In the central part of Rome, on the most beautiful rightThe coast of the Tiber, one of the longest rivers in Italy, is the smallest state in the world with the most famous name of the Vatican. It arose after the Lateran agreements between the Italian state and the Roman Catholic Church. This happened in 1929.
The Vatican is independent of Italy, has a fullpower and sovereignty on its territory. The capital of the Vatican is not crowded. Its population is only about a thousand people. Less than half of them have the citizenship of this country. These are clerics, gendarmes, Swiss guardsmen and a few ordinary citizens. All of them serve local institutions. The Italian and Latin languages are official in this state.
The capital of the Vatican has its own history, its rootswhich go back to antiquity. Its name, like the name of the country itself, originated from a hill rising on the coast of the Tiber. On this hill in the era of antiquity the priests of the Roman Empire predicted the future. Here, the Roman emperor Caligula built an amphitheater in which the most interesting battles of gladiators were played out. And during the period of Nero's reign, cruel executions of people supporting the Christian faith were carried out here. It was here, in the heart of the Roman Empire, that the first six popes died among the painful deaths, among them the apostle Peter, the first Roman bishop.
The capital of the Vatican has many interesting places. It is recommended to visit numerous museums. But still, it is advisable to begin the tour with a tour of St. Peter's Square. In its very center is an obelisk, which was brought by Caligula from Heliopolis. The area of the square in front of the cathedral is surrounded by Bernini's colonnade. On Sundays and religious holidays, it is filled with believers who come here for the blessing of the Pope.
But this is not the whole Vatican. The capital has one more main attraction - St. Peter's Cathedral. It was erected on the site where the tomb of the Holy Apostle was previously. The first church was built in 349 by Emperor Constantine. By the 15th century it had collapsed. It was decided to build a second church on this site. The first stone was laid by Pope Julius II. The construction itself lasted more than a century. Now the basilica is filled with skilful works of the best masters, striking with their beauty.
But this is the sights thatfilled with the capital of the Vatican, do not end there. Behind the cathedral is a magnificent palace ensemble, whose buildings were erected in the 15-16 centuries. It includes the chapel of Nicholas II, the Sistine Chapel, the apartments of Borgia. This includes the Stanzas and Loggias, painted by the great Raphael and his disciples, the courts of San Damazzo and Belvedere. In the palaces are the world's most famous museums, dedicated to ancient culture. It is recommended to visit the Vatican Gardens, where the best works of Italian painting are collected.