World Heritage #0286 – Vatican City

Last modified 27.03.2022 | Published 16.08.1991Southern Europe, Vatican, World Heritage Sites

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Home to the Pope and the world’s largest church, the Vatican City is a sovereign state and the centre of the Roman Catholic church.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Country: Holy See
  • Date of Inscription: 1987
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 286:

“The Vatican City, one of the most sacred places in Christendom, attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. A unique collection of artistic and architectural masterpieces lie within the boundaries of this small state. At its centre is St Peter’s Basilica, with its double colonnade and a circular piazza in front and bordered by palaces and gardens. The basilica, erected over the tomb of St Peter the Apostle, is the largest religious building in the world, the fruit of the combined genius of Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini and Maderna.”


My visit

Well, needless to say the Vatican City is important. I have been there twice. The first time (1991) I had a great view from the top of St Peter’s and set a world record speeding through the museum. There was too much to see. The Sistine Chapel was however splendid. The second time (2007) I had the opportunity of witnessing a mass. The church was a bit too large for the small congregation gathered that day.

Read more about my visit in 1991 and from 2007. 

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