swiss Guard, German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages, German, French,Romansh or Italian. Vatican City's official website languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

(This site should not be confused with that of the Holy See, which uses all these languages, along with Portuguese, with Latin since 9 May 2008 and Chinese since 18 March 2009.)

Pre-March 2011  Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery

Unlike citizenship of other states, which is based either on jus sanguinis (birth from a citizen, even outside the state's territory) or on jus soli (birth within the territory of the state), citizenship of Vatican City is granted jus officii, namely on the grounds of appointment to work in a certain capacity in the service of the Holy See. Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery

It usually ceases upon cessation of the appointment. Citizenship is extended also to the spouse, parents and descendants of a citizen, provided they are living with the person who is a citizen.

Anyone who loses Vatican citizenship and does not possess other citizenship automatically becomes an Italian citizen as judged by Italian law.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

As of 31 December 2005, there were, apart from the Pope himself, 557 people with Vatican citizenship, while there were 246 residents in the state who did not have its citizenship.

Of the 557 citizens, 74% were clergy:

  • 58 cardinals, resident in Rome, mostly outside the Vatican;Sony VGP-BPL9 battery
  • 293 clergy, members of the Holy See's diplomatic missions, resident in other countries, and forming well over half the total of the citizens;
  • 62 other clergy, working but not necessarily living in the Vatican.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

The 101 members of the Papal Swiss Guard constituted 18% of the total, and there were only 43 other lay persons with Vatican citizenship.

Post-February 2011

On 22 February 2011, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a new "Law concerning citizenship, residency and access" to Vatican City, which became effective on 1 March. Sony VGP-BPL15 battery

It replaced the 1929 "Law concerning citizenship and residence". There are 16 articles in the new law, whereas the old law had 33 articles. Vatican citizenship now has four categories: (1) the pope, (2) cardinals residing in Vatican City, (3) active members of the Holy See's diplomatic corps, and (4) other directors of Vatican offices and services.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

The new law created a new status, that of official Vatican "residents", i.e., people who live in Vatican City but are not citizens.As of March 1, 2011, the Vatican had 572 citizens, but only 220 of them were living in Vatican City. The other 352 citizens were apostolic nuncios and diplomatic staff.HP Pavilion dv8000 battery

The 220 citizens living in Vatican City were among more than 800 people living in the Vatican.


Vatican City is home to some of the most famous art in the world. St. Peter's Basilica, whose successive architects include Bramante, Michelangelo,Giacomo della Porta, Maderno and Bernini is a renowned work of Renaissance architecture.HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery

The Sistine Chapel is famous for its frescos, which include works by Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Botticelli as well as the ceiling and Last Judgement by Michelangelo. Artists who decorated the interiors of the Vatican include Raphael and Fra Angelico.HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery

The Vatican Library and the collections of the Vatican Museums are of the highest historical, scientific and cultural importance. In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites; it is the only one to consist of an entire state. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery

Furthermore, it is the only site to date registered with the UNESCO as a centre containing monuments in the "International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection" according to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery


Vatican City has a reasonably well developed transport network considering its size (consisting mostly of a plaza and walkways). As a country that is 1.05 kilometres (0.6 mi) long and 0.85 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide, it has a small transportation system with no airports or highways. HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

There is one heliport and a standard gauge railway connected to Italy's network at Rome's Saint Peter's station by an 852 metres (932 yd) long spur, only 300 metres (328 yd) of which is within Vatican territory.

Pope John XXIII was the first Pope to make use of this railway, and Pope John Paul II used it as well, albeit very rarely. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

The railway is mainly used to transport freight. As Vatican City has no airports (it is one of the few independent states in the world without one, except for the aforementioned heliport), it is served by the airports that serve the city of Rome, within which the Vatican is located, namely: HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and to a lesser extent, Ciampino Airport, which both serve as the departure gateway for the Pope's international visits.


The City is served by an independent, modern telephone system, the Vatican Pharmacy, and post office.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery

The postal system was founded on 11 February 1929, and two days later became operational. On 1 August, the state started to release its own postal stamps, under the authority of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State. The City's postal service is sometimes recognised as "the best in the world" and mail has been noted to get to its target before the postal service in Rome. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery

The Vatican also controls its own Internet TLD, which is registered as (.va). Broadband service is widely provided within Vatican City. Vatican City has also been given a radio ITU prefix, HV, and this is sometimes used by amateur radio operators.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Vatican Radio, which was organised by Guglielmo Marconi, broadcasts on short-wave, medium-wave and FM frequencies and on the Internet. Its main transmission antennae are located in Italian territory. Television services are provided through another entity, the Vatican Television Center.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

