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The Vatican, Italy

Pictures by QT Luong

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The Vatican city, which appears to be a district of Rome partly enclosed in high walls, is the smallest independent state in the world, ruled by the Pope, Europe's only absolute monarch. It has its own army of Swiss guards, who despite wearing the traditional red, yellow, and blue stripe uniform, and wielding 15th century pikes, are in fact highly trained soldiers responsible for the Pope's personal safety. A major portion of the Vatican consists of the Basilica St Peter, catholicism's most sacred shrine, which attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Not only are the proportions overwhelming (the dome, designed by Michelangelo towers 136m above the floor), but so are the hundreds of works of arts held inside the basilica. The Properties of the Holy See the city of Rome enjoying extraterritorial rights are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Piazza San Pietro seen from the Dome. Vatican City ( color) Vatican gardens seen from the Dome. Vatican City ( color) Ponte Sant'Angelo and Castel Sant'Angelo, dawn. Vatican City ( color) Ponte Sant'Angelo over the Tiber, and Basilica San Pietro, sunrise. Vatican City ( color) Basilic Saint Peter, catholicism's most sacred shrine. Vatican City ( color) Piazza San Pietro and Basilica San Pietro (Saint Peter), sunrise. Vatican City ( color) Pilgrim prays in front of the Basilic Saint Peter. Vatican City ( color) Inside  Basilica San Pietro. Vatican City ( color) Cavernous interior of Basilic San Peter. Vatican City ( color) Baldachino, Bernini's baroque canopy stands above St Peter's tomb. Vatican City ( color) Interior of Basilica San Pietro (Saint Peter) seen from the Dome. Vatican City ( color) Pilgrim. Vatican City ( color) Swiss guard. Vatican City ( color) Swiss guards. Vatican City ( color) Papal Swiss guards in colorful traditional uniform. Vatican City ( color) Papal Blessings sign in many languages. Vatican City ( color)

All text and photos © . See conditions for use of images. There are 16 color pictures on this page out of 28 color pictures of The Vatican.
Themes: St Peter Basilica
Places: Lazio, Italy

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