A report on Legal status of the Holy See

That of a full subject of public international law, with rights and duties analogous to those of states.

- Legal status of the Holy See

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Vatican City

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Independent city-state and enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy.

Independent city-state and enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy.

Vatican City
The Vatican obelisk, originally taken from Egypt by Caligula
Vatican City
An early interpretation of the relative locations of the circus, and the medieval and current Basilicas of St. Peter.
One possible modern interpretation
The Italian peninsula in 1796. The Papal States in central Italy are coloured purple.
Bands of the British army's 38th Brigade playing in front of St Peter's Basilica, June 1944
View of St. Peter's Square from the top of Michelangelo's dome
Map of Vatican City, highlighting notable buildings and the Vatican gardens
Territory of Vatican City State according to the Lateran Treaty
Pope Francis in Vatican City, 2021
The Apostolic Palace (Palazzo Apostolico), the official residence of the Pope. Here, Benedict XVI is at the window marked by a maroon banner hanging from the windowsill at centre
Palace of the Governorate of Vatican City State
A guard of the Vatican at his sentry box
Gendarmerie car
The crowds of tourists in St. Peter's Square are a target for pickpockets.
The Ingresso di Sant'Anna, an entrance to Vatican City from Italy
Vatican Museums' "New Wing", built by Raffaele Stern (1774–1820)
The Seal of Vatican City. Note the use of the Italian language
The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) display works from the extensive collection of the Catholic Church
The shortest national railway system in the world
The Vatican's post office was established on 11 February 1929

The Vatican City State, also known simply as the Vatican, became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929), and it is a distinct territory under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state's temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence.