|Status Civitatis Vaticanæ (Latin)
Stato della Città del Vaticano (Italian)
|Vatican City State (DE / CH)
Vatican City State (AT)
|Official language||Italian ( de facto ) 1 and Latin|
|Capital||Città del Vaticano 2|
|State and form of government||
As Bishop of Rome, the Pope is ex officio head of state
|Head of state||Pope Francis|
|Head of government||President of the Governorate Giuseppe Bertello|
|population||453 inhabitants in the national territory
|Population density||2272 inhabitants per km²|
|independence||February 11, 1929 ( Lateran Treaties )|
Inno e Marcia Pontificale
|National holiday||March 13th (election of Pope Francis )|
UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to October)
|License Plate||Country code V, on the license plate SCV (cars owned by the state), CV (private cars)|
|ISO 3166||VA , VAT, 336|
|Phone code||+39 06 (assigned: +379)|
2 Vatican City is a city-state.
The State of Vatican City (official long form in Germany and Switzerland ) or State of the Vatican City (official long form in Austria ), also called Vatican , Vatican City or Vatican State , Italian Stato della Città del Vaticano, is the smallest in general, both in terms of area and population recognized state of the world and the only one with Latin as an official language. The city-state lies within the Italian capital Rome and is therefore completely surrounded by Italy as an enclave . Due to its small area of 0.44 square kilometers and its total of only around 1000 inhabitants, the Vatican is known as a dwarf state .
The state is an absolute electoral monarchy whose monarch is the Pope . This is elected by the cardinals and only leaves this office upon death or resignation. The Holy See as a non-governmental, independent subject of international law that can be distinguished from the State of Vatican City represents the Vatican at the international level, even if both terms are sometimes used synonymously .
The Vatican City is located in Rome west of the Tiber on the Vatican Hill , which is the highest point in the country. It is surrounded in some places by a city wall, the course of which does not completely coincide with the border of the national territory.
It is surrounded by the Roman districts of Municipio I and Aurelia and borders the historic Rioni Borgo and Prati . In addition to St. Peter's Basilica , St. Peter's Square and the Apostolic Palace , the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are located on the national territory . The Vatican Gardens make up the largest part of the national territory . There are a number of extraterritorial possessions of the Holy See, which have a status similar to embassy premises and which are not part of the territory of the Vatican City. These include areas directly adjacent to the national territory such as the Palazzo San Pio X , the Campo Santo Teutonico and most of the Vatican Audience Hall . The state border runs right through the audience hall, with the papal throne still standing on Vatican territory, but the audience attending the audience watch from other Italian countries. The Roman patriarchal basilicas , the northwestern part of the Gianicolo , various palaces in the Roman old town, the papal summer residence Castel Gandolfo and a broadcasting center of Vatican Radio in Santa Maria di Galeria are extraterritorial properties of the Holy See.
The Vatican City's climate is the same as that of Rome: a temperate , Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters from October to mid-May and hot, dry summers from May to September. Some minor local peculiarities, especially fog and dew, are caused by the unusually large mass of St. Peter's Basilica, the height, the fountains, and the size of the large paved square.
|Vatican City (data from Roma-Ciampino airport "Giovan Battista Pastine")|
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Vatican City (data from Roma-Ciampino airport "Giovan Battista Pastine")
Source: Servizio Meteorologico dell'Aeronautica Militare , data: 1971–2000 data on the hours of sunshine
Of the 842 people who lived in the Vatican in 2014, 572 had Vatican citizenship , which, however, is only granted on a temporary basis and linked to a function. It therefore never replaces another citizenship. If a person becomes stateless through revocation of the Vatican citizenship , they automatically become an Italian citizen. Citizenship of Vatican City is held by all cardinals residing in the Vatican or in Rome, all diplomats of the Holy See and, upon request, all other persons residing in the Vatican and in service. At 100 percent, Vatican City has the highest proportion of Catholics and the highest literacy rate in the world.
Women and children of Vatican citizens can also receive Vatican citizenship . However, women lose this in the event of separation, male offspring at the age of 25, and females more likely if they marry and their spouse does not also have Vatican citizenship.
In addition to the Pope, his close collaborators in the papal household, head of the Roman Curia , the Swiss Guards and the Gendarmerie Corps live in Vatican City . Only a few of the 3,000 employees live in the Vatican itself. Most of the employees are members of the government, masters of ceremonies, salespeople, restorers, cooks, office workers, printers, employees of the Bank of the Holy See ( Istituto per le Opere di Religione , IOR, "Vatican Bank") or cleaning staff. The employees can be roughly divided into five groups:
- House staff : cooks, cleaners, valets, etc.