L'Osservatore Romano is the multilingual semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. It is published by a private corporation under the direction of Roman Catholic laymen but reports on official information. However, the official texts of documents are in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official gazette of the Holy See, which has an appendix for documents of the Vatican City State.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and L'Osservatore Romano are organs not of the Vatican State but of the Holy See, and are listed as such in the Annuario Pontificio, which places them in the section "Institutions linked with the Holy See", ahead of the sections on the Holy See's diplomatic service abroad and the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, after which is placed the section on the State of Vatican City.SONY VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

Borgo (sometimes called also I Borghi), is the 14th historic district (rione) of Rome. It lies on the west bank of the Tiber, and has a trapezoidal shape. Its coat of arms shows a lion (after the name "Leonine City", which was also given to the district), lying in front of three mounts and a star. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

These - together with a lion rampant - are also part of the coat of arms of Pope Sixtus V who annexed Borgo as fourteenth rione to the city of Rome.

The Borgo borders the Vatican City (Saint Peter's Square) to the west, the Tiber to the east, Prati to the north, the quartiere Aurelio to the southwest andTrastevere to the south.SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

The territory of the quarter includes a level part, which is made of the alluvial sands of Tiber, and a hilly zone, which coincides with the clayey slopes of the Vatican hill.

In administrative terms, the Borgo, unlike Trastevere, does not belong to the Center (I Municipio), but to the XVII Municipio, together with the rione of Prati and the quartieri Trionfale and Della Vittoria (around Piazza Mazzini).Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

The main roads run east-west and (with the noteworthy exception of the modern Via della Conciliazione) are not named Vie, but Borghi.

Although heavily transformed during the first half of the 20th century, the Borgo maintains its historical importance as a forecourt to Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Palace.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

The territory of the Borgo during the Roman age was part of the fourteenth Regio, Transtiberim, and was named Ager Vaticanus,after the auguries (vaticinii), which were taken there by the Etruscan Augures. Since it lay outside the Pomerium, and was plagued by malaria, this territory was used as a burial place. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

Some tombs reached notable proportions: among them, the so called Terebinthus Neronis, which was a round tomb surmounted by a narrow tower; while theMeta Romuli (a pyramid similar to that still standing near Porta San Paolo), was demolished only in 1499.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

At the foot of the Vatican Hill, two roads started: the Via Cornelia, which joined the Via Aurelia near Tarquinii, and the Via Triumphalis (Triumphal Road), which met the Via Cassia a few kilometers north. The latter was so named because, beginning with Titus, the Roman Emperors used it to enter the city when celebrating their Triumphs.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery

At the beginning of the Imperial Age, magnificent Villae and Horti (Gardens), such as those owned by Agrippina the Elder, wife of Germanicus and mother ofGaius (Horti Agrippinae), and by Domitia Longina, wife of Domitianus (Horti Domitiae), were built near the slopes of the Gianicolo and Vatican hills.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery

Emperor Gaius (also known as Caligula) built on the Vatican a circus (Circus Gaianus), which was then enlarged by Nero (Circus Neronis).[5] The obeliskstanding today in St. Peter's Square was erected along its raised median (the spina). The circus was connected to the city through an archway (Porticus). SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery

Nero also substituted the timber bridge of the Via Triumphalis with a stone bridge, (whose ruins can still be seen in the Tiber during the minimum flow periods) named after him Pons Neronianus or Triumphalis. Emperor Hadrian built near the Tiber his huge Mausoleum, which he connected to the left bank of the river with another Bridge, the Pons Ælius (today's Ponte Sant'Angelo).SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery

But what changed forever the destiny of the zone was the martyrdom of St. Peter at the foot of the Vatican hill in 67, during the first persecution of the Christians. The saint was buried nearby, and this turned the Vatican into a place of pilgrimage. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery

Above the tomb of the saint, Pope Anacletus built an oratory , which in 324 Emperor Constantine turned into a huge basilica devoted to the prince of theApostles. This church, known today as Old Saint Peter's, soon became (until its destruction in the 16th century, when the new Saint Peter's was erected in its place) one of the centers of Christianity.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery

Middle Ages: Civitas Leonina

During the early Middle Ages the bridge of Nero fell into ruins, while the Mausoleum of Hadrian was converted into a stronghold (Castel Sant'Angelo), the possession of which ensured control of the city. Despite the wars and invasions that plagued Rome during those centuries, the flood of pilgrims to the tomb of the apostle never stopped. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery

Pilgrims of the same nationality gathered together in associations named Scholae, whose task was to host and to aid men and women of the same nation coming to Rome. The most famous were those of the Franks, Saxons, Frisians and Lombards. Each Schola had its own hospice and church.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery

One of the first – the Schola Saxonum - was built during the 8th century by Ina, king of the Saxons. That hospice became the core of the futureHospital of Santo Spirito, one of the oldest and largest in Rome, founded by Pope Innocent III in 1198. Near the hospital was erected the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery

The German pilgrims gave the zone around their Scholae the name Burg (fortified town),which, italianised, became the name of the quarter.

