Location: Vatican City (within Rome, Italy)
Visited: August 3, 2013
Opinion and Background:
Vatican city is the center of the Roman Catholic Church, which has over one billion followers world wide. The only other groups with that many members are Facebook, Islam, China and India. Now go tell your friends this fun fact! (I actually don’t know if that’s accurate, so don’t quote me on that!) However, for such a powerful organization, Vatican City is also officially the smallest country in the world. Its entirety is located in the city of Rome, and is about 0.2 square miles (just over 100 acres).
Since the death of Jesus around the year 33 C.E., it is believed that Peter founded the church and effectively became the Bishop of Rome, a title now known as the Pope. Back then however, this did not mean what it does today. The pope was simply the bishop of the largest and most powerful city in the Roman Empire, and held no power above any other bishop.