Home to the Pope and the world’s largest church, the Vatican 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.
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.”
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.