- Clergy: priests who take on a large part of the administrative and art-historical tasks
- Security: Papal Swiss Guard , Gendarmerie Corps and supervisory staff for churches and museums
- Radio and press: publisher of L'Osservatore Romano as well as the Vatican Radio and the Centro Televisivo Vaticano
- Teaching staff for the papal universities and chairs
Until the 14th century, the official seat of the popes was not the Vatican, but the Lateran Palace, about five kilometers east of it . "Vatican" initially referred to a hill on the right bank of the Tiber ( Latin mons vaticanus ). In ancient times, the circus of Emperor Nero was located there , in which martyrdoms and executions of numerous Christians and Jews are said to have taken place. To the north of the circus was a small cemetery where the apostle Peter was supposedly buried. A memorial was later built there, and in the 4th century Emperor Constantine had a large Church of the Holy Sepulcher built on this site - the first St. Peter's Church . The Vatican became the central place of pilgrimage for the veneration of Peter. In the following centuries, more buildings arose on the hill, especially so-called scholae, which offered pilgrims of different nationalities accommodation, chapels and cemeteries, but also had fortifications. Under Leo IV , between 847 and 852 , the Leonine Wall, which is still in place today, was built around the entire pilgrimage site to protect it from the Saracens . The so-called Leostadt was created .
In the course of late antiquity, the Bishop of Rome was largely able to assert his claim to priority within Christianity and has been known as Pope since Gregory the Great (around 600) at the latest . After the fall of the Roman Empire , the popes claimed, citing the (a 15th-century fake unmasked) " Donation of Constantine " temporal rule over the territory to Rome, the nucleus of the future Papal States was. In 751 this state was finally guaranteed to them by the Pippin donation after the popes had ceased to recognize the sovereignty of the Eastern Roman-Byzantine emperor a few years earlier . The popes did not initially reside in the Vatican, but in the Lateran Palace; the cathedral of the Pope as Bishop of Rome is to this day the Lateran basilica outside the Vatican City.
The Vatican Hill only became the papal seat of government, the location of the Roman Curia and thus the center of the Papal States and the Catholic Church as a whole , towards the end of the 14th century with the return of the Popes from Avignon (1377) and the end of the schism (1417). After the schism, the newly won unity of the church was to be made clear through large building projects. The Vatican at the gates of Rome, in addition to its proximity to the presumed bones of Peter, offered sufficient undeveloped space. In the middle of the 15th century, Nicholas V in particular drew up huge building plans that were only partially implemented under him and his successors. Partly planned, partly for pragmatic reasons, churches, chapels, administration buildings, fortifications, accommodations and other structures were built on the Vatican Hill in the following centuries. In 1506 construction began on St. Peter's Basilica. In 1589 Sixtus V commissioned the construction of the Apostolic Palace, which still contains the Pope's apartment and important administrative organs. St. Peter's Basilica was inaugurated in 1626 and the final construction lasted until 1650. Shortly afterwards, St. Peter's Square took on its present form.
Parallel to the expansion of the Vatican, the territory of the Papal State expanded. Until the 19th century it extended across what is now central Italy between Rome in the southwest to Bologna in the northeast - with the regions of Lazio , the Marches , Umbria and Romagna . However, in the course of the French Revolution in 1798, the area was declared a Roman Republic , and in 1808 the territories were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy . However, the Congress of Vienna restored the Papal States.
