Beautiful, majestic and awe-inspiring, Saint Peterís Basilica towers above the impressive Saint Peterís Square in Rome. The second largest church in Christianity is situated in the Vatican, the smallest country in the world that, for centuries, has been the home and official residence of the Papacy.
The Vatican is not only the centre of the Catholic church, it also accommodates more than half a million priceless books and manuscripts and contains the largest art collection in the world.
The legendary Pietŗ by Michelangelo, made of the most precious Carrara marble, is undoubtedly the most famous work of art in Saint Peterís Basilica. In addition to numerous valuable works of art, the basilica also boasts many impressive and fascinating monuments that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Since 1506, when Pope Julius The Second ordered a band of mercenaries from Switzerland to protect him, the Swiss Guard has continued to perform its historic role in the Vatican.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.