Book Description: This lavishly illustrated guide through the Vatican captures the people, the treasures, and the inner workings of the center of the Roman Catholic Church. Bart McDowell takes readers through centuries of Vatican history, describing the days of the Roman Empire, the glorious years of the Renaissance, the power struggle between Church and State that endured from the late 7th century until 1929, and much more. Since the center of the Roman Catholic Church is also the world's smallest nation, McDowell explains religious matters, such as the process of canonization, and governmental operations of the Vatican-highlighted by a visit with Pope John Paul II as he attends to his many daily duties. Photographer James L. Stanfield spent nearly a year inside the Vatican with unprecedented access to its museums, ceremonies, and people. His full-color photographs show art that few visitors to the Vatican have the chance to see-works of such masters as Michelangelo and Raphael-and provide private viewings of Pope John Paul II's quarters, the necropolis beneath St. Peter's Basilica, and world-renowned libraries. Through these beautiful and exclusive photographs and the revealing text that accompanies them, Inside the Vatican celebrates a small, dynamic community unique in the world.