Since it lay outside the Aurelian's Walls, the Borgo was always exposed to attacks. During the 8th and 9th centuries, the quarter –SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery

together with the basilica - was plundered several times by the Saracens who landed in Porto (near Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber),and devastated by fires (that of 847 was immortaled by Raphael in the fresco painted in the stanze vaticane).

Finally, Pope Leo IV built the walls, which still bear his name.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery

On June 27, 852 the Pope, accompanied by the clergy and people, started this undertaking walking bare-foot along the circuit of the new walls. Then, in order to augment the population, Pope Leo settled in the Borgo several families of Corsicans. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery

Since that time, the quarter was no longer considered a part of Rome, but a separate town, the Leonine City (Civitas Leonina), with its own magistrates and governor. It was only in 1586, under Pope Sixtus V, that the Borgo, as fourteenth rione, became again a part of Rome. SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery

The Leonine walls, which incorporated an older wall built by Totila during the Gothic War, still exist between the Vatican and the Castle, where they bear the name of Passetto. This constitutes a covered passage, which could be used – and actually has been used several times - by the Pope as an escape route from his residence to the Castle in case of danger.SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery

In the Middle Ages, the quarter was not much populated, with sparse houses, some churches and a lot of vegetable gardens. There were also several brick furnaces, using the clay abundant in the Vatican and Gianicolohills. A small harbor, the Porto Leonino, later used to deliver the travertine blocks needed to build the new Saint Peter's, existed south of the castle.SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

The pilgrims going to St. Peter's and coming from the left bank through Ponte Sant'Angelo, after entering a gate(later named Porta Castello) could walk through the Borgo of the Saxons (today's Borgo S. Spirito) or the Porticus or Portica (named now Porticus Sancti Petri), which was still in place.SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Those coming from Trastevere along the route that would later become Via della Lungara used the posterula Saxonum(today's Porta Santo Spirito), and, finally, the pilgrims coming from the north (monte Mario) following the Via Francigena, entered throughPorta San Pellegrino (also named Viridaria because of its vicinity to the Vatican Gardens).co.uk/sony-vgp-bps13a-s-battery.html">SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

During the first Jubilee, which took place in 1300 under Boniface VIII, the Leonine City, as remembered by Dante in its Commedia[15] was visited by an enormous number of pilgrims.

During the Avignon Papacy the Borgo, together with Rome, suffered decay. SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

The Portica collapsed, and on its place was built the road of Borgo Vecchio, also named Carriera Martyrum after the martyrs going to death in the Circus of Nero. During that time only Borgo S. Spirito and Borgo Vecchio allowed to reach Saint Peter's from the left bank.Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

Renaissance Age

The recovery began with the end of the Western Schism and the beginning of the Renaissance. By that time, the center of gravity of Rome began to shift from the zone around Campidoglio, where medieval Rome had developed, to the Campo Marzio plain. Dell Studio 1450 Battery

At the same time, the Popes abandoned finally the Lateran complex for the Vatican, which now became the new center of power in Rome.[17] The large amount of building activity and above all the rebuilding of Saint Peter, which was the ultimate result of this translocation, attracted several artists to the Borgo, while the renewed flood of pilgrims boosted commerce.Dell Studio 1457 Battery

Under Nicholas V, Bernardo Rossellino planned three diverging roads with arcades going to Saint Peter, but the Pontiff's death blocked the project. Sixtus IVopened a new road parallel to the Passetto, named after him via Sistina (later Borgo Sant'Angelo).Dell Latitude D610 Battery

Magnificent Buildings were built at the beginning of the 16th century by high prelates and aristocrats. To enumerate a few: Palazzo Branconio dell'Aquila, designed by Raphael; the Palazzo Caprini by Donato Bramante (a house that Raphael chose to buy, it later became part of the Palazzo dei Convertendi );Dell Studio 1457 Battery

Palazzo Castellesi, built by Cardinal Adriano Castellesi, attributed to Andrea Bregno or Bramante and a small-scale copy of the Palazzo della Cancelleria, and Palazzo dei Penitenzieri, perhaps designed by of Baccio Pontelli. The last three palazzi faced a small square, (Piazza del Cardinale di S. Clemente, laterPiazza Scossacavalli), which became the most important in the Borgo.Toshiba Satellite M60 battery

Also wealthy bourgeoises, such as Febo Brigotti and Jacopo da Brescia, the doctors respectively of Paul III and Leo X, had their elegant houses built in the Borgo.

