Quick Facts\r\n\r\n \tOfficial Name: Vatican City State\r\n \tGovernment: Sacerdotal Monarchy\r\n \tPolitical Head: Pope\r\n \tPopulation: 842\r\n \tArea: 110 acres\r\n \tFounded: February 11, 1929\r\n \tLanguage: Italian\r\n \tCurrency: Euro\r\n \tReligion: Catholic\r\n \tInternet Domain: .va\r\n\r\nEssential Facts\r\n\r\n \tGeography: Vatican City Is the World\u2019s Smallest Country\r\n \tPolitics: The Pope Rules Over Vatican City\r\n \tReligion: The Election of the Pope Takes Place in Vatican City\r\n \tPopulation: Vatican City Is Mostly Inhabited by Clergy\r\n \tEconomy: Vatican City Has No GDP\r\n \tReligion: The Pope Governs the Holy See from Vatican City\r\n \tAttractions: Vatican City Houses Famous Art and Cathedrals\r\n \tHistory: Vatican City Is the Only Country Designated a World Heritage Site\r\n \tEconomy: Vatican City Supports Itself Through Tourism and Donations\r\n \tHistory: Vatican City Was Founded in 1929\r\n\r\nInteresting Details\r\n\r\n \tCaligula Erected the Obelisk in St. Peter\u2019s Square\r\n \tPope John Paul II Suffered an Assassination Attempt in Vatican City\r\n \tMurder Shocked Vatican City and The Swiss Guard\r\n \tPapal Butler Sentenced for Leak of Vatican Documents\r\n \tVatican City Mints Its Own Euros\r\n \tVatican City Has The Highest Crime Rate in The World\r\n \tSt. Peter\u2019s Basilica Sits On His Grave\r\n \tSuit Up For The Vatican Dress Code\r\n\r\nVatican City Is the World\u2019s Smallest Country\r\nVatican City, officially known as Vatican City State, is the world\u2019s smallest recognized independent country. Vatican City facts show that the tiny country covers an area of just 110 acres. It is a half mile smaller than Monaco and sits within the city boundaries of Rome, Italy. Vatican City has a population of just 842 people. That\u2019s smaller than the population of some high schools!\r\nThe Pope Rules Over Vatican City\r\nVatican City facts inform us that the country is a sacerdotal monarchy. That means the ruler of the country is the head of a religion. Vatican City is a Catholic country ruled by the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope.\r\n\r\nWhereas most monarchies follow a patriarchal or matriarchal lineage, Vatican City\u2019s sacerdotal monarchy is led by an elected cardinal of the Catholic church, who then traditionally leads the country and the church until his death.\r\nThe Election of the Pope Takes Place in Vatican City\r\nThe pope is elected through a Papal conclave in Vatican City upon the death, or as happened most recently, the resignation, of the current Pope. In order to vote, 120 Cardinals under the age of 80 gather in the Sistine Chapel. The Cardinals go through a series of votes to elect one of their number as the Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope. In order to be elected Pope, one needs a two-thirds majority vote.\r\nVatican City Is Mostly Inhabited by Clergy\r\nVatican City facts tell us that most of the population of this tiny state are clergy members serving the Holy See. There are also some officials of state, and the Swiss Guard. Everyone that lives within Vatican City is Catholic, and there are only Catholic churches within its borders.\r\n\r\nWhile only 842 people live within the Vatican City walls, approximately 2,400 people commute into Vatican City to work.\r\nVatican City Has No GDP\r\nWhen looking at the prosperity of a country and its citizens, we often look at gross domestic product as an indicator. Surprisingly, Vatican City has no GDP as it does not produce items and trade as other countries do.\r\nThe Pope Governs the Holy See from Vatican City\r\nThe Holy See is the diocese of Rome which is led by the Bishop of Rome, or the Pope. The Holy See is viewed as similar to a sovereign state in that it has diplomatic relations and a government. The Holy See sets the tone for the rest of the Catholic Church and is governed from Vatican City.\r\nVatican City Houses Famous Art and Cathedrals\r\nVatican City attractions include the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter\u2019s Basilica. The Sistine Chapel features the beautiful ceiling painted by Michelangelo, as well as one of his most famous paintings, The Last Supper. The Vatican Apostolic Library and Vatican museums also bring visitors to the tiny country.\r\nVatican City Is the Only Country Designated a World Heritage Site\r\nVatican City facts indicate the small state is one of UNESCO\u2019s World Heritage Sites. It has the distinction of being the only sovereign state on the list. Most places on the list are historical sites, not entire countries!\r\nVatican City Supports Itself Through Tourism and Donations\r\nVatican City has no GDP. It relies on revenue from tourism and the sale of trinkets, as well as donations to the church, for income. In addition, Italians can choose to have the money they would normally pay in taxes go to the Vatican instead.