These Are The Parts Of The Vatican That Tourists Never See


Photo: YouTube/nazeazeno

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.

For a rare look inside the Holy See, we pulled up exclusive videos by National Geographic and History Channel.

The Pope prepares to engage the masses in his private office above St. Peter's Square

Here's the view from the outside

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 pope occasionally plays piano in his private living room

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

The Papal Sacristy (the Pope's walk-in closet) holds treasures handed down from previous popes

Three restoration laboratories for marble, tapestries and paintings sit beneath the Vatican's museums and galleries

Tapestries are rehabilitated in this immaculate white room

This two-story underground bunker houses the secret archives

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)

The Tower of the Wind, built in 1580, proved that the calendar of Julian Caesar was incorrect

The body of Pope John Paul II lies in the grottoes below St. Peter's Basilica

Also under St. Peter's basilica is the supposed tomb of St. Peter (the first pope)

A man enters the Room of Tears, and the Pope exits

As the Vatican clings to the past, other cities look to the future

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