Is the Vatican the smallest country in the world?

| David Lewis | Geography

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Surprisingly no, but rather it is a little-known country called the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).

This country has three (3) citizens and is located in two (2) buildings in Rome. It is a permanent observer in the United Nations. SMOM issues its own passports, currency and postage stamps with the Maltese cross insignia.

Bonus fact: The order’s origin is of the Hospitallers’ Knights Order, which was established in Jerusalem in the middle of the 11th century to help the sick and poor pilgrims as well as to protect them. After the fall of the Crusader State in Jerusalem in 1187, it became a military order comprised of knights and nobles.

Later after the Muslim drove the order entirely out of the Holyland, it moved to the island of Rhodes (1310–1523) and then to the island of Malta (1530–1798). There, it solidified control and became the island’s sovereign.

 

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