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Holy See Old History

 

In ancient times, the Vatican was the name on a sank of land east of the Tiber River in Rome. The name was also used on the Vatican hill on the western shore of the Tiber, where the Vatican State is today.

In Emperor Nero's time there was a circus for gladiatorial games near the Vatican Hill, where St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Church are now located. There, according to tradition, the apostle Peter in 67 must have suffered martyrdom and been buried. Emperor Constantine, who acknowledged Christianity in the Roman Empire, had in the 300s erected a basilica (church building) over Peter's tomb.

An urban settlement grew up around the Basilica of St. Peter and was surrounded in the 800's with the so-called Leononian wall. At the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 13th century, the first buildings were erected in the complex that would form the Vatican Palace.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Vatican, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

From the 300s and around 1,000 years on, the popes lived mainly in the Lateran Palace in southern Rome. After the so-called Avignon Pope in the 1300s, Pope Gregory XI made the Vatican Palace a papal residence in 1377.

At the end of the 15th century, the Sistine Chapel was erected and at the end of the 16th century the property which was now the pope's residence was built. The ancient Christian Basilica of Basilica was abandoned in the 16th century for the building of St. Peter's Church under the leadership of, among others, artist Michelangelo. The church was inaugurated in 1626.

Old History of Vatican City

Until 1870, large parts of present-day central Italy were ruled by the Church Council with the Pope as head of state. The church cost was invaded in 1807, when the French emperor Napoleon occupied most of the Italian peninsula. After the Vienna Congress in 1815, the Church Cost was restored.

When Italy united in 1861 (see Italy, Ancient History), the new rulers demanded that the church give up its worldly powers. According to a referendum in 1870, the Church cost was to be incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy. The church refused, and the pope confined itself in a small area around St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Palace. Instead of recognizing the new Italian state, the church banned its monarch and banned its members from holding public office in Italy and voting in general elections there.

The conflict between the Vatican and Italy, the so-called Roman issue, was only resolved after six decades through the so-called Lateran treaties between the Pope and Mussolini's fascist regime in 1929. In the first treaty, the Vatican was established as a sovereign state, while the pope in return recognized the Italian state. The Vatican gave up all the demands for past possessions in Italy and received financial compensation for church properties that were transferred to the Italian state. In addition, a so-called concord (religious agreement) was concluded, which gave Catholicism a position as state religion in Italy. The Holy See also gained ownership of a number of churches and palaces in Rome and elsewhere in Italy.

 
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