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5 Smallest countries in the world

5 Smallest countries in the world

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Published by Eli Niller

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Published by: Eli Niller on Feb 01, 2007
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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.http://www.neatorama.com/2007/01/04/the-5-smallest-countries-in-t...1 of 112/1/07 2:14 AM
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The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.
 
1. Vatican City
Size: 0.17 sq. mi. (0.44 km
²
)Population: 783 (2005 census)Location: Rome, ItalyThe size of a golf course, the Vatican City [wiki | official website] is the smallest countryin the world. It’s basically a walled enclave inside of Rome, Italy. It’s so small that theentire country does not have a single street address.The Vatican City may be small, but it is very powerful. It is the sovereign territory of theHoly See, or the seat of the Catholic Church (basically its central government), which hasover 1 billion people (about 1 in 6 people on the planet) as constituents.The Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty (which was signed by one of history’s most repressive dictators, Benito Mussolini) and is ruled by the Pope, basicallya non-hereditary, elected monarch who rules with absolute authority (he’s thelegislative, executive and judiciary all rolled into one) - indeed, the Pope is the onlyabsolute monarch in Europe.Another unique thing about the smallest country in the world is that it has no permanentcitizens. Citizenship of the Vatican City is conferred upon those who work at the Vatican(as well as their spouses and children) and is revoked when they stop working there.The Vatican City is guarded by the smallest and oldestregular army in the world, the Swiss Guard [wiki]. It wasHome | Bookmark | Suggest a Link | Contact | RSS 
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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.http://www.neatorama.com/2007/01/04/the-5-smallest-countries-in-t...2 of 112/1/07 2:14 AM
originally made up of Swiss mercenaries in 1506, now thearmy (also personal bodyguards of the Pope) number 100,all of which are Catholic unmarried male Swiss citizens. TheSwiss Guard’s Renaissance-style uniform was commonlyattributed as to have been designed by Michelangelo - thiswas actually incorrect: the large "skirt" pants were acommon style during the Renaissance. Only their uniformsseem antiquated: most of the Swiss Guards carry pistols andsubmachine-guns.The official languages of the Vatican City are Latin and Italian. In fact, its ATMs are theonly ones in the world that offer services in Latin! And here you thought that Latin is adead language…For a country that has no street address, the Vatican City has a very efficient post office:an international mail dropped in the Vatican will get there faster than one dropped inItaly just a few hundred yard away - in fact, there is more mail sent annually perinhabitant from this country (7,200 mails per person) than anywhere else in the world.The Vatican City has a country code top level domain of .va - currently there are only 9publicly known .va domains [wiki]. It also has a radio broadcasting service, calledVatican Radio [wiki], which was set up by Guglielmo Marconi (the Father of Radio)himself!The country’s economy is unique: it is the only non-commercial economy in the world.Instead, the Vatican City is supported financially by contributions of Catholics worldwide(called Peter’s Pence - hey, even the Pope accepts credit cards!), the sale of postagestamps and publications, and tourism.Lastly, as an ecclesiastical paradise, the Vatican City has no taxes.
2. Monaco
Size: 0.8 sq. mi. (1.96 km
²
)Population: 35,657 (2006 estimate)Location: French Riviera on the MediterraneanMonaco [wiki | official website] is the second smallest country on Earth (it’s roughly thesize of New York’s Central Park), yet it’s the most densely populated (23,660 people perkm
²
). Actually, Monaco used to be much smaller than it is now - about 100 acres werereclaimed from the sea and added to its land size. At the narrowest, Monaco is only 382yards wide!The Principality of Monaco, its formal name, means that theterritory is ruled by a prince. For the last seven centuries,Monaco was ruled by princes of the Grimaldi family fromGenoa. (The whole thing started one night in 1297 whenFrançois Grimaldi disguised himself as a monk and led a
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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.http://www.neatorama.com/2007/01/04/the-5-smallest-countries-in-t...3 of 112/1/07 2:14 AM
small army to conquer the fortress guarding the Rock of Monaco. The coat of arms of the Grimaldi bears the image of monks with swords!) Now, the Prince shares legislativeauthority with a National Council.In 1861, Monaco relinquished half of its territory to France in exchange for cash andindependence. When the reigning prince realized that most of Monaco’s naturalresources were on the land that got bartered away, he decided to bet the wholeeconomy on … what else, gambling (see, casinos aren’t only for American Indians, it’s atime-tested, universal solution!)And so began Monte Carlo [wiki], a region of Monaco well known for its glamorouscasinos (a setting for Ian Fleming’s first James Bond Novel
Casino Royale
[wiki]) and itsFormula One Grand Prix.In 1918, Monaco entered a treaty with France for militaryprotection - the treaty, however, also stipulated that Monacowould lose its independence (and become French) shouldthe reigning Grimaldi prince died without leaving a maleheir! When Prince Rainier III took over, he was a bachelorand most Monegasques (that means people of Monaco) weregloomy about the country’s future. However, he ended upmarrying Hollywood actress Grace Kelly [wiki] - themarriage not only produced a male heir, it also helpedburnish Monaco’s image as a glamorous place to be for thewealthy. (Monaco can rest easy now, a new treaty withFrance stated that the Principality will remain independenteven without a male heir).For a long time, Monaco had no income taxes and was a tax haven for wealthyforeigners and international corporations. This caused a unique thing about Monaco’spopulation: most of its residents are not native - in fact, only about 1 in 5 people arenative Monegasques. After a long dispute with France, Monaco started to impose incometaxes on all of its residents who are not born there. Its natural citizens are forbiddenfrom entering casinos, but to make up for it, they do not have to pay any income taxes.
3. Nauru
Size: 8 sq. mi (21 km
²
)Population: 13,005 (2005 estimate)Location: Western Pacific OceanNauru [wiki] is the world’s smallest island nation, the smallest independent republic, and

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My wife and I will be traveling to Europe this summer and we want to visit the small countries referenced in this post. <a href="http://www.chiropractorsinseattle.com... Chiropractor</a>
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