11 Fascinating Facts about the Vatican City

By Om Kumar

Unveiling the Mysteries: 11 Fascinating Facts about the Vatican City You Need to Know!

Curious about the secrets of Vatican City? 

It’s not just a sacred destination; there’s so much more to discover. 

Prepare to be amazed as we reveal seven astonishing facts about Vatican City, from its captivating art and architecture to its intriguing history. 

Get ready to delve into the wonders of this remarkable place and uncover the hidden truths that will leave you awe-inspired.

1. Vatican City: A Prison-Free Zone

One of the fascinating facts about Vatican City is that it stands as the only country in the world without a prison facility. 

While pre-trial detention facilities are within its borders, the absence of a dedicated prison system sets Vatican City apart. 

According to the Lateran Treaty, individuals convicted and sentenced to prison are housed in Italian jails, highlighting the unique legal arrangement between the Vatican and Italy. 

This distinctive characteristic adds to the intriguing nature of Vatican City’s governance and justice system.

2. There is an ATM available that provides instructions in the Latin language

The Vatican, being the custodian of the Latin language, is known for preserving its use. 

Believe it or not, there is an ATM of the Vatican Bank that offers instructions in Latin.

3. The Vatican boasts the world’s shortest railway track

The Citta Vaticano station is unique with its two 300-meter tracks but does not accommodate regular passenger train services. It is mostly used for freight purposes.

4. Vatican City: The Tiniest Nation on Earth

Situated within Rome, Vatican City, officially called Vatican City State, is the tiniest nation globally. 

The city has a land area spanning only 0.49 square kilometers (0.19 square miles) and a population of 805 residents.

Remarkably, you can complete a leisurely walk around Vatican City in less than an hour.

It is perhaps the only country where you can effortlessly explore its entirety within a short time.

5. Swiss Guards: Protectors of the Pope

Since their recruitment by Pope Julius II in 1506, the Pontifical Swiss Guard has been entrusted with the crucial task of protecting the Pope. 

Comprising 135 Swiss soldiers, their presence is a longstanding tradition of the Vatican. 

The aim is to ensure the safety of the highest authority of the Catholic Church. 

These dedicated guards can be easily identified by their distinctive uniforms adorned with colorful stripes.

6. Vatican City: Recognized as the Wine Capital

Vatican City Recognized as the Wine Capital
Image: Sojo.net

Indeed, it may come as a surprise, but this is another fascinating fact about Vatican City.

Vatican residents hold the distinction of consuming the highest amount of wine per capita worldwide.

The most important reason behind this is the availability of duty-free wine in supermarkets within the city. 

Additionally, the communal lifestyle prevalent in Vatican City plays a role in this wine consumption trend. 

7.Permanent citizenship is not granted in Vatican City

Permanent citizenship is not granted in Vatican City
Image: Quora.com

The citizenship of Vatican City is highly unique as it is exclusively granted to individuals who work and reside within its borders. 

It is not determined by birthright.

Vatican citizenship is temporary and ends when the individual’s term of employment concludes. 

It is also important to note that children cannot inherit their parents’ citizenship in Vatican City.

8. Vatican City stands as the sole country recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

Vatican City holds the unique distinction of being the only country in the world that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Not only is Vatican City itself recognized, but also its extraterritorial properties in Rome.

These properties include the Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Mary Major.

These remarkable sites showcase the rich cultural and historical significance of Vatican City, making it a truly exceptional destination for visitors from around the globe.

9. The Hub of Criminal Activity

Despite having fewer than 1,000 registered residents, Vatican City has the highest crime rate per capita compared to any other country worldwide. 

However, this does not imply that it experiences more crimes in absolute terms. 

Due to the immense influx of tourists, the number of crimes per resident is relatively high. 

Most of these offenses are committed by the millions of visitors who traverse the area. 

Shoplifting, purse snatching, and pickpocketing are the most prevalent criminal activities. 

10. Vatican City holds an intriguing possession in the form of a telescope located in Arizona, USA

In 1981, the Vatican made an extraordinary acquisition by obtaining the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope.

This telescope is also considered one of the largest telescopes worldwide. 

Situated atop Mount Graham in southeast Arizona, this telescope is a hub for the Vatican’s astronomical research activities.

11. Vatican City Boasts Its Own Soccer Team

Vatican City Boasts Its Own Soccer Team
Image: Fifa.com

The football team of  Vatican City is composed entirely of dedicated employees of the small nation. 

All the players are from police officers to postal workers and even members of the Swiss Guard.

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Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in

About the author

Om is a passionate wordsmith fueled by an insatiable thirst for adventure and exploration. He strives to immortalize wonders via his writing.