In the course of the Italian unification , the papal state was in the first years of the pontificate of Pope Pius IX. in the Europe-wide civil revolution year 1848/49 (compare German Revolution 1848/49 and February Revolution 1848 ) again shaken by radical democratic uprisings. This led to the Pope's flight and to another republic in the Papal States, which lasted just five months (February to July 1849) until it was crushed by French and Spanish intervention troops (compare Roman Republic (1849) ). The President of France and later (from 1852) French Emperor Napoléon III. left some troops in Rome as the protective power of the Pope, who after the suppression of the revolution re-established police-state conditions in the Papal State , until 1870. After the Sardinian War between the Kingdom of Sardinia- Piedmont and France on the one hand and Austria on the other, part of the Papal States fell to the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Italy as early as 1861 . When France withdrew its protection troops from Rome due to the Franco-Prussian War , the remaining church state ( Latium with Rome) was occupied by troops under King Victor Emmanuel II in 1870. The status of the Vatican City was initially unclear (so-called Roman Question ), but de facto the rule of the Catholic Church remained in it, so that from 1870 the ecclesiastical administrative organs from the rest of the Papal States concentrated in the Vatican City. During this time, the structural and institutional isolation from the rest of Rome developed. Considerations of strengthening the papacy's negotiating basis with Italy to resolve the Roman question through a sovereign territorial basis (without initially considering that the Pope would leave Rome) focused on Friuli , Elba , Trento or Liechtenstein , among others , but remained without a result. Finally, the Papal State was re-established as a sovereign state by the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, which was now dictatorially ruled by Benito Mussolini . After that, it only includes the area around St. Peter's Basilica, which is bounded by a wall.
The Basic Law of the Vatican unites the powers of the legislative , executive and judicial branches in the person of the Pope as sovereign of the Vatican State (Article 1) and regulates their implementation. Vatican City law is applied by the courts of the Vatican State.
The law on sources of law (Legge sulle fonti del diritto) of October 1, 2008 (in force since January 1, 2009) defines canon law as the first source of law and reference point for interpretation . Other main sources are the laws, decrees, regulations and international agreements issued by the Vatican State (Art. 1). If you need regulations for areas that have not been taken into account in the previous legal sources, then you fall back on Italian laws and legal decrees in a subsidiary manner. A few subsidiary takeovers that are fundamental to a state (such as civil and criminal law) have been explicitly specified since the state was founded and in some cases have been frozen at the time of takeover. There are changes through explicit amendments. Other takeovers took place almost automatically until 2008, and since 2009 the Vatican authorities must first expressly approve the applicable legal sources. This is intended to offer additional protection that liberal government legislation, which is incompatible with Catholic doctrine, can be applied. For these general takeovers and for the specific takeovers mentioned below, a general exclusion clause always applies if the legal enactments contradict the precepts of divine law, the general principles of canon law and bilateral agreements (Art. 3). This clause has already been used in the event of strong divergences.
The following sections mainly regulate the takeover of basic state sources of law, as has been done since 1929. With a few exceptions listed separately (for example citizenship and civil status law and only canon law applies to marriage), the Italian Civil Code of March 16, 1942 with its amendments has subsidiary validity until December 31, 2008 (Art. 4). The current version of the Vatican Code of Civil Procedure from 1946 applies to the proceedings. (Art. 5) If a civil dispute cannot be resolved in this way, the judge decides taking into account divine and natural law and general Vatican principles (Art. 6). A future reorganization of the criminal justice system is in prospect. Until then, as it has been since 1929, the Italian penal code will apply with a few amendments to its own laws (Art. 7). While the Italian penal code ( Codice Penale, CP) from 1889, frozen in the version of June 8, 1929, was valid at the beginning , the deadline in 1969 was brought forward to December 31, 1924. This abolished the death penalty in the Vatican , which was reintroduced in Italy in 1926 . The Italian Criminal Procedure Code, adopted in 1929, with the current Vatican amendments (Art. 8) also applies to criminal procedure law. If an offense is not discussed in Vatican law and not in Italian law of 1924 with the Vatican amendments and the offense violates the general principles of religion, morality, public order or the security of persons and objects, the judge can still obtain a monetary, freedom or impose an alternative punishment (Art. 9; 1929–2008: Art. 23). This was used, for example, in a drug possession trial, an act that is nowhere near in the Vatican criminal justice system as it was not a criminal issue in the 1920s. In the course of this case, it was also clarified in 2007 that the then Art. 23 does not contradict legality despite general provisions on criminal law. In Art. 12, Italian administrative provisions for certain areas such as the system of measurements, post office, railways etc. as of December 31, 2008, and (apparently without time restrictions) also Italian provisions and provisions of the Lazio region, the province and the city of Rome are taken over for construction police, hygiene and public health. The labor law of the employees of the Vatican was in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. reformed. The Central Labor Office of the Apostolic See was founded in 1989 by John Paul II to monitor the economic and social rights of the 4,600 employees, lay people and clergy, in the smallest state in the world.
