World's Smallest Country Vatican City

Touriosity Travelmag|May 2020

World's Smallest Country Vatican City
In 1929, the Pope signed an agreement with the then Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and accordingly the Vatican City, which formed part of the city of Rome, was given the status of an independent nation. With a size of only 0.44 sq km, it is the world’s smallest country. But don’t go by the size. Within the walls of the Vatican City there are a plethora of sights and attractions that may take a few days to explore, especially because there is always a huge queue at the entry. Here is a list of the main attractions:

St. Peter’s Basilica

Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, the spectacular St. Peter’s Basilica is the main landmark. It was constructed on the site of a former structure dating from the 4th century at the spot of burial of St. Peter. As one enters the portico, one notices an equestrian statue of Constantine by Bernini and fragments of a mosaic by Giotto above the main doorway. The 185m-long and 46m-tall nave rises to a dome 119m above. It can accommodate over 60,000 people at a time. Michelangelo’s Pietà, richly decorated Chapel of the Sacrament, Bernini’s tabernacle and Borromini’s bronze grille, are all to be found here. Michelangelo’s dome, held on four massive pentagonal piers, has Bernini’s magnificent Baroque bronze baldacchino and the Papal altar below. There is a bronze throne in the apse, flanked by papal tombs by Bernini. One can go to the roof and climb 330 steep steps inside the dome to the lantern for a magnificent view over St. Peter’s Square.

Sistine Chapel

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May 2020