7 Unfading Treasures of the Vatican

Unfading treasures of the Vatican… They only get better with time.

Last updated: May 8, 2024

Treasures of the Vatican - Roads and Destinations
Cultural heritage of St. Peter’s Basilica | Unfading treasures of the Vatican City

Cultural Heritage and Unfading Treasures of the Vatican

Often referred to as part of Rome, the Vatican City is an independent territory. To be precise, it’s the smallest country in the world. Surrounded by historic structures of Rome, the Vatican covers a little bit over 100 acres. With the Pope as its head, the Vatican City is an absolute monarchy and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet despite its small size and owing to its royal status, this tiny country has some of the biggest cultural gems. The unfading treasures of the Vatican have such significance that the whole world talks about them. So what are they, these precious jewels of the Vatican City?


1. St. Peter’s Basilica

The St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world that gathers thousands of pilgrims and tourists every month. Designed by talented architects, including Michelangelo, the Basilica is a fine example of the late Italian Renaissance.

The interior of the St. Peter’s Basilica holds such treasures of the Vatican as Michelangelo’s Pieta, Bernini’s baldachin, and the statue of St. Longinus. Furthermore, the church is built directly above the high altar, the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle who is believed to have been the first Pope.

St. Peter's Square - Roads and Destinations
St. Peter’s Basilica with St. Peter’s Square in front of it | Historical and cultural treasures of the Vatican

2. St. Peter’s Square

Located directly in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square is a large plaza in the Vatican City. The square is better known as a place where big crowds gather to hear the Pope speaking.

While Papal Audience is mostly held in summer, St. Peter’s Square doesn’t lose public interest throughout the year. Thanks to such unfading treasures of the Vatican as Vatican Obelisk and the Fountains of St. Peter’s Square, the place entices at any season.

3. Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums in the Vatican City present sculptures, paintings, and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries. Their multiple galleries display classic and Renaissance art masterpieces. What’s more? The Vatican Museums are home to such cultural treasures as the Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Beato Angelico, and the Raphael Rooms.

The Vatican Museums - Roads and Destinations
The Vatican Museums | Unfading treasures of the Vatican

4. Sistine Chapel: One of the Most Famous Treasures of the Vatican

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous cultural treasures of the Vatican. A section of the Apostolic Palace, the Chapel gained its popularity thanks to Michelangelo’s 16th century painted ceiling. Other gems include wall paintings by leading painters of the late 15th century, Raphael’s tapestries, and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

TIP: Taking photos or videos in the Sistine Chapel is prohibited.

5. The Last Judgment

Although a part of the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgment deserves special recognition. This fresco occupies the entire wall behind an altar in the Chapel and depicts the final judgment of all humanity.

The Last Judgment in the Vatican is one of the major art works of Michelangelo. It took the great painter almost four years to complete the fresco, a masterpiece that includes more than 300 figures.

6. Sphere within Sphere

One of the most interesting treasures of the Vatican, Sphere within Sphere finds its shelter in the Pinecone Courtyard at the Vatican Museums. The Earth-shaped structure is famous for deep fractures that unveil more cracks within the sphere. Presumably, the bronze statue reflects the complicated nature of the world with its turbulences and calamities.

Sphere within Sphere - Roads and Destinations
Sphere within Sphere | Unfading treasures of the Vatican

7. Gardens of the Vatican City

The Gardens of the Vatican City are private gardens and parks owned by the Pope. These 13th-century landmarks cover more than half of the territory of the country. Unlike the other cultural and historic treasures of the Vatican, the Gardens of the Vatican City preserve a calm and peaceful atmosphere. They accept only a few reservations a day and offer amazing views of the St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Gardens of Vatican City - Roads and Destinations
The Gardens of Vatican City

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