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Lesotho san marino and vatican city are all independent countries yet contained within another country san marino and vatican city are surrounded by italy and lesotho is located inside south africa

By Dana Jordan
Published in World
February 02, 2024
2 min read

Lesotho, San Marino, and Vatican City: Independent Countries within Other Countries

San Marino Lesotho Map

Did you know that there are countries that exist within other countries? It may sound strange, but it’s true. Three examples of such unique nations are Lesotho, San Marino, and Vatican City. These independent countries have managed to maintain their sovereignty while being enclosed within other larger countries. Let’s explore these intriguing facts!

1. Lesotho: The Mountain Kingdom

Lesotho, officially known as the Kingdom of Lesotho, may be small in size, but it has its own distinct identity. Situated entirely within the borders of South Africa, this landlocked country is often referred to as the “Mountain Kingdom” due to its rugged terrain. The hilly landscapes and impressive mountains make Lesotho a breathtaking marvel of nature.

Although Lesotho is geographically surrounded by South Africa, it has managed to preserve its independence and culture throughout history. As a constitutional monarchy, Lesotho has its own government and operates independently from its larger neighbor. Its unique position within South Africa’s borders contributes to its charm and allure, attracting visitors from around the world.

2. San Marino: Europe’s Ancient Republic

San Marino

Nestled within the Italian Peninsula, the small republic of San Marino stands as a testament to Europe’s rich history. With a population of approximately 35,000, San Marino is known as the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world.

Surrounded entirely by Italy, San Marino enjoys its independence while being embraced by the culture and beauty of its Italian surroundings. This small nation is perched high on Mount Titano, providing stunning panoramic views of the picturesque landscape below. Visitors can marvel at its medieval architecture, explore narrow cobblestone streets, and immerse themselves in the unique charm of this ancient republic.

3. Vatican City: The Smallest Country in the World

At just 110 acres, Vatican City holds the esteemed title of being the world’s smallest country. Encircled by Rome, Italy, Vatican City serves as the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Although geographically within Italy, Vatican City is an independent city-state with its own government, laws, and even an army. Home to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and countless masterpieces of art, Vatican City attracts millions of visitors each year who come to witness its cultural and religious significance firsthand.

In addition to its religious prominence, Vatican City is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, further emphasizing its global significance and historical significance.

These three examples of Lesotho, San Marino, and Vatican City showcase the fascinating diversity and complexity of the world we live in. Within the boundaries of other countries, they have managed to maintain their independence and uniqueness for centuries. Whether you seek natural wonders, ancient history, or spiritual enlightenment, these independent nations within nations provide an extraordinary experience. Discover the rich tapestry of Lesotho, San Marino, and Vatican City and unlock a world of wonder.




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Dana Jordan

Dana Jordan

Science lover

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