Vatican City, independent state, under the absolute authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic church. It is an enclave within Rome, Italy, with an area of 44 hectares (110 acres). The smallest independent country in the world, Vatican City was established in 1929 under terms of the Lateran Treaty, concluded by the Italian government and the papacy after many years of controversy. This treaty was superseded in 1984 by a new concordat, which, like its predecessor, recognized the full sovereignty of the Holy See (the jurisdiction of the pope) within the state of Vatican City. For the history of the papal territories before 1929.
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