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origin of the name "Vatican" dates back to pre-Christian times when the
present location was called Mt. Vatican, or "Mons Vaticanus" in Latin.
Città del Vaticano
Vatican City is the world's smallest country; it's also one of the few theocracies
in the world. This sovereign state is headed by the pope, who has inherited the
role by election from St. Peter, one of Jesus's Apostles and one of the Catholic
Church's founders as a great evangelist. The pope and the Catholic Church (with
the Holy See) oversee all churches that fall under the jurisdiction of the Catholic
Church, making Vatican City a nation whose focus and mission is to preach the teachings
of the Catholic Church.
The structure and mission of the pope, the Catholic Church, and the Holy See make
Vatican City a country with no equal. For example, the citizenship consists of individual
Catholics from various parts of the world no matter their ethnicity or native language;
vastly different from the citizenship requirements of most countries, which are
based on birth or immigration. Vatican City is also an absolute monarchy headed
by the pope, one of the few absolute monarchies left in the world.
This diversity in citizenship also makes the country one of the most ethnically
diverse countries in the world. Due to this, the culture is based on religion and
Catholic tradition, not on food, language, ethnicity, or any other common identifying
Despite the mission and focus of the church, only a fraction of the Vatican City's
visitors are pilgrims seeking out the church. Most visitors come to experience the
incredible collection of art, architecture, and history which the church has accumulated
over the years. Throughout history the Catholic Church has gone through numerous
stages, some of which contributed to the wealth of the church, including times when
the church ruled over the Papal States.
The art collection in Vatican City today is meant to offer more than just an impressive
visit to a museum, it is meant to display the talents and abilities that God gave
people. The museums are not simply a collection of art; they are a display of the
great powers held by people that are only possible through God. Hence, even the
museums are tied to God and religion in Vatican City, but such is life in this tiny
Vatican City is like no other destination for many reasons and visitors walk away
with so many impressions, forever talking about the impressive paintings in the
museums, awed by Michelangelo's famed frescos on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling,
the smells of the incredible gardens when in bloom, the feast for the eyes in the
numerous sculptures, St. Peter's Basilica, arguably the pinnacle of the High
Renaissance, and even spiritual experiences that cannot be expressed in mere words.
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