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Vatican City

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

Home> Countries> Europe> Vatican City

Country Name

Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State.


Vatican City is surrounded by a two-mile border that it shares with the European country of Italy.


Vatican City.

Reason for Naming the country

The name Vatican City was first used in the Lateran Treaty, signed on 11 February 1929, which established the modern city-state named after Vatican Hill, the geographic location of the state. "Vatican" is derived from the name of an Etruscan settlement, Vatica, or Vaticum located in the general area the Romans called Ager Vaticanus, "Vatican territory".

The official Italian name of the city is Città del Vaticano or, more formally, Stato della Città del Vaticano, meaning "Vatican City State".


The flag of Vatican City was adopted on 7 June 1929. The flag consists of two vertical stripes, a golden yellow stripe at the hoist side, and white color with the crossed keys of Saint Peter, and the Papal Tiara centered in the white stripe.

The crossed keys consist of a golden and a silver key, in which the silver key is placed in the dexter position. The gold represents spiritual power, while the silver key represents worldly power.

The order of the keys on the coat of arms of Vatican City is the reverse of the coat of arms of the Holy See, in order to distinguish between the two entities.


Vatican City has no formally official language, but, unlike the Holy See which most often uses Latin for its official documents, Vatican City uses only Italian in its legislation and official communications. Italian is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state. In the Swiss Guard, Swiss German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages: German, French, Italian, or Romansh. The official websites of the Holy See and of Vatican City are primarily in Italian, with versions of their pages in a large number of languages to varying extents.


Vatican City is the center of the worldwide organization of the Roman Catholic Church and the seat of the pope. Roman Catholicism is the official religion and the primary business of the state itself.


Euro (€) (EUR).

Time Zone

+01:00 GMT.