(Stato della Citta del Vaticano). Territorial seat of the papacy in Rome, It. Includes Vatican Palace, art galleries, astronomical observatory, bank, libraries, post office, gardens, museums, radio station, St. Peter's Basilica, and other bldgs. in Rome. Area: 108.7 acres (.15 sq. mi.; .4 sq. km). US est. diplomatic relations with the Vatican 1848, discontinued 1867, reest. 1984.
Basilica hist. is traced to the early 4th c., Vatican palace hist.. to the 6th c. (place now covers more than 13 acres); the palace became the chief papal residence after 1378 (see also Schism, 8; the older Lateran palace had been burned).
Various bldgs (e.g., Sistine Chapel [see Popes, 16]) were designed and decorated by Michelangelo,* Raphael,* and other masters. The crypt of St. Peter's Basilica includes tombs of popes and other rulers (e.g., Christina*).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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