• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania
    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • United Kingdom!

    United Kingdom: Oxford's Christ Church. Go Now!

    United Kingdom
    This country includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland with four distinct cultures to match. Explore the United Kingdom!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

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    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Germany
    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

Architecture of Vatican City

Vatican Architecture - St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Square

Vatican City is built on what is believed to be the tomb of St. Peter and in the basement of St. Peter's Basilica there are architectural remains from this ancient Roman time period, but little else remains from that time. Likewise, there are a few medieval remnants, such as the city walls and some of the towers, but much of what is visible in Vatican City today was built during the Renaissance.

Obviously, the most well-known building in Vatican City is St. Peter's Basilica (1506-1626) and this structure is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture; it was built by a combination of architects, including Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (commonly known simply as Michelangelo) and Gian Lorenzo Bernini among others.

The Apostolic Palace was also begun during this time and continued on for many years (1589-1800s), giving this building a number of architectural styles, but its masterpiece is the Renaissance Sistine Chapel (1473-1481). Although the Sistine Chapel is an architectural masterpiece, it is best known for its famous frescos by Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, and the most famous painting, the Last Judgement painted by Michelangelo on the chapel's ceiling.

Throughout the rest of this small country are numerous other buildings in a number of architectural styles, but most of the city was built during the Renaissance and the buildings are in this style, including the Vatican Libraries. Of the buildings that are not in the Renaissance, or earlier styles, many are Baroque, including the colonnade in St. Peter's Square.

This page was last updated: October, 2013