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Vatican City State and the Holy See

With a territory of 0.44 square kilometers and a permanent population of only 900, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. Yet it is known all over the globe as the seat of power of the 1.3-billion-member Roman Catholic Church, the headquarters known as the Holy See. Indeed, although Vatican City is recognized as an independent state in international law, its main function is to guarantee the independence of the Holy See and to grant it de facto recognition as an international power.

Vatican City is located on the west bank of the Tiber River in Rome and encompasses St. Peter's Church and Square, the pontifical palaces, several administrative buildings, the Vatican library, museums, and gardens. The Basilicas of St. John Lateran, Santa ...

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