Vatican City (State of the Vatican City)
|Flag of Vatican City|
The Holy See dates back to early Christianity and is the principal episcopal see of the Catholic Church, which has approximately 1.329 billion baptised Catholics in the world in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent state of Vatican City, on the other hand, came into existence on 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of Central Italy.
Vatican City contains religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by donations from the faithful, by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications. Vatican City has no taxes and items are duty-free.
The name was first used in the Lateran Treaty, signed on 11 February 1929, which established the modern city-state named after Vatican Hill, the geographic location of the state within the city of Rome. "Vatican" is derived from the name of an Etruscan settlement, Vatica or Vaticum, located in the general area the Romans called Ager Vaticanus, "Vatican territory".
The Italian name of the city is Città del Vaticano or, more formally, Stato della Città del Vaticano, meaning 'Vatican City State'. Its Latin name is Status Civitatis Vaticanae; this is used in official documents by the Holy See, the Church and the Pope.