The dwarf states of Europe have a tiny territory and minimal population, but this does not prevent them from being well known throughout the world. Who hasn't heard of them at least once?
But neither Andorra with a population of 76 thousand people, nor Liechtenstein with a population of 160 thousand, or San Marino with 32 thousand citizens can not be compared with the Vatican state, which has about 830 people.
History of the Vatican
Thanks to the Lateran Accords signed in 1929, the smallest European enclave state arose within the borders in which it exists to this day.
The Vatican is located in the northwestern part of Rome on the Vatican Hill and has a border with the only state - Italy. On an area of about 0.44 square kilometers, masterpieces of architecture and painting are collected, which would be glad to see art critics of much larger countries in their collections: St. Peter's Basilica, the Papal Palace, the Sistine Chapel with frescoes by Michelangelo, the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, the Vatican library and many other museums and palaces.
The Vatican Library has existed for over 6 centuries and has the largest collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.
As for the political system, the Vatican has a theocratic monarchy. In the hands of the Pope, who is elected for life by the cardinals at the conclave, all the executive, legislative and judicial powers are concentrated.
The only case of abdication in the last 600 years happened in 2013, when Benedict XVI renounced his dignity of his own free will.
The main legislative body of the Vatican is the Pontifical Commission, and the Roman Curia is responsible for the administrative part. The Vatican also has its own economy - however, non-profit. The state lives exclusively on donations made by Catholics around the world. Part of the funds in the Vatican treasury comes from tourism - the sale of souvenirs and excursion tickets.
Despite the fact that the Vatican is not a member of the European Union, it belongs to the countries in which, by agreement with the European Central Bank, it is officially allowed to use the euro.
But the euro in the Vatican is very special - on the reverse side of the coins you can see the profile of the reigning pontiff.
Most of the inhabitants of the Vatican are the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. The smallest part of the population is made up of laymen and soldiers serving in the Swiss guard and guarding the Holy See.
A citizen of the Vatican is not made by birth. Vatican citizenship is associated exclusively with the service of the Catholic Church and after its termination can be revoked.
And the Vatican is not only the smallest, but also the most closed country in Europe - you should not indulge yourself with the hope of seeing "the entire Vatican" and even in one day. Firstly, only a part of the beauties and collections of the Vatican is accessible for tourists, and, secondly, even a week is not enough to get acquainted with them only briefly.