The Leonine City at that time was also renowned in Rome for its stufe. Dell Latitude D830 Battery

These buildings, whose tradition came fromGermany (the name comes from the German word stube), were something between a Roman bath and a modern sauna, and were often attended by artists, who could freely sketch nudes there (Raffaello himself was owner of a stufa in Borgo, near his palace). Dell Latitude D620 Battery

In order to solve the traffic problem, a new road, the Via Alexandrina or Recta, later named Borgo Nuovo, was opened during the Jubilee of 1500 by PopeAlexander VI Borgia. It should be noted, that after the creation of Borgo Nuovo to the north of the already existing road of Borgo Vecchio, the row of houses between these two roads formed the so called "spina" (named thus on account of its similarity to the dividing line of a Roman Circus). Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery

At about its middle, the spina was interrupted by a small square, called Piazza Scossacavalli. A recurrent theme of Roman city planning, were the various projects contemplating the demolition of the spina: starting with, that of Carlo Fontana in the late 17th century; and ending, in 1936, when, under Benito Mussolini and Pius XI, this task was finally accomplished.Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

The golden Age of the Borgo reached its apogee during the reign of the two Florentine Popes, Leo X and Clement VII, bothMedicis. Under the latter, the quarter had a population of 4,926 inhabitants, almost all bachelors and non-Roman. Nine out of the twenty five Cardinals belonging to the Curia, each of whom maintained a court comprising hundreds of people, were living here.Sony VGN-FW11M Battery

The most important artists (such as Raphael) took or built their houses in the Borgo. The only important female presence was that of the so called Cortigiane, decent prostitutes, who were the lovers of high prelates and noblemen.Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery

All this came to an abrupt end on May 6, 1527, when the soldiers of Charles V entered the Leonine City and mercilessly plundered it, so starting the Sack of Rome. Clement VII barely escaped capture, running through the Passetto in his night dress and locking himself within Castel S. Angelo, while all the Swiss Guards, except those defending his escape, were killed near the obelisk.Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

Despite this disaster, the quarter was able to recover quite quickly. Paul III restored the walls, erecting three newramparts and the still unfinished Porta Santo Spirito (the work of Antonio da Sangallo the younger).Dell Latitude E4200 Battery

The Borgo continued to grow to such an extent, that in 1565 Pius IV started the construction of three new roads, all north of the Passetto, named respectively Borgo Pio (after himself), Borgo Vittorio (after the victory of Lepanto) and Borgo Angelico(after Angelo his own first name prior to his election).Dell Inspiron 300M Battery

In order to boost the new settlement, he gave tax privileges to the Romans who choose to build their houses here. New Walls, and a new monumental gate (Porta Angelica), were built to protect the new area, which in honor of the Pope was named Civitas Pia. Pius IV also demolished several old churches and monasteries: Dell Studio 1737 battery

Among these, in 1564, the old Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, which lies directly next to the Castle. A new church bearing the same name was built in 1587 in the middle of Borgo Nuovo.

XIV Rione of Rome

On December 9, 1586 (the year when Domenico Fontana erected in Saint Peter's Square the obelisk once standing in the Circus of Nero), Pope Sixtus V declared Borgo the fourteenth Rione of the city.Dell Inspiron E1505 battery

Its Coat of Arms represents a Lion (representing the Leonine City), and three Mounts and a Star (taken from the coat of arms of Pope Sixtus). Dell RM791 battery

At the beginning of the 17th century Pope Paul V restored the Aqua Traiana, an ancient Roman Aqueduct, and had several fountains built in the Rione (among them, that designed by Carlo Maderno in Piazza Scossacavalli, now placed in front of the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle).Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh

Pope Alexander VII, after the completion of the beautiful colonnade designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (built between 1656 and 1665), ordered the demolition of the first block in front of it. He created so the Piazza Rusticucci, the vestibule to Saint Peter's Square. Among the other buildings, which then went lost, there was Palazzo Branconio.Dell Precision M70 Battery

During the 18th and the early 19th centuries, the Borgo continued its peaceful existence, and kept its characteristics. The bourgeoises abandoned the rione for the new settlements in Campo Marzio, and Borgo became a quarter inhabited by simple people (artisans or workers at the Vatican), very devoted yet always open to new ideas, and men of the church, who appreciated the vicinity to the Holy See.SONY VGN -FZ210CE Battery

Many sellers of religious goods, named Paternostrari or Coronari (rosary makers) had their shops here. At the edge of the quarter, in Vicolo degli ombrellari, a small lane near Borgo Pio, were the shops of the Roman umbrella makers, gathered there because of the bad smell coming from the oiled silk.Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery

In Borgo Vecchio several small foundries were active, where artistic objects made of bronze were cast. Particularly characteristic was the making of bells: the last foundry, located in Vicolo del Farinone, closed around 1995, after an activity lasted about 450 years. Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery

In the Borgo were also located many famousosterie, where Romans and pilgrims could eat and drink wine.

