Vatican City Essay
645 WordsAug 27th, 20133 Pages
Vatican City is a country of religion. A mere .44 square kilometers in total, the city-state is the central hub for the governing body of the Catholic faith; thousands of followers worldwide come annually to view the numerous artistic masterpieces and visit the center of their beliefs. Religion is found in virtually all aspects of Vatican City and can be seen in its culture, politics, and economy. The culture of Vatican City is dominated by religious aspects and traditions. For one, the identity of the city-state in itself is religious and not national; it presents itself transnationally and universally to represent all members of the Church. Virtually 100% of residents are Roman Catholic, whether they be priests, nuns, or…show more content…
Most official positions are held by men, due to the fact that, according to the Catholic faith, women may not be ordained as priests. This shows that even one of the oldest practices of the Church is still held rigorously. Finally, suffrage is given only to cardinals--leading dignitaries of the Church--in the event of the death of a Pope and the election of a new one, emphasizing, once again, the strong pious ties the people have with politics. Ultimately, the people of Vatican City are politically bound to their religious dogmas. Lastly, Vatican City may be described as a country of religion economically. For one, in general, its economy is supported by all things religious--not only does the city-state receive numerous donations from Catholic institutions and individuals, but the tourism industry attracts over 4.1 million visitors annually, with many coming to see the Pope or attend mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. This shows that in general, Vatican City depends on the Catholic religion and its millions of followers globally to support it financially and operate efficiently. In terms of occupations, most citizens are either priests, nuns, or lay workers, attesting to the fact that everyone living inside the walls works for the benefit of the Catholic Church. All in all, the economy of Vatican City is solely based on supporting itself and the Church by religious means. In conclusion, the city-state of Vatican City may be best
I have no connection to Catholicism. I was raised Jewish and have never been to mass. Despite this, the Vatican absolutely blew me away. It is one of the most ornate and beautiful structures I have ever visited, and the amount of history contained within these walls left me in awe. It was so over-the-top that it reminded me of the Palace of Versailles.
With thousands upon thousands of pieces of art spread across multiple museums within the Vatican complex, the Vatican Museums consist of one of the best art collections on earth. They have Egyptian art, Etruscan artifacts, Greek and Roman statues, massive tapestries from the 1500s, religious paintings, and so much more.
I visited Vatican City in the summer of 2009. In addition to wandering through the museums and basilica, we also went into the crypt and saw the tomb of John Paul II, though I wasn’t allowed to take photos down below. Here is a collection of some of my favorite photos I took on that trip.
I saw these priests walking along the corridor of St. Peter’s Square:
I ascended the dome of the basilica and took this photo of my view of St. Peter’s Square:
The Vatican Museums are shockingly huge (yes, the Vatican has many museums in the complex), and I was fascinated with the animal room, full of eerie statues of creatures:
I caught a glimpse of one of the Swiss Guards. The papal Swiss guard was founded at the Vatican in 1506:
One of my favorite parts of the Vatican Museums was the map gallery, filled with large, painted maps of various parts of the world:
The Vatican is almost disturbingly opulent, with gilded moulding and ceilings with murals:
While I loved the famous “Laocoön and His Sons” sculpture, I also was captivated by this statue of Saint Longinus by Bernini (how the heck do you make marble look like gathered fabric?):
I took this photo of the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica after ascending the dome. I’m higher up than you think–look at the people in the pews:
One of the most famous works in the Vatican is Michaelangelo’s Pieta, which I photographed below. It sits in St. Peter’s Basilica behind a glass case:
You aren’t supposed to take photos in the Sistine Chapel, but I had to sneak one in. Don’t tell….
While there were many curious non-religious tourists like me, there were also many Catholic devotees here:
I snapped this photo of two nuns walking out of St. Peter’s Basilica: