Vatican City-The most revered pilgrim place for Catholics


The Catholics, world over, hold the city of Vatican as the ultimate pilgrim destination. It has been the home of the Bishop of Rome since many centuries and today also this place is revered the most among all its devotees. The Pope, who is considered the highest authority among Catholic Christians resides here and thus is an important place to visit. This article gives a description about the Vatican City and some major pilgrim places present there.

Vatican City-The ultimate pilgrimage place for Catholics around the world


Vatican City is world's smallest independent city state that has absolute monarchy and is ruled by the Bishop of Rome-The Pope. He is the highest authority among the Catholics in the world and also in Vatican. No wonder then, that Vatican City is one of the most sacred and holy pilgrim places that draws millions of Catholic pilgrims and tourists to its land from far and distant places. Vatican is a walled city within the city of Rome and was declared an independent state in the year 1929. Since then the city has been an abode of spiritual and holy pilgrimage for people across the world.
The city of Vatican has many beautiful and religiously important places that people come to see and are transported into an enlightened world of spiritualism. Some of the most popular artistic and holy places to visit in Vatican are:-

  • St. Peter's Basilica: It is one of the most revered and famous places in Vatican for the pilgrims to visit. It was built in A.D 337, was rebuilt in the year 1626 and is situated on the top of St. Peter's tomb. St. Peter was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and also the first Bishop of Rome. Since many centuries this architectural gem has inspired and witnessed the presence of kings, queens, soldiers, farmers, children and people from all strata of society in its premises. Michelangelo was one of the three renowned designers who enhanced the elegance of this remarkable and beautiful Renaissance Architectural marvel. It is the world's largest and amongst the most holy churches till date. It is also the most important pilgrimage place as the Pope presides over many services here throughout the year.

  • St. Peter's Square: It is a colossal courtyard which is present just in front of the St. Basilica and contains an Egyptian obelisk-an ancient sun dial. It was redesigned in the year 1956 so that it can host large number of pilgrims that come to see and witness Pope giving his blessings and offering service to all.

  • Apostolic Palace: It is the official residence of Pope and hence is considered the most Sacred Papal Palace. Apart from housing the residential apartments of the papal, the Apostolic Palace also hold the various administrative offices of the functionaries of Vatican City. Being the place of stay of Pope, it gains its importance among the pilgrims visiting the Vatican City.

  • Sistine Chapel: It is again one of the most outstanding work of Renaissance Architecture and the most well-known chapels in the Apostolic Palace. The work "Last Judgement" and "Creation of Adam", the world renowned paintings by Michelangelo are especially true masterpieces here to see. The first mass in the Sistine Chapel was conducted by Sixtius IV and it was then dedicated to Virgin Mary and declared open. Since that day this chapel has served as the place of many religious and papal activities. Today it is mainly used for the Papal Conclave, a process to elect the new Pope. On the roof of Chapel a chimney is used to signal the election by burning ballot papers. If a white smoke comes out then it means Pope has been selected by 2/3rd majority, otherwise the ballots are burned with chemicals to signal a black smoke, to signal Pope's election is unsuccessful. Thus, it has a special holy significance with respect to the sanctity of the Pope's office. Very recently, the new Pope Francis I was elected here.

  • Castel Saint'Angelo This is a mausoleum of Emperor of Rome Hadrian. This cylindrical and towering building was later used as the fortress or a castle by the popes, but now has been converted into a museum. There is a legend associated with this castle which says that once the Pope saw an idol of an angel appear at the top of the castle and hence got its name. It is also said that in order to build more churches around the Rome and to decorate St. Basilica the priceless stones and gems were taken from this castle and hence led to its ruin. But, still it is a revered and most visited places by the pilgrims in the Vatican City.

  • During one's pilgrimage to the Vatican City, one can also enjoy some more interesting and fascinating places like Vatican Museum, Vatican Library and Gardens of Vatican City. Apart from this pilgrims may also relish the beauty of awesome paintings within the Raphael Rooms inside the papal apartments. The pilgrims must however remember that Vatican City being a religious place doesn't allow wearing indecent clothes like shorts and dresses that expose their body in any form. It is therefore advised to the pilgrims, visiting this place, to give utmost importance to their demeanor and dress code.
    I hope this article would help many pilgrims on their tour of the Vatican City and enable them to visit various places of importance and also let them enjoy the beauty of the city.


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