Have you been to Vatican City? Nope? Me neither. But I do know (and pretty sure you know) that it’s the smallest nation, and it’s the home of the Pope, who’s also the head of the state. It’s also the only country to have a continuous non-hereditary monarchy. The reason for this is that the Pope isn't allowed to marry or have kids.
Here are some other facts that you may not know about the Vatican City.
1. Its citizens live abroad.
In 2011, the city had a total number of 594 citizens. This number would include the Cardinals, Swiss Guard, members of the clergy and the nun.
But most of its citizens are living around the world as they’re in diplomatic positions. The population of the city will only increase by one when its citizens elect a new pope.
2. It doesn't have an official language.
It doesn't have an official language, but most of its documents are written in Italian. The community speaks mostly Italian, English, German, French and Spanish.
3. It is less than 100 years old.
The Catholic Church has been around for centuries. But the Vatican City came into existence in 1929. Created by Mussolini, the city was set up as an independent state. It’s compensated for assets lost as part of the treaty. The Pope is also banned from getting involved in international affairs.
4. It issues its own Euros.
In the past, it issued Lira. However, when the Eurozone was created, it took the Euro currency and made its own coins with the Pope’s head embossed. It also issues a few coins but no notes. Thus, if you have one coin, don’t let it go.
5. It owns a telescope.
Because of its small population, it makes it difficult to view the night skies. In 1981, the Vatican Observatory opened a second research centre in Arizona. It conducts astronomical research using a modern telescope installed atop the Mount Graham in the southeast part of the state.
6. It has the only Latin ATM in the world.
The only bank in the city is the Vatican bank that has its own ATM. Because Latin is the city’s administrative language, the machines are in Latin. That said, if you don’t understand Latin, you’ll have a hard time getting money out of those machines. If you travel to the Vatican City, make sure that you have enough cash and hold to it tightly.
7. You can’t be a citizen here even if you were born in Vatican City.
Even if you were born here, you can’t be a citizen of the Vatican. The reason for this is that a person can only be a citizen by appointment. When you lose your Vatican citizenship, and you’re not a citizen of another country, you’ll automatically become Italian.
8. It has the highest crime rate.
Nope not South Africa. This information is based on the number of offences in relation to its total number of population. Crimes here will include shoplifting and pickpocketing. In recent years, there are reports of assassination attempt on the Pope, money laundering and a murder of a Swiss Guard member.
These are just some of the most interesting facts about the Vatican City. Do you have something to add? Please let us know in the comments below.