What are some facts about the history of the Vatican?


Quick Answer

During its existence, the Vatican has hosted major Church councils and events, and it also connects to the early Church through the bones of St. Peter and other early Christians found underneath the Basilica of St. Peter. Some of the greatest Renaissance artists created their masterworks at the Vatican.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Vatican Council I (1869-1870) and Vatican Council II (1962-1965) were two major church councils that both took place at the Vatican. Vatican Council I issued documents on the existence of God, the nature of faith, the relationship between faith and reason, the papacy and papal infallibility. The larger Vatican Council II took place under the guidance of Pope John XXIII, and then of Pope Paul VI. This council issued 16 final documents on issues ranging from the role of the laity in the Church, the interpretation of Scripture and dialogue with other religions.

During the 1st century, A.D., the site of present day Vatican City was the site of a Roman necropolis. In 64 A.D., the emperor Nero burned much of Rome to the ground, and under his watch, the apostle St. Peter was crucified. Many Catholics believe his burial spot to be underneath modern day St. Peter's Basilica.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was one of the painters of the Vatican, and among his creations are the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, complete in 1512.

Learn more about Christianity

Related Questions