As Bishop of Rome, the Pope is ex officio head of state of the State of Vatican City and has the full legislative , executive and judicial powers according to Article 1, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law of the Vatican State . The Vatican City is thus the last absolute monarchy in Europe. When the state became a state in 1929, a constitution was promulgated , which was reformed in 2001. Since 1984 the Cardinal Secretary of State has been entrusted with the permanent representation of the Pope in the secular administration of the Vatican City.
During the sedis vacancy , i.e. the period between the death or resignation of the Pope and the election of his successor, all papal power rests. The College of Cardinals has all the pope's temporal powers. The most urgent task of the College of Cardinals is to organize the election of the Pope, which takes place in the so-called conclave . Elections only take place for the office of the Pope if he dies or (rarely) resigns (Sedis vacancy). In this case, the right to vote is limited to cardinals who were under 80 years of age on the day before the sedis vacancy occurred. Can be chosen in principle any baptized man valid at the Bishop ordained can be (ie is unmarried or widowed). In practice, only cardinals have been elected popes for centuries. There is no right to vote for women . In particularly urgent cases, the College of Cardinals can also carry out other official duties than organizing the election of the Pope during the sedis vacancy. However, such decrees are limited in their effectiveness to the duration of the sedis vacancy. The newly elected Pope is free to confirm or reject these provisions in accordance with the provisions of canon law .
The legislative power exerts, the Pope not provided a decision itself or has reserved special Curia members, consisting of seven Kurienkardinälen Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State from. It is appointed by the Pope for five years and draws up legislative proposals that are submitted to the Pope for assessment by the State Secretariat . She is mainly responsible for determining the financial and budgetary policy of the Vatican City.
The executive power is exercised by the Governorate of the Vatican City , whose President Giuseppe Bertello is also the chairman of the Pontifical Commission. He is supported in his work by a general secretary as head of the governorate responsible for central administration. The Cardinal President submits important questions to the Commission or the State Secretariat for review.
The judiciary ( law of the Vatican City ) consists of a court of first instance, a court of appeal and a court of cassation. Judgments are made in the name of the Pope. According to the constitution, this person has the right to intervene comprehensively in any criminal or civil matter and in any phase and, for example, to transfer the decision-making authority in a process to a special body or to himself. In such cases, legal remedies are no longer admissible; its judicial and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is all-encompassing. The death penalty was formally abolished in 1969. It has never been carried out since the state of Vatican City came into being.
The Pope as a natural person is indeed head of state, but the Holy See ( subject of international law ) is referred to as sovereign in the Lateran Treaties . Thus, the Vatican State is the only subject of international law whose sovereign is himself a subject of international law (different from his state).
The Holy See as a sovereign non-state subject of international law is also represented by the Pope and represents the Vatican City in diplomatic dealings, also in order to avoid double structures in the diplomatic service. The Vatican City State does not establish diplomatic relations with other states, but leaves this to the Holy See. One of the reasons for this is that the Vatican City State is not fundamentally assigned the task of acting as such among the states of the world. Therefore, the Pope generally does not pay state visits, but pastoral visits, even though the Protocol treats him as a head of state because of his status as a subject of international law. The Vatican City State is also not a member z. B. the United Nations , UNESCO or the World Trade Organization , while the Holy See enjoys permanent observer status in these and other international organizations, and sometimes - as in the case of the IAEA - is also a member. The few international organizations to which the State of Vatican City belongs directly and not through the mediation of the Holy See include, for example, the Universal Postal Union (since 1929) and Interpol , whose tasks are less political than technical.
The State of Vatican City does not belong to the Council of Europe either and therefore cannot be a member of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is essentially restricted to members of the Council of Europe . However, the Holy See is also an observer at the Council of Europe.
The Vatican City State is also not a member of the International Criminal Court . In Europe, besides the Vatican, only Belarus does not belong to the International Criminal Court.
In addition, the State of Vatican City has not signed the OECD “ Common Reporting Standard ”. This makes the Vatican the only state in Europe, along with Belarus , that has not signed the standard for combating tax evasion and money laundering . The Vatican has been criticized in the past for doing money laundering for the mafia .
Certain possessions of the Holy See in and around Rome have extraterritorial status according to the Lateran Treaties , but are not part of the Vatican territory. The Swiss Guard and the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps are responsible for the internal security of the state . External security is guaranteed by the Italian state.
