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The Vatican, the smallest state in the world and the worldwide headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, is bordered by a wall, and completely surrounded by the city of Rome, Italy in the mid 19th century.

To further add to the situation, Rome was annexed in 1870 and unified with the rest of Italian Pope since the Renaissance, and served for a little over 26 years - the second longest documented pontificate.

As one of the most acclaimed world leaders of the 20th century, Pope John Paul II was also the most traveled of all the Pope's, and visited 129 countries.

Following the death of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI was appointed on April 25, 2005.

As the smallest state in the world, Vatican City includes Saint Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Palace (the Pope's formal residence), the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and dozens of administrative buildings and historic monuments.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.