Vatican City History Timeline

According to computerannals, the Vatican City State is a 44.2-hectare city-state in the heart of Rome, Italy, and at the same time the world’s smallest sovereign state with broad global acceptance. It consists of the Basilica, Skt. St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican’s palaces and gardens, the church and palace of San Juan de Letrán, the papal «villa» Castel Gandolfo as well as 13 buildings outside the area that have extra-territorial rights.

The policy of the Vatican City State is governed by an autonomous electoral monarchy, with the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in power. The Pope is the primary legislative, decisive, and executive power of the Vatican City, distinct from the Holy See, which is a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy. The Vatican City State is the only remaining autocratic monarchy in Europe.


41 – On January 24/25, the Roman emperor Caligula is assassinated by officers of the Praetorian Guard, whose leader he had insulted. It was Cassius Charea who jogged his sword through the emperor. A massacre wiped out much of his family, and his uncle Claudius was put on the throne.

64 – According to tradition, the Apostle Petersuffered martyrdom at the same time as Paul. This happened as a result of the Roman emperor Nero’s persecution of the Christians. According to historical records, Nero himself had been to blame for the fire in Rome, but used it as an excuse to exterminate Christians whose immorality already gave them a bad reputation. After the fire, all Christians in Rome were convicted, and their executions were marked by a grotesque farce. They could choose between being sewn into the skins of wild animals and bitten by dogs, or they could be crucified, made into living torches and used as illumination in the evening. Peter was at his own request crucified with his head down in the imperial gardens on the Vatican Hill, later he was buried in an existing cemetery. One could see his crucifixion depicted on a relief adorning Filarete’s 15th-century bronze door to St. Peter’s Basilica. According to the Roman Catholic Church, Peter was the first bishop of Rome and thus the first pope. It was seen that the pope was Peter’s successor, and the key power was handed over to the pope. Thus, the pope became the link between God and man.

70 – Roman Empire Colosseum in Rome was begun by Emperor Vespasian in AD 70 and completed under his son Titus in 80 AD.. It is an amphitheater and was i.a. used for gladiatorial fights. The name dates back to the Middle Ages, when the amphitheater was named after the large colossus that stood in the square in front of the Flavian theater, as it was originally called.

874 – Pope Leon IV orders a large wall built around almost the entire area for protection against Saracen attacks. Starting at Castel Sant’Angelo, the wall continues behind the Vatican Basilica and down towards the Tiber. It transformed Skt. Peter zone to a walled area. It protected the basilica and the treasures it housed as well as the smaller churches, the monasteries, the houses of the clergy, the house of the pope and the houses and kitchen gardens of the residents. But at the same time, the wall transformed the area into something special that set it apart from the rest of the city.

1869 – The first Vatican Council is convened, in which the infallibility of the pope is established as dogma. The Vatican’s existence ceased in 1870, when Italy’s first king, Víctor Manuel de Saboya, formalized the military occupation of the territory begun by Giuseppe Garibaldi, proclaiming Rome the capital of the entire Italian empire. The Guarantee Act of 1871 established that the pope’s person was immovable and at the same time granted him the Vatican. However, the Roman popes did not recognize this situation until February 11, 1929, when the Holy See concluded the Treaty of Letrán with Benito Mussolini., which set out the boundaries and privileges of the current state.

1990s – a series of accusations against Catholic priests of pedophilia Vatican. The victims received a total of DKK 119.6 million. US $ in compensation. The largest compensation amount in the history of sexual assault. In November 2001, the pope posted for the first time on the Internet a 120-page document in which he indirectly bettered the victims of the clergy’s abuse of apology. However, a communiqué from April 2002 following a meeting between the Vatican and North American cardinals refuses to impose a “zero tolerance policy” on pedophile clergy.

2002 – In October, the pope makes the deceased mother Teresa of Calcutta a saint. She was possibly the most prominent religious figure of the 20th century, but at the same time the sanctification was controversial due to her opposition to the uses of contraception. Almost at the same time, Pope Opus Dei’s founder, José Escrivá de Balaguer, made the weekend. Opus Dei is a highly conservative order within the Catholic Church, and it gained enormous influence in the 20th century. This sanctification had strong political overtones.

2005 – Pope John Paul II dies on April 2. He suffered from advanced Parkinson’s and his illness was of serious concern to Catholics and especially the Vatican City State. John Paul 2. was the first pope ever to apologize for the many atrocities committed by the Catholic Church throughout its 2,000-year history, including the persecution of witches and the suppression of science. He also expanded access to the Vatican’s secret archives. However, other confidential documents are still kept closed to the public, as archives are only opened until 1922. An exception is the parts of the secret archives which concern Germanyin the period 1922-39, to which the pope granted access in 2002 for scholars. Vatileaks is a series of private documents that have been leaked online.

2007 – A $ 50 million settlement is reached in Washington in January. US $ to church pedophile victims. In July, the Catholic Church in Los Angeles had to pay $ 660 million. US $ to 500 victims of the pedophilia of Catholic priests.

2010 – An investigation is launched into criminal activity at the Vatican Bank to bring it into line with the OECD’s requirements for financial transparency. The investigation led to the bank’s head Ettore Gotti Tedeschi having to resign in 2012.

2013 – The criminal activities of the bank and the pedophile cases burdened Pope Benedict so much that on 28 February he took the unusual consequence of resigning. In March, the conclave elected the Argentine Jesuit priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio pope under the name Pope Francis. The election was controversial when Bergoglio served in Argentina during the military dictatorship of the 1970s, when the Catholic Church was closely associated with the military and blessed its massive human rights abuses.

Vatican City History Timeline