Many years ago, while on holiday in Rome I went to Vatican on the Roman Catholic Protestant Christmas Day during my pre-Orthodox days . The Vatican is an attraction for many tourists in Rome though the Mass on Christmas of course would be attended by many pilgrims as well. The Pope at the time was Pope John Paul II. You can see an indirect photo on this page and one from distance. He did pass through the crowds in his vehicle or “Popemobile” as the media here says.
Here the most famous building is of course, St Peter’s Basilica. It is not the original basilica from the 4th century but mostly from the 16th. It also played a major role in the Protestant reformation and therefore the religion(s). For it was the sale of indulgences to fund the basilica, and quotations such as this alleged one by Johann Tetzel: “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs”. Which were one of the major irks of Martin Luther, who then (along with others) kickstarted the Protestant reformation.
There are not many pictures here due to a factor of reasons.
First it was the days of my film cameras. My camera was also faulty (not always obeying to take shots) and then it was Christmas Day, so not everywhere was open.
And ongoing to the Sistine Chapel, the highlight for a tourist photography is not allowed.
The Sistine chapel really is the highlight for most visitors here. It is where you can find Michelangelo’s fresco the last judgement, the creation of Adam
as well as other giants of Art. The line between art and sacred art is at best blurred and the Sistine Chapel is very much a museum despite being a chapel. A good description can be found on Wikipedia and some anecdotes by the Telegraph
Other museums are generally open but due to it being Christmas Day, unfortunately I did not get to see these. Added to the fact, it is perhaps unlikely I visit again unless spending quite a lot of time in the surrounding Rome in future I have uploaded the few pictures (unfortunately of poor quality) I currently have and scanned.
There are here though important relics to Orthodox Christians – such as St Gregory the Great and St Ignatius of Antioch.
Vatican City is the world’s smallest state, much more a state than a country per see unless you are a Swiss Guard (who has dual citizenship) and one of the 850 or so residents. It is possible though to mail postcards or stamps with its own unique stamp.
And in short Christmas Day (25th) may be a good time for a tour wanting to see the Pope or do something (most places are shut) in Rome but not the best time for the museums.