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Vatican Webcam - St Peter's Square in Vatican City

  Europe, Italy, Vatican City
 

Location Information:

Vatican City officially the State of the Vatican City (Italian: Stato della CittÓ del Vaticano) is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800.

Vatican City was established in 1929. It is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.147 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, only issues diplomatic and service passports; the state of Vatican City issues normal passports. Very few passports are issued by either authority.

Saint Peter's Square (Italian: Piazza San Pietro) is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome. The open space which lies before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII, as an appropriate forecourt, designed "so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the fašade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace" (Norwich 1975 p 175). Bernini had been working on the interior of St. Peter's for decades; now he gave order to the space with his renowned colonnades, using the Tuscan form of Doric, the simplest order in the classical vocabulary, not to compete with the palace-like fašade by Carlo Maderno, but he employed it on an unprecedented colossal scale to suit the space and evoke emotions of awe.

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