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Holy Christmas tree!
The Vatican Christmas tree, also called the Saint Peter's Square Christmas tree, is the decorated tree that is erected annually in Saint Peter's Square directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City to celebrate the Christmas holiday season. Polish-born John Paul II started the tradition of erecting a tall Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square in 1982. Since then, it has become an honour to donate the tree.
This year’s Vatican Christmas tree arrived in St. Peter's Square Dec. 2. Comparing height
30.5m 9.15m 33.5m 42m 46.1m

Christmases past
• From Italy • Spruce • 33.5m tall • 94 years old


In 2009, the tree trunk had a circumference of 2.65m and the branches at the bottoms spread • From Belgium out 8m


The tree:
Type: Spruce Origin: Ukraine's southwestern region of Transcarpathia Weight: Nearly 5 tons, Decorations to be used: More than 2,500 gold and silver balls and more than 2,500 energy-e cient white and yellow lights Lighting ceremony: Dec. 16.

• Norway spruce • 30m tall • 90 years old

• From Austria • Norway Spruce • 33m tall • 120 years old



2011 Vatican tree

2010 Vactican tree

11-story building

Statue of Liberty

FRANCE It took

• From Italy • Fir • 30m tall


Vatican City, Rome

for the tree to travel to Rome. • In addition to the main trees Ukraine has delivered a further 43 trees as a Christmas gift to the Pope. They are to adorn the Vatican palaces.
Sources: Wikipedia

4 days


The Christmas tree is installed in the centre of Saint Peter's Square, together with a life-size nativity scene that is unveiled on Christmas Eve. The nativity scene has 17 life-size statues. Of these, nine are the original figures donated in 1842 by Saint Vincent Pallotti, the other eight figures were added over the course of the years. In 2006 the Italian province of Trentino, and the local council of a village of Tesero, provided a further 13 sculpted wooden figures and animals, as well as household utensils for the depiction of daily life. The whole complex will be inaugurated at sunset on Dec. 24, and at midnight in the empty cradle there will appear a doll of the baby Jesus.
Susan Batsford, graphics editor, twitter @sbats1; infographic by TARA CORRAN/QMI AGENCY

St. Peter’s Square

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