Traveling around Italy: the unique sights of the Vatican State
The majestic city of Rome is the owner of a unique attraction — the Vatican State, located on the right bank of the wide Tiber River. It is the smallest country in the world. The length of its border is only 3.2 km. But despite this, there is a government, armed forces and a bank. And all subjects have a passport.
In the Vatican is concentrated the control center of the Catholic Church, headed by the Pope of Rome. In his hands is all power in a tiny country. Millions of tourists and believers come there to see the Pontiff at solemn masses and visit museums.
To get to the Vatican State, you must first get to Rome. From there, the main shrine of the Catholic Church can be reached on foot or by bus.
Many thousands of years ago, the inhabitants of Ancient Rome considered the Vatican hill to be a holy place, so it was not allowed to build dwellings there. At the dawn of Christianity, according to legend, the Apostle Peter was buried here. Soon the first church and papal residence were built over his grave. The church state was gradually formed.
At the end of the 19th century, Italy made territorial claims to the Vatican. They were fully settled only in 1929. The government recognized the sovereignty of the Pope and his absolute power in the Vatican.
The main source of income for a small country is voluntary donations from Catholics around the world and money from the sale of souvenirs. Every tourist who has come to Rome is seeking to go to the Vatican to see with his own eyes the unique museums, St. Peter’s Cathedral, ancient churches and well-kept parks. All are happy to buy rare postage stamps, magnets and other souvenirs.
The country has its own army, which is subject only to the Pope. This is the Swiss Guard, founded in 1506. The military guarding the chambers of the Pontiff and the city gates wear the beautiful form of the Renaissance and are adherents of the Catholic faith.
Visiting Rome, be sure to explore the cultural treasures of the Vatican. His museums hold many great works of art that are worth seeing.
The entire territory of the ancient city is a huge museum, where at every step you can admire the works of great architects who inhabit the Christian world at different times.
Every tourist should start their journey with a beautiful round square, which is the heart of the Vatican. It houses the Cathedral of St. Peter — the greatest architectural work, the creation of which was attended by more than one generation of brilliant masters. The unique building was built in the style of the Renaissance, which is characterized by pomp and splendor. From afar, a huge 136 meter dome of the cathedral is visible. At the entrance are statues of St. Peter, the keeper of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and St. Paul, holding a spear in his hand.
The interior is striking harmony and richness of design. The temple is decorated with statues, monuments and other works of art. Rare museums of the world can boast of such attractions. Connoisseurs of beauty will see the main altar, the throne of St. Peter, the rarest crucifix of the end of the 13th century. A visit to this place causes awe and reverence.
Around the square are installed in four rows of hundreds of marble columns created by the great Bernini. They as if protect the area from the vain world. The columns support the ribbon, on which are unique statues of saints.
In the center of the square rises a 42 meter granite obelisk, previously topped with a bronze ball. Now a Christian cross has been put in its place. The obelisk is not only an architectural monument of Rome and the Vatican, but also a sundial, which shows time thanks to special markings on the square.
Two steps from the cathedral of sv. Petra is the apostolic palace. It houses the residence of the Pope, a chapel, a library and numerous museums, where it is easy to see real miracles that are beyond description:
- The famous apartments of Borgia, decorated with paintings by B. Pinturicchio. There are several halls in them where tourists can see the unique frescoes of the old master, statues, paintings. There is also the bedroom of Alexander VI and his treasury.
- The Sistine Chapel. This gem adorning the Vatican Museums was built at the end of the 15th century by the famous architect George de Dolce. It still holds meetings of cardinals, when you want to choose the Pope. The clergymen have no right to leave there until they reach an agreement and notify the world about the appearance of a new Pontiff with white smoke. Modest outside, inside the chapel strikes with beauty. Its walls are painted with amazing creations by Botticelli, Michelangelo and other brilliant artists.
- The Nikkolina Chapel is a magnificent specimen of Gothic art. Her paintings tell about the lives of St. Stephen and St. Lawrence.
- The Rafael Stanzas are four small rooms, many tourists rush to Rome to admire. The Vatican Museums hide countless treasures, but the rooms painted by Raphael must be visited among the first. Scale murals filled with deep meaning are painted on each wall. These sights, dedicated to the spiritual world of man, leave a strong impression.
The museums of the Apostolic Palace include the Gallery of Geographical Maps, which is painted with plans for various places and cities belonging to the Catholic Church at different times.
There you can see the Gallery of candelabra, filled with marble statues, ancient frescoes, vases. The Gallery of paintings is an exhibition of Flemish tapestries, previously adorned the Sistine Chapel.
Library and collection of paintings
The Vatican State has long since collected a library where rare manuscripts are kept, which would have dreamed of obtaining many world museums. It was founded in the 15th century and is still replenished with unique exhibits. In its funds are:
- medals and coins;
- old books.
You can see the famous place, arriving in Rome at any time of the year, except for the month of August. Then the library staff go on vacation, and it closes for visitors. During the tour, which costs 16 euros, you will be taken to several halls with rarities from different countries and peoples.
Looking around the museums, be sure to go to the Vatican Pinakothek. It contains a collection of unique paintings by famous Italian artists. In 18 rooms of the spacious palace about 460 works of art are placed in chronological order. Most of them are devoted to religious topics. There are works by Bernini, Raphael, Pinturicchio and other brilliant authors.
Places of interest and the Vatican gardens
On each street of the city there are various museums, to visit which you need to spend more than one day. Coming to the palace of Innocent VIII, you will find the Etruscan Museum, where the sights found during the excavations of ancient settlements are located. The 22 halls exhibit finds from the Bronze Age, statues of Mars, a portrait of Athena, ceramic, glass, bronze jewelry and household items. Many exhibits were created long before the construction of the city of Rome.
In the same building is the Museum of Egypt. There are statues, busts, several mummies and sarcophagi. Connoisseurs of antiquity should visit the Assyrian-Babylonian hall and admire the findings of scientists.
In the Belvedere Palace, visitors can see the Pius-Clement Museum. In the spacious halls collected a huge number of masterpieces of art. Arriving in Rome, do not miss the opportunity to admire the world-famous statues of Apollo, Hermes, Perseus and other ancient gods and heroes. Marble and alabaster sculptures of mythical and real animals are located in one of the halls. The museum has a unique attraction — a gilded statue of Hercules. Such instances of antiquity are no longer preserved to this day.
A small state attracts guests who come to Rome, not only beautiful museums and architectural monuments. Amazing gardens are planted in the Vatican, where a variety of trees, herbs and shrubs grow. Almost half of the country’s territory is occupied by green spaces, among which are wide lawns, small paths and paths are laid, on which it is pleasant to walk in the dining heat.
Italy is rightly proud of the concentration of the faith and spiritual values of many people in the heart of its capital. Visiting these places, you will long be impressed by their greatness and beauty.