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Travel the World: Vatican City
by Staff
Vatican City State is the smallest sovereign state in the world. It's legally distinct from, but closely linked to, the Holy See. So let's see what you know about the Pope's unique home in this quiz.

Saint Peter's Basilica …

  • Was built shortly after Saint Peter's death
  • Was built on the orders of Emperor Constantine in 324 A.D., was consecrated in 329 A.D., and remains intact today
  • Is a more modern replacement of the original Saint Peter's Basilica and was built in the 16th century

The Vatican Gardens …

  • Are peaceful gardens begun by Pope Nicholas III in 1279 A.D.
  • Were victory gardens Pius XII built to sustain the city state during World War II
  • Were a tragic place that witnessed many popes' murders before being uprooted and destroyed in the 1880s by Leo XIII

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel …

  • Is sometimes suspected of being the original work of another painter -- not Michelangelo
  • Contains a number of major scenes -- not just the world-famous "Creation of Adam"
  • Was painted with such supreme artistic technique that it has never needed to be repainted or restored

The Vatican Pinacoteca …

  • Is an 18-room building built in 1931 that houses a number of famous artistic works collected by several popes
  • Is a 15-room building built in 1878 that contains a controversial collection of artifacts from Egyptian antiquity
  • Is a 30-room building built in 1959 that's dedicated to some of the core bureaucratic departments that help run the Vatican

St. Peter's Square …

  • Is not attached to the main entrance of Saint Peter's Basilica, despite what the name suggests
  • Has many of the same features it had when it was completed -- including two main fountains and a massive obelisk, all three erected within the giant elliptical part of the piazza that's ringed with hundreds of columns
  • Broke away from the contemporary Baroque traditions

The Vatican Library...

  • Has been around since the early popes, who built their collection steadily and stealthily
  • Is a rather new development. Popes didn't build an actual library until sometime in the 17th century.
  • Fell between antiquity and modernity: The modern Vatican Library has its origins in the 15th century

La Pietà …

  • Was sculpted by Michelangelo when he was 24 years old
  • Was sculpted by Michelangelo when he was 44 years old
  • Was sculpted by Michelangelo when he was 64 years old

The Swiss Guard …

  • Aren't really Swiss
  • Are responsible for the safety of the Pope, along with Vatican City and Saint Peter's Square
  • Celebrated 500 years of service in 2006

The Paul VI Audience Hall...

  • Can hold more than 15,000 people
  • Was built in the 1800s and was later renovated in the 1960s
  • Is the first Vatican structure to be roofed with a vast array of solar panels

The Popemobile ...

  • Doesn't have an official name
  • Can be driven by GPS-guided robots
  • Can launch the Pope into the air if he needs to escape