Embassies and Consulates to the Holy See

Countries are represented through their embassies and consulates, the former responsible for promoting the interests of the home country, handling diplomatic relations and supporting its citizens. Embassies are located in the capital city where consular functions also occur. Consulates may also exist in other cities. Consulates (and their chief diplomat, the consul) handle minor diplomatic issues such as issuing visas, aiding in trade relationships, and taking care of migrants, tourists, and expatriates. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, the premises of an Embassy are inviolable and “immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution,” but sovereignty of the embassy premises rests with the host country. Therefore whilst the embassy enjoys immunity it is not foreign soil as some think. Depending on the location and the home country the embassy buildings often can be grand and impressive. Some modern ones showcase the nation in a visual way.

The Vatican because of its small area, does not have foreign embassies on its territory however the streets nearby have several embassies, many of which appear to be offices in shared buildings. The Holy See maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with 183 sovereign states and is the jurisdiction of the Pope in his role as the bishop of Rome. It includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome, which has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Catholic Church and sovereignty over the Vatican City.

As far as I could see, the Vatican does not issue diplomatic plates and all the ones I observed were issued by Italy.

With the exception of the UK Embassy that I searched for, I only took photos of those I came across. Sorry if I missed yours.

United Kingdom Embassy

The UK embassy some distance from the Vatican is the embassy for both the Italy and the Vatican, however they also have a separate office near the Vatican too. The UK also has a separate Ambassador for Italy and the Holy See.

The British Embassy to the Holy See is responsible for promoting the relationship between the UK and the Holy See.  The focus of the Embassy is working with the Holy See on the ethical dimension of foreign policy and global challenges; and the role of religion in world affairs. It has no outward facing role for UK citizens. The UK has a large embassy maintaining its diplomatic relationship with Italy which also is there to support its relationship with the Holy See.

Other Embassies and Consulates.

Without trying very hard by walking along some roads close to the Vatican I was able to see many countries Embassies to the Holy See.

Malaysian, Canadian and Taiwan Embassies
Argentina, Angola and Russian Embassies
Polish Embassy to the Holy See
Irish Embassy
Ukraine, Eire and the UK all share the same building
Ukrainian Embassy to the Holy See
Dutch Embassy to the Holy See
Lebanese Embassy to the Holy See
Bolivian Embassy to the Holy See
Peruvian Embassy to the Holy See
Armenian Embassy to the Holy See
Cyprus Embassy to the Holy See
One window in a large building is a diplomatic space.
Montenegro and Uruguay share a building
Mozambique Embassy

Date of Visits: October 2011 and May 2023

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