Vatican City for Kids
Vatican City is the smallest country in the world in both population and size. And since kids love “biggest” and “smallest” kinds of things, lets talk about this!
Vatican City is a kind of theocracy, which means it leaders are connected to the church. It is ruled by the Pope, who is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican City is surrounded by the city of Rome in Italy.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the city each year. So obviously, something other than being the smallest country makes it super special.
First, the Pope lives there in the Apostolic Palace. And it is a very important place for the Roman Catholic church and many of their important events.
But even if you’re not Catholic, there’s much more. You would still want to see St. Peter’s Basilica. It is a huge, beautiful church, lavishly decorated with Renaissance artwork and sculptures. The picture above shows the view from the roof of the Basilica, looking down into St. Peter’s Square…which is the big round area where they hold many important functions. Which begs the question of why the circle is called a square. And no one really talks about that, so you are free to have your own opinion!
Also, many popes and other important people have been buried at the Basilica, possibly even St. Peter himself.
And let’s not forget the museums. The Vatican holds some of the most treasured pieces of art in the world. Did you ever learn about Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel while laying on his back on a scaffold? If you visit the Vatican museums, you can walk into the Chapel and see the famous ceiling.
A large wall surrounds most of the city-state. You can get a glimpse of it in the picture at the top of this post. Look to the left of the buildings on the left side of the big, center street. The wall was built many, many years ago, and helps with security today. But the huge street leading to St. Peter’s Square is not cut off by the wall.
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