thumbnail

Most-Visited Countries by Popes

Name the countries outside of the Vatican and Italy that have been visited most frequently by the pope since 1963.
Through 2023
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: March 23, 2024
You have not attempted this quiz yet.
First submittedOctober 15, 2017
Times taken43,520
Average score78.3%
Rating4.45
3:30
Enter answer here
0
 / 23 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
# Visits
Country
11
Poland
11
United States
10
France
8
Portugal
7
Mexico
7
Spain
6
Brazil
6
Germany
# Visits
Country
6
Switzerland
5
Malta
4
Austria
4
Australia
4
Canada
4
Croatia
4
Cuba
4
Czech Republic
# Visits
Country
4
Hungary
4
Israel
4
Jordan
4
Kenya
4
Philippines
4
Slovakia
4
Turkey
63 Comments
+30
Level ∞
Oct 15, 2017
Prior to Paul VI (1963–1978), popes almost never left Italy. Paul VI was the first to leave Italy since 1809, and was the first to travel in an airplane.
+110
Level 77
Oct 15, 2017
Well that's good to know, because if any popes prior to 1809 travelled by airplane, then either the Wright Brothers are time travelers or DaVinci was WAY better than we knew.
+26
Level 86
Oct 15, 2017
One of the previous popes could have travelled by plane without leaving Italy ;).
+1
Level 54
Mar 18, 2023
Wright Brothers? Who are they? Sorry, I only know Clément Ader.
+8
Level ∞
Mar 23, 2024
Ouch. One look at his "plane" and you can see why it wasn't going to work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cl%C3%A9ment_Ader

"Using a circular track at Satory, Ader carried out taxiing trials on 12 October 1897 and two days later attempted a flight. After a short run the machine was caught by a gust of wind, slewed off the track, and came to a stop. After this the French army withdrew its funding, but kept the results secret. The commission released in November 1910 the official reports on Ader's attempted flights, stating that they were unsuccessful."

+7
Level ∞
Mar 23, 2024
The French attempts at flying machines had failed so utterly that many in France doubted the Wright Brothers' success, calling them "bluffeurs".

This illusion was shattered for good when the Wright Brothers visited France in 1908, flying figure eights above Le Mans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#Public_showing

If you can't see the difference between an airplane flying figure eights and a bat-shaped glider that can't even get off the ground, then I don't know.

+10
Level 85
Mar 23, 2024
Pfff, those are just the official reports. It flew like a dream but the authorities changed the records to make it look like a total failure when the batwing patent was bought out by Wayne Enterprises and further development was taken underground.
+2
Level 73
Mar 24, 2024
The debate here aside, quizmaster's reply seems like an overreaction to a rather joke-like comment...
+15
Level 90
Oct 17, 2017
Any pope (since Feb 11, 1929) that left Vatican City had to leave Italy to go back into Vatican City. :)
+2
Level 69
Oct 28, 2020
Oh what

Why

+4
Level 65
Feb 22, 2018
I hope you mean 1909, otherwise a plane flight out of the Vatican probably wouldn't even cross international borders...
+2
Level 89
Oct 28, 2020
Nope, still February 11, 1929. It was one of Mussolini's signature moves.
+3
Level 66
May 22, 2021
Is there even an airport in Vatican ? I doubt it, I think they would use Rome's instead.
+3
Level 59
Mar 18, 2023
There are airports bigger than the Vatican....and no, they use Rome's
+2
Level 83
Mar 18, 2023
There's a helipad
+3
Level 72
Oct 15, 2017
Interesting quiz.
+12
Level 66
Oct 15, 2017
Anybody know the pope's number. I have some questions about Latin.
+2
Level 70
Feb 21, 2018
Ecum Spiri- 220

I'm thinking that's the response you were looking for.

+2
Level 36
Feb 21, 2018
VAT 69 if you dial from Scotland.
+4
Level 62
Aug 30, 2019
His voicemail is full
+3
Level 83
Oct 15, 2017
Austria: 3x JPII, 1x Benedict
+4
Level 83
Oct 15, 2017
Turkey once each: Paul 1967, JPII 1979, Benedict 2006, Francis 2014

Maybe I'll compile a list for Wikipedia when I have time.

India is planned for 4th visit next year.

+2
Level 89
Oct 28, 2020
Turkey rounds up and slaughters Orthodox Christians for much of the 20th Century, but welcomes the Catholic Christian pope several times? Ta f?
+5
Level 46
Jun 18, 2021
Currently Turkey treats orthodox christians and jewish minorities good. They're the only official minorities as far as I remember.
+6
Level ∞
Oct 17, 2017
Added Turkey and Austria. Thanks.
+5
Level 77
Oct 15, 2017
The Washington Post has a good map from 2015 (shows Turkey with four)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/2015-papal-visit/pope-visits/

+3
Level 66
Oct 15, 2017
good quiz
+1
Level 74
Oct 18, 2017
Guatemala? JPII arrived entered the country 4 times in 2 'visits', but with a day inbetween in Honduras and in Nicaragua/ElSalvador....
+5
Level 53
Feb 21, 2018
No Canada?
+15
Level 47
Feb 21, 2018
I'm not questioning the answers, but what have the Irish done to annoy the Pope?
+12
Level 78
Feb 21, 2018
I suppose that Ierland's "fault" is having a much lower number of population that most countries that make the list. As I see it, the surprise it's not that Ireland is not there. The surprise is that Malta is.
+14
Level 73
Feb 24, 2018
Perhaps because Malta is so close to Italy...perhaps they were summer vacations? :P
+4
Level 83
Mar 18, 2023
Nah official visits. JPII in 1990 and 2001, Benedict in 2010 and Francis last year. It's close, very Catholic and St Paul personally brought Christianity there.
+6
Level 73
Feb 21, 2018
Proud to see my country on the top of the list, hah.
+4
Level 82
Oct 18, 2020
John Paul II liked to travel a lot, and he was from there, so...
+7
Level 71
Oct 28, 2020
And I'm proud that my country is not on the list..
+1
Level 61
Feb 21, 2018
Hard to keep tabs on these rascals lately.
+5
Level 73
Feb 24, 2018
Israel? Jordan?? Turkey???