With the Swiss Guard, the Vatican has the smallest (approx. 100 members) and oldest (since 1506) army in the world. There is also a separate police force for internal security, the Corpo della Gendarmeria . The Vatican has no air or naval forces . External national defense is secured by Italy in accordance with a bilateral agreement . According to the Lateran Treaty, Italy is responsible for security in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. The surveillance is carried out by the Vatican Public Security Inspectorate, which reports directly to the Public Security Department of the Italian Police .
For visitors, there is a security check on entry, which is usually done on foot, but no ID or customs control. No controls are carried out when leaving for Italy, so goods brought with you remain de facto duty-free and tax-free.
The Vatican can transfer persons who have committed criminal offenses on its territory, regardless of whether they are arrested there by its own gendarmerie or by auxiliary troops of the Italian police, for trial to Italy, which is obliged to take over and must apply Vatican law. The criminal law applicable there only applies in the event of a previous escape to Italian territory.
When the number of crimes is compared to the number of inhabitants, the Vatican State has the highest crime rate in the world; In fact, however, this is due to the fact that the perpetrators and victims of the crimes come almost exclusively from the group of 18 million visitors a year. These are mainly petty crimes such as theft of handbags. 90 percent of the incidents go unpunished as the perpetrators flee to Italy. The Vatican prison can only accommodate two people. It has rarely been used throughout history: one of the inmates was a priest convicted of illegal money transfers; the second was a man caught stealing coins in St. Peter's Basilica; the third was a Swedish tourist who attacked a priest and the last one was a Swiss visitor who had grossly insulted a guardsman. The Pope assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca did not serve his sentence in the Vatican, but in a Roman prison. According to media reports, the Pope's valet was imprisoned in the Vatican in 2012 after making the headlines because of the " Vatileaks " affair. At the end of 2015, Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda was imprisoned there in connection with the “ second Vatileaks affair” .
As a sovereign state, the Vatican handles its financial transactions independently.
At the beginning of the 1990s, in addition to disclosing public finances , tangible efforts were made to simplify the organizational structure that had grown over the centuries. The management of the Vatican assets is now based on four pillars:
- the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See is responsible for the administration of all economic and financial affairs of the Holy See
- the Governorate of the Vatican City is responsible for income and expenditure on the territory of the Vatican City
- The Apostolic See's Property Administration (APSA) has the duties of the Treasury, the Central Bank of Vatican City and the Holy See.
- the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), better known as the Vatican Bank, is a private credit institution owned by the Holy See
One of the main sources of income for the Vatican, apart from income from property tax-free, is business within the Vatican. The profits of the supermarket as well as the surpluses of the Vatican petrol station, the pharmacy and the clothing store flow into the state treasury. Card payments in these facilities were stopped on January 1, 2013. The reason given was that the Vatican does not follow international money laundering rules. Therefore, the operator of the terminals, the Italian subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, is no longer allowed to operate in the Vatican.
Further income is generated through souvenir stands, entrance fees and donations. Every year, an average of around 85 million euros are donated to the Vatican. Other sources of income are the sale of Vatican euro coins and special issues, as well as postage stamps . The rental of around 2,400 properties outside the Vatican also guarantees a regular income.
The Vatican also owns gold, which is stored in New York, around 850 properties valued at 1.5 billion euros, as well as art treasures of inestimable intangible value, of which the former Pope John Paul II said: “They are not for sale, they belong to everyone People."
Income from church taxes and certain expenses are expressly excluded from the state balance sheet. These flow directly to the dioceses and religious orders all over the world, which, however, support the work of the Pope, the Vatican congregations, councils and ecclesiastical courts with millions. According to various dioceses in Germany, the Catholic Church expressly sees itself as a universal church, and since the Vatican performs important overarching tasks, all German dioceses contribute to the tasks of the universal church through the Association of Dioceses of Germany.
Although Vatican City is not a member of the European Union , the euro (as the successor currency to the Vatican lira, which at the time was the Italian lira ) is the official currency through bilateral agreements. For trade with the Vatican, however, the same customs regulations apply as for trade with countries outside the European internal market.
The budget for 2008 included expenditures equivalent to US $ 356.8 million with revenues equivalent to US $ 355.5 million. Bishop Carlo Maria Viganò , as general secretary of the economic administration of the Vatican, has reorganized the budget and led it from a loss of approx. € 8 million in 2009 to a surplus of more than € 34 million in 2010.
There is no sales tax in the Vatican . Commercial advertising is prohibited, except on motor vehicles.
