Vatican City is a largely worthless city-state. Its Suzerainty adds a burst of 400 religious pressure to every city within 10 tiles (though it is currently bugged and affects only cities within 6 tiles) whenever you activate a Great Person. There are two major problems with this ability. First, you need to have a founded religion, or at least have a majority religion in your empire; otherwise, this city-state will do nothing. Second, and more importantly, the vast majority of Great People in the game can only be activated inside your own territory, so unless you focus on leveraging this ability by only activating them in peripheral cities of your empire, the only cities that will be affected by the burst of religious pressure are your own. If you're lucky enough to have a neighbor whose borders adjoin yours, you might be able to convert a few of their cities, but that's about it. Probably the best civilization to make use of this bonus is Russia, since they have a religious skew and can earn a lot of Great Writers, Great Artists, and Great Musicians that have multiple charges. Even when playing as Russia, however, there will usually be far better places to invest your Envoys than Vatican City.
The Vatican City, at less than 0.2 square miles and 1,000 residents, is the world’s smallest sovereign state. The Vatican’s legacy goes back nearly two thousand years as the home of the Holy See, the administrative heart of the Catholic Church and its more than a billion followers.
Named for the hill on which it sits, the Vatican lies across the river Tiber from the historical heart of Rome. For the Romans, the Vatican Hill was the site of tombs and shrines to pagan deities, and it was on that site that the Roman Emperor Nero built his gardens and massive entertainment complex. And it was at this complex that he, according to Catholic tradition, crucified the Apostle Peter upside-down. But, while Nero’s circus was not to survive, in the 300s the Roman Emperor Constantine built the Basilica of St. Peter on the site of the apostle’s death. Constantine also designated sites for popular pilgrimage across the Empire, and as such the Vatican became a popular site for travelers. This in turn called for new renovations – accommodations, a marketplace (the Borgo), and higher and more elaborate walls.
Perhaps as an ultimate revenge over Nero and his gardens, the Vatican became a site for Renaissance arts far surpassing the mad Emperor’s, most famously being the home of the Sistine Chapel, with its 1508 ceiling by Michelangelo, commissioned by Pope Julius II. Julius also sought to reshape the now thousand-year-old St. Peter’s, commissioning a new basilica, completed over a hundred years later, in 1626.
As the heart of the Catholic Church, the Vatican was the place where many momentous decisions were made. It persisted through the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the schism with the Eastern Orthodox Church, and into the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, the popes briefly abandoned the Vatican for France, but returned a few decades later. Catholic kings turned to the Vatican seeking legitimation and support and, when this wasn’t enough, enterprising popes expanded into Italy, creating the Papal States.
But secular forces were on the rise, and, in 1870, a now-unified Italy seized papal land outside of the Vatican. The conflict remained unresolved until 1929, when Benito Mussolini compensated the Holy See for its losses and granted the See the Vatican as a sovereign state.
Today, the Pope still resides in the Vatican, and the Vatican remains a significant voice – cultural, religious, and political – in world affairs. It remains home to impressive art museums, architectural feats, and gardens.
- Vatican City's city-state symbol is a stylized version of the papal tiara.
|Civilization VI City-states |
|1 Requires DLC|