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Holy See (Vatican City)

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Introduction - Holy See (Vatican City):
CountryHoly See (Vatican City)

BackgroundPopes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid 19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly united Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, the popes holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed. Disputes between a series of prisoner popes and Italy were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain of the earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion. Present concerns of the Holy See include religious freedom, international development, the Middle East, terrorism, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About 1 billion people worldwide profess the Catholic faith.

Location - Holy See (Vatican City):
LocationSouthern Europe, an enclave of Rome (Italy)

Geographic coordinates41 54 N, 12 27 E

Map referencesEurope

Areatotal: 0.44 sq km
land: 0.44 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparativeabout 0.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundariestotal: 3.2 km
border countries: Italy 3.2 km

Coastline0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)

Climatetemperate; mild, rainy winters (September to May) with hot, dry summers (May to September)

Terrainurban; low hill

Elevation extremeslowest point: unnamed location 19 m
highest point: unnamed location 75 m

Natural resourcesnone

Land usearable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (urban area) (2005)

Irrigated land0 sq km

Natural hazardsNA

Environment current issuesNA

Environment international agreementsparty to: Climate Change
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution, Environmental Modification

Geography notelandlocked; enclave in Rome, Italy; worlds smallest state; beyond the territorial boundary of Vatican City, the Lateran Treaty of 1929 grants the Holy See extraterritorial authority over 23 sites in Rome and five outside of Rome, including the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo (the Popes summer residence)

People - Holy See (Vatican City):
Population821 (July 2007 est.)

Population growth rate0% (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: none
adjective: none

Ethnic groupsItalians, Swiss, other

ReligionsRoman Catholic

LanguagesItalian, Latin, French, various other languages

Literacydefinition: NA
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%

Government - Holy See (Vatican City):
Country nameconventional long form: The Holy See (State of the Vatican City)
conventional short form: Holy See (Vatican City)
local long form: Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano)
local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano)

Government typeecclesiastical

Capitalname: Vatican City
geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 27 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisionsnone

Independence11 February 1929 (from Italy); note - the three treaties signed with Italy on 11 February 1929 acknowledged, among other things, the full sovereignty of the Vatican and established its territorial extent; however, the origin of the Papal States, which over the years have varied considerably in extent, may be traced back to the 8th century

National holidayCoronation Day of Pope BENEDICT XVI, 24 April (2005)

Constitutionnew Fundamental Law promulgated by Pope JOHN PAUL II on 26 November 2000, effective 22 February 2001 (replaces the first Fundamental Law of 1929)

Legal systembased on Code of Canon Law and revisions to it

Suffragelimited to cardinals less than 80 years old

Executive branchchief of state: Pope BENEDICT XVI (since 19 April 2005)
head of government: Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio BERTONE (since 15 September 2006)
cabinet: Pontifical Commission appointed by the pope
elections: pope elected for life by the College of Cardinals; election last held 19 April 2005 (next to be held after the death of the current pope); secretary of state appointed by the pope
election results: Joseph RATZINGER elected Pope BENEDICT XVI

Legislative branchunicameral Pontifical Commission

Judicial branchthere are three tribunals responsible for civil and criminal matters within Vatican City; three other tribunals rule on issues pertaining to the Holy See
note: judicial duties were established by the Motu Proprio of Pope PIUS XII on 1 May 1946

Political parties and leadersnone

Political pressure groups and leadersnone (exclusive of influence exercised by church officers)

International organization participationCE (observer), CPLP (associate), IAEA, IOM (observer), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO (observer), UPU, WIPO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro SAMBI
chancery: 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7121
FAX: [1] (202) 337-4036

Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Francis ROONEY
embassy: Villa Domiziana, Via delle Terme Deciane 26, 00153 Rome
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 66, APO AE 09624
telephone: [39] (06) 4674-3428
FAX: [39] (06) 575-8346

Flag descriptiontwo vertical bands of yellow (hoist side) and white with the arms of the Holy See, consisting of the crossed keys of Saint Peter surmounted by the three-tiered papal tiara, centered in the white band

Economy - Holy See (Vatican City):
Economy overviewThis unique, noncommercial economy is supported financially by an annual contribution (known as Peters Pence) from Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the world; by the sale of postage stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by the sale of publications. Investments and real estate income also account for a sizable portion of revenue. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.

Gdp purchasing power parity $NA

Labor forceNA

Labor force by occupationnote: essentially services with a small amount of industry; dignitaries, priests, nuns, guards, and 3,000 lay workers live outside the Vatican

Population below poverty lineNA%

Budgetrevenues: $247 million
expenditures: $243 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005)

Industriesprinting; production of coins, medals, postage stamps; a small amount of mosaics and staff uniforms; worldwide banking and financial activities

Electricity productionNA kWh

Electricity consumptionNA kWh

Electricity importsNA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Italy

Economic aid recipient$0

Currency code euro (EUR)

Exchange rateseuros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

Communications - Holy See (Vatican City):
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use5,120 (2005)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: automatic digital exchange
domestic: connected via fiber optic cable to Telecom Italia network
international: country code - 39; uses Italian system

Radio broadcast stationsAM 4, FM 3, shortwave 2 (2004)

Television broadcast stations1 (2005)

Internet country code.va

Internet hosts45 (2006)

Internet users93 (2000)

Transportation - Holy See (Vatican City):
Military - Holy See (Vatican City):
Military branchesPontifical Swiss Guard (Corpo della Guardia Svizzera Pontificia)

Military notedefense is the responsibility of Italy; ceremonial and limited security duties performed by Pontifical Swiss Guard

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>