In 2008 the Vatican State received the European Solar Prize 2008 for the installation of a solar power system the size of a soccer field. As a result, around 220 tons less carbon dioxide have been emitted every year since the installation by the Vatican .
In 2010 the 100th fountain was opened in the Vatican. A well-known historical fountain in Vatican City is the Galley Fountain .
There is no hairdresser, no hospital (but an infirmary), no school, but a supermarket, a pharmacy (since 1874) and several petrol stations. The rubbish is transported away by the Roman city administration. The Vatican museums have a self-service restaurant, a pizzeria and a café, and a souvenir shop and a small café on the roof of St. Peter's Church. There is no private property in the Vatican, apartments are allocated to Vatican citizens for the duration of their office. Citizens do not pay for electricity or telephone. The rents are very low and amount to around four percent of the income.
The income of the lower salary bracket is around 1300 euros, a cardinal receives a little more than double. Vatican salaries are not subject to income tax . The Pope himself does not receive any salary. In 1981, a kind of trade union was founded with the "Association of lay workers in the Vatican". In the Vatican there is a 36-hour week, there is no collective bargaining.
The ATMs in the Vatican ( automatum monetale , plural: automata monetalia ) also have a Latin language selection .
Transport and infrastructure
The Vatican has had its own train station and around 200 meters of rail line since 1933. The station is rarely used by the Curia itself for passenger transport, most recently in 1979 (to the nearest station Roma San Pietro ), in 2002 (to Assisi ) by John Paul II and in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI. also to Assisi. Every Saturday an FS train drives a group of visitors from this station to Castel Gandolfo on behalf of the Vatican Museums. In addition, there are always special trips for tour groups, e.g. B. in 2008 for the German Society for Railway History. Otherwise, this rail route is used to transport goods. The entrance to the Vatican City is separated from Rome by a large gate. The Vatican's rail connection to the Italian railway infrastructure is operated by the Vatican State Railways. A small department store has been housed in the station since 2003.
The Roma San Pietro train station (as the crow flies 500 m south of Vatican City) is served by regular local rail transport. The S-Bahn-like trains on lines FL 3 and 5 , which connect Rome with Viterbo and Civitavecchia , stop there .
The 50 or so streets have street names and signs. The two “main streets” are Via del Pellegrino and Via di Belvedere , both of which begin at St. Anne's Gate, the main entrance to the Vatican City.
There is no public transport within the Vatican City. The Vatican City can be reached on foot by public transport from the Roman underground station Ottaviano on Metro line A. The planned metro line C should actually serve a subway station on St. Peter's Square after 2021; As things stand at present, however, the expansion will no longer be carried out.
In addition, the Vatican City can be reached via the Risorgimento stop with line 19 of the Rome tram and various bus lines. One of these bus routes is line 49 ( Stazione Roma Monte Mario FL 3 ↔ Via di Torrevecchia ↔ L.GO Boccea / Cornelia A ↔ Risorgimento / San Pietro 19 ↔ Piazza Cavour), which connects the north and east of the Vatican City via Viale Vaticano. Tram line 19 also stops at the Ottaviano stop , so it crosses with metro line A there. All of these lines are operated by ATAC .
Although the Vatican City does not have direct access to the sea, according to the Barcelona Declaration of 1921, it is allowed to sail on the ocean with its own ships flying the papal flag - a right that is currently not exercised.
As a sovereign state, the Vatican has its own post office, the Poste Vaticane , whose stamps are only valid on its own territory. The postage is based on the corresponding charges of the Italian post office. In Vatican City, the greatest number of items of mail are sent per inhabitant and year (7,200); for comparison: in the United States it is 660 and in Italy 109 per year.
Culture and sights
Protection of cultural property
The entire area of Vatican City has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, Culture and Communication ( UNESCO ) since 1984 . The Vatican City is thus the only state in the world whose entire territory is protected by UNESCO. In addition, the Vatican City is registered with UNESCO as a center containing monuments in the “International Register for Cultural Property under Special Protection” in accordance with Chapter II of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict .
Although the Vatican is the center of the Catholic Church, it does not have a bishopric on its territory. St. Peter's Basilica was never an episcopal cathedral , but rather the Church of the Holy Sepulcher of the Apostle Peter . The cathedral of the Diocese of Rome is San Giovanni in Laterano (extra-territorial area). Even the parish church of the parish of the Vatican State is not St. Peter, but Sant'Anna dei Palafrenieri .
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