Another profession peculiar to the men of the Borgo was that of headsman ("boia"). In fact, the executioner was forbidden to live on the left bank, and even to go there ("Boia non passa Ponte", in English: "the headsman cannot cross the bridge", was a Roman proverb), but had to stay in the Leonine City.Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery

The most important yearly event for the rione was the spectacular procession of Corpus Domini, which started and finished in Saint Peter's, and was led by the Pope himself together with the Cardinal Dean, during which each building was dressed with flags and standards.Sony VGP-BPS10 battery

Things began to change again for the Borgo during the French occupation under Napoleon. The Préfet of Rome, Camille de Tournon, started the demolition of the spina, but the project had to be interrupted shortly after it began due to a lack of funds.Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

During the Italian Risorgimento the Borgo, together with Trastevere and Monti, was one of the quarters of Rome where public opinion supported with great enthusiasm the struggle for Italian independence. When, shortly after the September 20, 1870 the Italians offered the Pope full sovereignty over the Leonine City with all its inhabitantsSony VGP-BPS11 battery

, this caused violent demontrations in the Borgo. This offer was refused by Pius IX, who preferred to declare himself a prisoner of the Italian State and seclude himself in the vatican complex.

After 1870, the walls of Pius IV, which bordered the Rione to the N, Sony VGP-BPS22 battery

were pulled down, together with the Porta Angelica, to ease communication with the new Rione of Prati. Between 1886 and 1911 a new Bridge, Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, located slightly North of the ruins of Nero's Bridge, connected the new avenue of Corso Vittorio Emanuele with Borgo.Sony VGP-BPL8 battery

1936-1950: the Destruction of the Spina

This situation changed forever in 1936. In that year the project of the demolition of the spina, by the Roman architects Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli, was approved by Mussolini and Pius XI and put in execution. Sony VGP-BPS14 battery

An agreement between the two leaders had been possible because of the new climate of collaboration between the State and the Church, which followed the signing of the Lateran Treaties ("La Conciliazione" in Italian) in 1929. On October 23, 1936 (the day after the anniversary of the March on Rome), the Duce himself, standing on a roof, gave the first stroke of the pickaxe.Sony VGP-BPS21 battery

On October 8, 1937 (less than one year later), the spina had ceased to exist, and Saint Peter was freely visible from Castel Sant'Angelo.

Due to World War II, the work was interrupted. In the aftermath of the war, although the political and cultural Climate has changed, the government and the Vatican decided to finish the project.Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery

Two Propylaea were built in front of Saint Peter's Square (inside that on the south side was enclosed the ancient church of San Lorenzo in piscibus), and two others at the beginning of the road. The road was finished in time for the Jubilee of 1950, by putting along it two rows of obelisks (which the Romans quickly christened "the suppositories").Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery

The result was that almost all the houses of the Rione south of the Passetto were demolished, and a new Grand Avenue, Via della Conciliazione (so named after the Treaty of 1929 between Italy and the Holy See), emerged. A few major buildings (Santa Maria in Traspontina, Palazzo Torlonia, Palazzo dei Penitenzieri) were spared because they were more or less on axis with the new road.Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery

All the others were either pulled down and rebuilt with their fronts on the new roads (like Palazzo dei Convertendi, rebuilt on Via della Conciliazione, and the houses of Febo Brigotti and Jacopo da Brescia, whose façades were assembled again on the new Via dei Corridori), SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

or (like the small churches of San Giacomo a Scossacavalli and Sant'Angelo ai Corridori, built respectively on Piazza Scossacavalli and along the Passetto) simply demolished and never rebuilt.