Last time I checked, there were very, very few catholics in these countries, unless these visits were for political purposes?

+26
Level 82
Feb 25, 2018
There are a few. But I think they probably went to these places because they are the location of several of the most important Christian holy sites in the world.
+3
Level 39
Sep 5, 2019
Well as a Turkish it was surprising to see my country in the list, but it makes sense
+20
Level 60
Jul 15, 2020
Yeah, I can't think of a single reason why the pope would like to visit, I don't know, Jerusalem.
+3
Level 82
Oct 18, 2020
Also I have no idea how many trips there were before 1809, as they were rare according to the comment QM made above, but Jordan was overwhelmingly Christian prior to 634 AD, Israel was prior to 637 AD (and was again at various points since then), and the Ottomans didn't capture Constantinople (Turkey) until 1453. By 634 AD they were already on Pope #80, and by the fall of Constantinople there had been hundreds. And prior to the East-West Christian schism of 1054, all of these Christians were united under the church of Rome. Maybe some small number of these early popes would have decided to travel to the Imperial capital or to the Holy Land?
+8
Level 82
Oct 18, 2020
Curious and intrigued by this possibility I did a bit of poking around. Found out some interesting facts.

1. Apparently the very first modern official papal visit in history, by Paul VI, took place in 1964 and was to Israel. He went both to establish diplomatic ties with the newish country and visit the holy sites there.

2. Popes traveled to Constantinople in 523, 547, 680, and 710. Another was abducted and sent there for trial in 653. Not sure if that counts as a papal visit or not.

3. The visit to Constantinople in 523 by Pope John I was the first time a pope traveled outside of Rome willingly.

4. Pope Liberius (352-366) was exiled to a city in Thrace, very near to Turkey, though currently the city is within the territory of Greece.

5. Urban II (1088-1099) was the first pope to travel extensively outside of Rome, though the farthest he got was France. Later he'd call for the 1st Crusade. Maybe looking to open up new travel opportunities?

+7
Level 82
Oct 18, 2020
6. Paul VI was also the first pope to ever leave Europe, according to what I found. If accurate, I guess this means that...

7. the older popes that visited Constantinople must not have crossed the Bosporus. and

8. All papal visits to Israel took place after 1964.

9. Pope John Paul II traveled more miles than all of his papal predecessors combined, and currently is still the most-traveled pope in history.

10. If all of the above is true and counted in the stats for this quiz then it appears my speculation was true and popes have not actually visited Turkey since its Islamification? Either that or the quiz may undercount the number of visits there. Or... those visits aren't counted as going to Turkey since Turkey did not exist at the time, and Constantinople was the capital of the Roman Empire.

+4
Level 82
Oct 18, 2020
The first 500 years of popes were real homebodies.

(joke)... the truth is that travel, especially international travel, is for the most part something only modern humans do with anything approaching regularity; unless your occupation was that of a trader or sailor you generally stayed put and that seems to have been the rule for popes, as well.

+1
Level 83
Mar 18, 2023
None of the 9 non-Europeans went home to visit as popes?
+3
Level 73
Oct 27, 2020
Turkey probably to visit the Patriarch of Constantinople. Israel and Jordan to visit significant sites.
+2
Level 82
Oct 27, 2020
The papal visits to Constantinople I could dig up all took place before the east/west schism. At that time the Church was still unified and they were really just the bishops of their respective cities. But the imperial capital had been moved to Constantinople.
+3
Level 62
Oct 26, 2020
Why isn't UK here? They have a feud with the queen or something?
+7
Level 78
Oct 26, 2020
I think because there are much fewer Catholics in the UK than, say, Anglicans and Protestants.
+15
Level 82
Oct 26, 2020
They had a feud with King Henry VIII
+2
Level 79
Apr 13, 2021
...and Elizabeth I.
+2
Level 75
Mar 24, 2024
Protestant country, same as Germany.
+1
Level 68
Oct 26, 2020
Only missed the Philippines and Jordan. Should have gotten the Philippines though.
+2
Level 69
Oct 26, 2020
Missed my own freaking country.
+3
Level 48
Oct 26, 2020
Didn't expect to see Kenya on the list. I thought there were other African countries with bigger catholic population, like Angola or Congo.
+4
Level 75
Mar 24, 2024
The Angolican Congogregation don't let him in.
+1
Level 53
Mar 25, 2024
Nigeria too?
+2
Level 65
Oct 27, 2020
If you're wondering why Poland was visited so many times and all these surprising countries appear, it's because of Pope John Paul II. He visited 123 countries during his papacy, and visited Poland 9 times, France 8, the US 7, and 5 in Mexico and Spain.
+2
Level 27
Jul 12, 2021
turkey?
+1
Level 83
Mar 25, 2024
Christian summit basically to visit the patriarch. And also many post-Jesus biblical sites.
+1
Level 35
Mar 23, 2024
Amazing quiz!
+1
Level 54
Mar 26, 2024
Accept Czech for Czech republic