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By James Burrows
When you think of the sights of most religious significance in the world, towards the top of the list for many people will be St Peter's Square in Vatican City. Vatican City is a district if Rome of which the official leader is the Pope. The area has been the home of the Pope since the 14th century, and it is for this reason that thousands of people descend upon the area each year for religious purposes. Visiting the Vatican, however, is not only something that appeals to the religious tourist; there is plenty of culture and history amongst other attractions which make the Vatican a must-visit location. Below are some of the reasons why you must visit the Vatican:
The surrounding area - The Vatican is situated in the city of Rome, which is one of the most historic cities in the world. There are a vast amount of historical and cultural attractions in Rome, including ancient ruins, museums, markets and restaurants. To add to this, modern Rome is a fashionable city with a vibrant nightlife and a stylish shopping culture. All of this means that a visit to the Vatican need not be one dimensional.
Architecture - A significant proportion of the Vatican is made up of magnificent architecture which is fantastic not only due to its size, but also due to the amazing attention to detail which is demonstrated throughout. St Peter's Square is truly one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
The Vatican Museums - The amount of museums in the Vatican is largely disproportionate to the size of the area. There are 1400 rooms in the Vatican museums which makes it the largest museum complex in the world. The artifacts on show include work from the world famous artist Raphael as well as a hall of maps which contain old maps of the papal lands.
The Sistine Chapel - Although there are many chapels in the Apostolic Palace in which the Pope resides, the Sistine Chapel is the best known of these chapels due to the marvelous artwork on display on the walls of the chapel which was created by a selection of the greatest Renaissance artists. The contribution by Michelangelo is considered to be amongst his greatest achievements.
Historical significance - With the Vatican being the official residence of the Pope since the 14th century, there have been a string of historic events that have occurred in the area. These include the revelations of each new pope and a long string of large scale masses, especially in times of hardship.
James is a travel addict and loves travelling Europe and Asia especially. James also works offering Vatican apartments and Trastevere accommodation for visitors to Italy.
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