Vatican City State

Cultural Dictionary

Vatican City State definition


Tiny independent nation within Rome, Italy, located on the Vatican Hill, on the west bank of the Tiber River; often called the Vatican.

Note: It is home to the pope and central administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope maintains complete legal, executive, and judicial powers. The Vatican was established in the 1920s by a treaty between the pope and the Italian government.
Note: The Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica are located here.
Note: With a total area of less than a fifth of a square mile, it is often considered the world's smallest country.
Note: The relations of the United States with the Vatican have been controversial. For years, the United States had a diplomatic representative there without the rank of ambassador, but in the middle 1980s, the United States established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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