The Smallest Country in the World
Today we went to Vatican City, the smallest country in the world in land mass and population. With a border that can be walked around in only 40 minutes (our family did it in 39) and only about 500 citizens, it is by far the smallest country. It has some very important people and things inside of it's border including the Pope and St. Peter's Basilica. Inside of this basilica, they claim to have the mummified head of Andrew (Peters bother), which was later sent to the Greek Orthodox Church. Along with Andrew's head are pieces of the cross, pieces of the spear that Jesus was stabbed with while on the cross, a cloth that a women wiped Jesus' face with while he was carrying his cross (apparently it imprinted his face onto the cloth) and St. Peter's Bones.
Vatican City is also home to the Sistine chapel which has many of Michelangelo's most famous paintings done in fresco. A fresco is paint applied to wet plaster before it has dried. The Sistine Chapel includes the famous story of Genesis (the painting of God almost touching Man) and The Last Judgement. Michelangelo took artistic license in both of these Sistine Chapel frescos. In the story of Genesis he paints two moons even though God only created one. The second moon was intended to represent God's bottom. In the Last Judgement he drew a cardinal who did not like him in hell.
There are other interesting things within the Vatican's border, such as the Holy See or the Pope's throne, which is actually legally a person. When Mussolini decided to give the land of the Vatican to the Pope after a 70 year stand off, he actually gave it to the Holy See. The Holy See also gives out passports and is it's own member of the UN even though Vatican City is not. The Vatican has some interesting politics because the pope is the king of the country, making the Vatican the only country that elects an all powerful monarch. As you can see, the Vatican is full of odd and interesting things. To wrap it up, Vatican City is a small but important country full of art, has a complicated government, and probably holds the only person that is legally a person but is actually a chair.