Monday, October 8, 2007

Vatican City - World's Smallest Country





Size: 0.17 sq. mi. (0.44 km²)
Population: 783 (2005 census)
Location: Rome, Italy

The size of a golf course, the Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It's basically a walled enclave inside of Rome, Italy. It's so small that the entire country does not have a single street address.
The Vatican City may be small, but it is very powerful. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See, or the seat of the Catholic Church (basically its central government), which has over 1 billion people (about 1 in 6 people on the planet) as constituents.
The Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty (which was signed by one of history's most repressive dictators, Benito Mussolini) and is ruled by the Pope, basically a non-hereditary, elected monarch who rules with absolute authority (he's the legislative, executive and judiciary all rolled into one) - indeed, the Pope is the only absolute monarch in Europe.
Another unique thing about the smallest country in the world is that it has no permanent citizens. Citizenship of the Vatican City is conferred upon those who work at the Vatican (as well as their spouses and children) and is revoked when they stop working there.

The Vatican City is guarded by the smallest and oldest regular army in the world, the Swiss Guard. It was originally made up of Swiss mercenaries in 1506, now the army (also personal bodyguards of the Pope) number 100, all of which are Catholic unmarried male Swiss citizens. The Swiss Guard's Renaissance-style uniform was commonly attributed as to have been designed by Michelangelo - this was actually incorrect: the large "skirt" pants were a common style during the Renaissance. Only their uniforms seem antiquated: most of the Swiss Guards carry pistols and submachine-guns.

The official languages of the Vatican City are Latin and Italian. In fact, its ATMs are the only ones in the world that offer services in Latin! And here you thought that Latin is a dead language…
For a country that has no street address, the Vatican City has a very efficient post office: an international mail dropped in the Vatican will get there faster than one dropped in Italy just a few hundred yard away - in fact, there is more mail sent annually per inhabitant from this country (7,200 mails per person) than anywhere else in the world.
The Vatican City has a country code top level domain of .va - currently there are only 9 publicly known .va domains. It also has a radio broadcasting service, called Vatican Radio, which was set up by Guglielmo Marconi (the Father of Radio) himself!
The country's economy is unique: it is the only non-commercial economy in the world. Instead, the Vatican City is supported financially by contributions of Catholics worldwide (called Peter's Pence - hey, even the Pope accepts credit cards!), the sale of postage stamps and publications, and tourism.
Lastly, as an ecclesiastical paradise, the Vatican City has no taxes.

via

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with this article on a other official site: www.smallestcityworld.com can you see that Durbay is the smallest city in the world.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with the article and the comment.
The city of Hum in Croatia has a population of 17 (or 30, depence on the season).

cole said...

guys its not about the smallest city, its the smallest country!

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