Besides a few drawings, no scientific documentation of the old quarter was taken. SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

Most of the inhabitants, whose families have been living and working in Borgo for centuries, were deported to the outskirts in the middle of the Campagna, as Acilia. That happened because no new apartment houses were built, but only offices, mainly used by the Vatican.SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Judgement about the whole undertaking, controversial since the beginning, appears now to be largely negative. In fact, besides the destruction of many ancient edifices and, above all, of a whole social tissue, what was lost forever was the "surprise" (typical of the Baroque), SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

which everyone experienced when, at the very end of the narrow and dark lanes of the Borgo, the huge Piazza and Basilica suddenly appeared. Now, instead, Saint Peter's appears in the distance, flattened as in a postcard, and the sense of perspective gets lost as well.SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

During the nineteen thirties extensive demolition affected also the NW part of the rione (Via di Porta Angelica e Via del Mascherino). These were officially undertaken in order to better define the border between Italy and the new State of the Vatican City.SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery

Borgo Today

Since 1950, the remaining Borghiciani (the name by which the inhabitants of the Borgo are called in Roman dialect), live north of the Passetto, where the quarter retained until recent times its popular character. Several high prelates live there: among them, Pope Benedict XVI, who had been living in Borgo Pio for more than twenty years before his election to the Papacy. SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery

South of the Passetto the quarter shows quite another face: There now exist only some offices (mainly belonging to the Vatican), an Auditorium, and the huge complex of the Hospital of Santo Spirito, which after more than 800 years continues its mission. The only link with the past are the souvenir shops that stand on Via della Conciliazione.SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery

Two major events hit the Borgo during the last years. In 2000, the Jubilee caused an invasion of pilgrims and a real estate boom. Several apartments became residences for tourists, while many artisans were forced to leave the rione, and their workrooms were transformed into fast food and souvenir stores.SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery

In 2005, during the weeks between the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI, the rione could bravely stand the impact of millions of pilgrims coming to Rome to give homage to the dead Pontiff.Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

Vatican City pursued a policy of neutrality during World War II, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII. Although the city of Rome was occupied by Germany from 1943 and the Allies from 1944, Vatican City itself was not occupied.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery


The Lateran Treaty of 1929 with Italy recognized the sovereignty of Vatican City. It declared Vatican City a neutral country in international relations, and required the pope to abstain even from mediation unless requested by all parties. Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

In 1939, the city state was recognized by thirty-eight nations, with adiplomatic corp of thirteen full ambassadors and twenty-five ministers.

The prevailing view in the Vatican was that the treaty's clause prohibiting the pope from entering Italian politics prohibited the condemnation of Italian military aggression, visited on Albania on Good Friday 1939.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

Public statements

Despite intense behind the scenes actions, Pius XII was resolved not to issue any public pronouncement that took sides in the conflict; this first manifested itself in a refusal to explicitly condemn the German invasion of Poland. Early on, Pius XII believed that the "rapid destruction of Poland meant the end of the war".SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

The pope's first encyclical of the war Summi Pontificatus, promulgated in October 1939, exemplified both "the hesitancy and the care" of the pontiff.

20 July plot

Joseph Müller, German Catholic priest, contacted Ludwig Kaas, hoping to use the pope as an intermediary to allow members of the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler to contact the British.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31E Battery

Kaas put Müller in contact with Father Robert Leiber, who personally asked the pope to relay the information about the German resistance to the British. After more than a day of "quiet reflection", Pius XII agreed to pass the information along to the British. However he refused to pass the information along to the French or even to his own Secretariat of State.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31B Battery

Pius XII met personally with British envoy, D'Arcy Osborne, telling him that he knew the names of the involved German generals but did not wish to share them. Pius XII insisted to Osborne that he was merely passing on a message and that "he did not wish in the slightest degree to endorse it or to recommend it".SONY VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery

When Osborne pressed the pope on the vagueness of his message, Osborne reported that Pius XII replied "perhaps, after all, it was not worth proceeding with the matter and he would therefore ask me to return his communication to me as not having been made".SONY VAIO VGN-FW31Z Battery

The pope further declined Osborne's request to guarantee the good faith of the generals, or whether they could accomplish their goal.In a second meeting, Pius XII flashed a typed, four-page letter in German in front of Osborne, but declined to let him read it or have a copy.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter


As early as April 1939, Pius XII announced a plan for peace, hoping to mediate a negotiation between the major European powers on the brink of war. The first leader contacted was Benito Mussolini, via Pius XII's usual go-between, Jesuit Father Tacchi Venturi.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

With Mussolini's approval, the next day Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Maglione contacted the nuncios in Paris (Valerio Valeri), Warsaw (Filippo Cortesi), and Berlin (Cesare Orsenigo) and the Apostolic Delegate in London (William Godfrey). The proposed Vatican meeting accomplished very little of substance: Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery

if there was any coherent position espoused by the Vatican among its various communications, it was that of appeasement. In particular, the pope attempted to get Poland to accept the secession of the Free City of Danzig to Nazi Germany, a position Polish ambassador Kazimierz Papée (the former High Commissioner of Danzig) and the Polish government could not accept.Dell Inspiron 1720 battery