\r\nVatican City Was Founded in 1929\r\nVatican City facts tell us that the small country came into existence on February 11, 1929, thanks to the Lateran Treaty signed by Benito Mussolini, then Prime Minister and Head of Government, on the behalf of the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III. The Lateran Treaty put an end to papal governance of surrounding areas, and bequeathed the Vatican City territory to the Holy See.\r\nCaligula Erected the Obelisk in St. Peter\u2019s Square\r\nRoman Emperor Caligula had his soldiers take an obelisk erected for an Egyptian pharaoh from Heliopolis. He wanted it to decorate his newly created circus. The obelisk is over 3,000 years old and is made from 350 tons of red granite. It was moved to its current location in St. Peter\u2019s Square in 1586. Not just a giant monument to a forgotten pharaoh, the obelisk also serves as a sundial.\r\nPope John Paul II Suffered an Assassination Attempt in Vatican City\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOn May 13, 1981, Mehmet Ali A\u011fca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter\u2019s Square. This was the first time someone had tried to assassinate a pope in modern times, and the first attempted assassination within Vatican City. Pope John Paul II was shot four times, but survived. A\u011fca was sentenced to life in prison. Pope John Paull II forgave him and pressed the Italian President for a pardon. A\u011fca was pardoned in June 2000 and deported to Turkey.\r\nMurder Shocked Vatican City and The Swiss Guard\r\nOn May 4, 1998, Alois Estermann, the commander of the Swiss Guard that serves as a protective force for the Pope, was murdered in Vatican City along with his wife, Gladys Meza Romero. Motives remain murky, but C\u00e9dric Tornay, a young Swiss Guard, was believed to have been the murderer. He committed suicide shortly thereafter. Some believe that the murder was the result of a love affair, though whether it was between the two men or between the wife and young guard is unclear.\r\nButler Sentenced for Leak of Vatican Documents\r\nKnown colloquially as the Vatileaks case, the leak of important Vatican documents in January 2012 brought to light possible financial corruption in Vatican City. Further inspection of the letters and documents showed blackmailing of homosexual clergy by laymen. Because of the secrecy of the Papacy and the government of Vatican City, the leak of the Vatican papers became a major news story.\r\n\r\nVatican City police arrested the Pope\u2019s butler, Paolo Gabriele, after supposedly finding some incriminating documents in his Vatican apartment. Gabriele was found guilty on October 6, 2012, and pardoned on December 22, 2012.\r\nVatican City Mints Its Own Euros\r\nVatican City facts tell us that even though Vatican City is not a member of the European Union, its primary currency is the euro. Vatican City even mints its own euros. The current pope is depicted on the face of several euro coins.\r\nVatican City Has The Highest Crime Rate in The World\r\nAccording to crime statistics, Vatican City is the country with the highest crime rate. Most of this is petty crime, like pickpocketing, that is perpetrated by people that don\u2019t live in Vatican City. Because the crime rate figure is dependent on the number of citizens in a state, Vatican City, with its tiny population and high tourism, has risen to the top of the list.\r\nSt. Peter\u2019s Basilica Sits On His Grave\r\nVatican City facts tell us that St. Peter\u2019s Basilica is believed to be situated on top of St. Peter\u2019s remains. Nero crucified many Christians, including St. Peter, and supposedly buried them on Vatican Hill, where the basilica was later built.\r\nCover Up For The Vatican Dress Code\r\nIf you\u2019d like to visit the Sistine Chapel or St. Peter\u2019s Basilica in Vatican City, prepare to cover up. Vatican City facts tell us that in order to enter the holy places, you must be dressed modestly. One\u2019s shoulders and knees must be covered, so it is advised you wear long pants and sleeved shirts. The Vatican museums do not require a dress code.\r\n\r\nVatican City Facts \u2013 Facts about Vatican City Summary\r\nVatican City is the world\u2019s smallest sovereign state. It covers an area of just 110 acres, and has a population of 842. Vatican City is a sacerdotal monarchy that is headed by the Pope, who is also the head of the Holy See. Everyone living in Vatican City is Catholic. Attractions within Vatican City include the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter\u2019s Basilica. Founded in 1929, Vatican City is a walled enclave within the Rome city limits. Surprisingly, this tiny state has the world\u2019s highest crime rate.