In 1929 the Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See made Vatican City the world’s smallest sovereign state.The 108-acre Vatican is the spiritual capital of 1.18 billion Catholics worldwide and maintains diplomatic relations with at least 174 nations.
The majority of the country, including towers, apartments, restoration labs, tombs and secret archives, is off-limits without a Vatican City passport.
The council for the proclamation of saints decides who is canonized in this off-limits conference room
Pope Benedict and two assistants prepare letters and official documents in the study of the Papal Apartments
The Swiss Guard, the world's smallest standing army, stocks its gear under the streets of Vatican City
The garments that the guards wear under their 8-lb uniforms are made from scratch in the tailoring room
Three restoration laboratories for marble, tapestries and paintings sit beneath the Vatican's museums and galleries
The archives comprise over 50 miles of shelves that include invaluable artifacts, such as a note written by Michelangelo dated January 1550
In a room near the secret archives, one man restores the thousands of wax seals from letters sent to the Vatican over the centuries
The Vatican Printing Press, which was founded in 1626, handles over 5,000 orders per year printed in at least 15 languages
The Vatican radio station broadcasts in 40 different languages (and costs $25 million per year to run)
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