British historian Owen Chadwick draws four themes from the Vatican mediation attempts:

  • a particular closeness to Mussolini, to the point of sending correspondence of his drafting, from the period May-August 1939Dell Inspiron 1564 battery
  • British and Polish disinterest in Vatican proposals, which were suspected of being pro-Italian and pro-German, respectively
  • major European powers viewed the pope as "no minor pawn upon their chessboard"
  • and, above all, Pius XII wanted to ensure compromise between the Western powers to prevent Russian territorial gains   Dell Inspiron 1764 battery


In late 1942, senior Italian officials first approach the Vatican with peace feelers. In the eyes of the Vatican, "the neutrality of the Vatican, achieved at such cost, was paying a dividend at last".Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

When Mussolini sent his son-in-law, Count Ciano, as ambassador to the Vatican in 1943, the Germans and others speculated about the possibility of Ciano negotiating a separate peace. The British for their part doubted any such intentions and wanted nothing to do with Ciano. Dell XPS 1340 battery

Military history

The closest thing the Vatican had to troops were the Swiss Guard, eponymously of Swiss national origin; the sympathies of the Swiss varied widely, and the Vatican prohibited them from talking about politics in December 1940.Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery

Extraterritorial status

With the German occupation of Rome in 1943 after the fall of Mussolini came rumors of a plot to kidnap the pope; modern scholars are still at odds over the authenticity of such allegations. Dell Inspiron N4010 battery

The Vatican City itself was never occupied; in fact, the chief concern within the Vatican was the potential for lawlessness between the German and Allied occupation, not the potential for German occupation. Ultimately, there was no interval between the occupations, although there was a period of reduced policing. Dell N3010 battery

Bombing of Rome

One of Pius XII's main diplomatic priorities was to prevent the bombing of Rome; so sensitive was the pontiff that he protested even the British air dropping of pamphlets over Rome, claiming that the few landing within the city-state violated the Vatican's neutrality.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

Before the American entry into the war, there was little impetus for such a bombing, as the British saw little strategic value in it. After the American entry, the US opposed such a bombing, fearful of offending Catholic members of its military forces, while the British then supported it.HP Pavilion DM4 battery

Pius XII similarly advocated for the declaration of Rome as an "open city", but this occurred only on August 14, 1943, after Rome had already been bombed twice. Although the Italians consulted the Vatican on the wording of the open city declaration, the impetus for the change had little to do with the Vatican.HP Pavilion DM3 battery

Prisoners of war

After the Italian surrender, Allied prisoners guarded by Italians were released, and many headed for Vatican City. The Vatican feared such an event would compromise its neutrality and gave strict instructions to the Swiss Guard to prevent any such person from entering the city state; a system of identity cards was instituted to prevent non-Vatican personnel from entering St. Peter's. HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

Some Vatican officials, however, did act independently to assist such persons; the most famous example is Hugh O'Flaherty, whose exploits were made famous in the film The Scarlet and the Black.

Osservatore Romano

The Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, published in Italian, was the only newspaper in Italy not censored by the Italian government.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Despite its relatively moderate content, the paper was lionized by the British and French press and vilified by the Italian Fascist press.By May 20, 1940, the paper ceased publishing any articles about the war not authored by the "official Italian war communique" per an agreement with the Italian government.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

By August 1940 its weather reports were also eliminated when the Italian government protested that they might aid British aircraft.

Vatican Radio

The Vatican Radio was in a similar situation; for example, it ceased news about prisoners-of-war, which the Italian government worried would hint at the location of ships.HP DV9700 battery

t also ceased reporting on the weather, for the same reason. After Cardinal August Hlond issued a fiery, Polish-language message to Poland over the radio (which could scarcely be picked up in Poland), "nothing like this broadcast was ever allowed to happen again".HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

After German complaints, the radio ceased any discussion of the situation in Poland, and later ceased discussing the situation of the church in Germany. Pius XII personally spoke over the radio on several occasions, most notably during his 1942 Christmas address.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

Church organization

Occupying powers often requested that Pius XII reorganize conquered Catholic dioceses. Although such reorganization was generally refused, the decision of Pius XII to appoint German apostolic administrators to occupied Poland was "one of his most controversial decisions".HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

These actions were the primary justification of the Polish Provisional Government for declaring the Concordat of 1925 null and void in 1945, an act that had tremendous consequences for post-war Polish-Vatican relations. There was no Apostolic Nuncio to Poland between 1947 and 1989.HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

Immediate postwar aftermath

The Allies entered Rome on June 4–5, 1944. The pope was the greatest celebrity on the Italian peninsula during this period, and—given the tarnishment of the King of Italy with fascism—there was even talk of extending the temporal power of the papacy.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

The pope granted audiences with Allied soldiers and leaders, which were prominently photographed.

Pius XII had refrained from creating cardinals during the war. By the end of World War II there were several prominent vacancies: Cardinal Secretary of State, Camerlengo, Chancellor, and Prefect for theCongregation for the Religious among them.Compaq Presario 300 battery

Pius XII created 32 cardinals in early 1946, having announced his intentions to do so in his preceding Christmas message.

The flag of Vatican City was adopted on June 7, 1929, the year Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy, creating a new independent state governed by the Holy See. The Vatican flag is modeled on the flag of the earlier Papal States.HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

The flag

The flag consists of two vertical bands, one of gold (hoist side) and one of white with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara centered in the white band. The crossed keys consist of a golden and a silver key, in which the silver key is placed in the dexter position. HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

The flag is one of only two square country flags in the world, the other being the flag of Switzerland.

The Vatican City coat of arms can be found in the white half. The coat of arms consists of:

  • the papal tiara (as used under the pontificate of Pius XI);HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery
  • the two keys which represent the keys to Heaven (according to the Gospel of Matthew 16:19) given by Jesus Christ to St. Peter. The popes are regarded as the successor of Peter, and the gold and silver keys have been significant elements in the symbolism of the Papal State since the 13th century. HP Compaq 572190-001 battery
  • The gold represents spiritual power, while the silver key represents worldly power.
  • a red cord connecting the keys.

The yellow and white of the flag also refer to the keys – in heraldic terminology, there is no distinction between yellow and gold (the metallic color or), nor between white and silver (argent).Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

The flag is flown or displayed worldwide in Roman Catholic churches and institutions, usually alongside the national flag of where the church or institution is located.

The crossed keys was the Papal States coat of arms showing how important the Papal States were to Vatican City.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

The flag of the Holy See

As stated above, the flag of the Vatican City State shows the arms with the silver key in the dexter position. In case of the flag of the Holy See, which is not the same as the Vatican City State, the keys are reversed. Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

When the Vatican City State was established in 1929, the keys in the arms of the Holy See, which shows the gold one in dexter position, were reversed to provide a distinctive symbol for the new state. In the personal arms of the popes, the keys are arranged as in the arms of the Holy See. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

The opposite arrangement would be equivalent to treating him as merely the head of that little state.

The Vatican Television Center (VTC) is the national broadcaster of the state of Vatican City. Vatican Central Television was first aired in 1983.Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

History of the channel

Created in 1983 by the Pope John Paul II, the Vatican Television Center is since November 1996, an institution legally associated with the Vatican.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

The main services offered by the Vatican Television Center (VTC) are live broadcasts, daily help to others media, creation of television programs and archives stock control.


VTC’s main goal is the universal expansion of the Catholicism and the diffusion of the Gospel truth by creating television materials and broadcasting images of the Pope and of Vatican activities.HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery


Programs are mainly base on what happens in Vatican. Daily prayers such as Angelus, general audiences of Wednesdays and various celebrations are broadcast. Pope’s travels around the world are also broadcast. Each year, VTC broadcasts around 130 events in Vatican and covers daily public activities of the holy Pope and its mains activities out of the Vatican.HP 520 battery

  • Octava Dies : is a weekly magazine of 25 minutes broadcast in the entire world since Easter 1998. It is also broadcast by Italian catholic television channels and by press agencies such as APTN. It is available in English and Italian in the Vatican’s website (broadcast every Sunday at 12:30 after the Angelus).HP Compaq 490306-001 battery


Live broadcast are made on the Vatican’s website and by other Italian catholic televisions channels such as Telepace or TV2000, and foreign television channels such as KTO. If asked VTC also gives images to other television channels for events in the Vatican or during Pope’s visits all around the world.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

In Vatican, it can offer assistance setting up press center and press conference but also with services of special reporters and video and audio help for foreign television channels.


VTC produced many documentaries during the ten years of reign of Pope John Paul II, and of Pope Benedict XVI. HP Pavilion DV2745SE battery

It made documentaries on the lives of Pope, on the Vatican city and on the main churches of Catholicism. They were broadcast in English, Spanish, French and in other languages.

Archive center

VTC owns a library of more than 10.000 record, that means 4.000 hours of records and images of Pope John Paul II’s reign since 1984. HP Pavilion DV7 battery

This library is opened to foreign television channels and to documentaries producers from all around the world. The secretary of VTC is opened from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.Compaq Evo N620C battery

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