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 October 2017
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: November 14, 2018
First submittedOctober 15, 2017
Times taken15,133
Rating4.46
3:30
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# Visits
Country
11
Poland
11
United States
9
France
7
Mexico
7
Portugal
7
Spain
6
Brazil
6
Germany
5
Switzerland
4
Austria
# Visits
Country
4
Australia
4
Croatia
4
Cuba
4
Czech Republic
4
Israel
4
Jordan
4
Kenya
4
Malta
4
Philippines
4
Turkey
+13
Level ∞
Oct 15, 2017
Prior to Paul VI, popes almost never left Italy. Paul VI was the first to leave Italy since 1809, and was the first to travel in an airplane.
+53
Level 72
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.
+6
Level 80
Oct 15, 2017
One of the previous popes could have travelled by plane without leaving Italy ;).
+6
Level 89
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 59
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 68
Oct 15, 2017
Interesting quiz.
+5
Level 61
Oct 15, 2017
Anybody know the pope's number. I have some questions about Latin.
+1
Level 69
Feb 21, 2018
Ecum Spiri- 220 I'm thinking that's the response you were looking for.
+1
Level 41
Feb 21, 2018
VAT 69 if you dial from Scotland.
+1
Level 65
Aug 30, 2019
His voicemail is full
+1
Level 77
Oct 15, 2017
Austria: 3x JPII, 1x Benedict
+2
Level 77
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.
+4
Level ∞
Oct 17, 2017
Added Turkey and Austria. Thanks.
+3
Level 71
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/
+2
Level 42
Oct 15, 2017
good quiz
+1
Level 72
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....
+2
Level 43
Feb 21, 2018
No Canada?
+7
Level 52
Feb 21, 2018
I'm not questioning the answers, but what have the Irish done to annoy the Pope?
+4
Level 72
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.
+4
Level 70
Feb 24, 2018
Perhaps because Malta is so close to Italy...perhaps they were summer vacations? :P
+1
Level 62
Feb 21, 2018
Those Polacks love their Catholicism...
+6
Level 74
Feb 21, 2018
Mostly they 'had' a pope for many years, and his first visits had kind of a political message to the communist regime; JP2 still is a national hero, with his face painted as murals on house walls
+1
Level 63
Feb 21, 2018
Proud to see my country on the top of the list, hah.
+1
Level 80
Oct 18, 2020
John Paul II liked to travel a lot, and he was from there, so...
+1
Level 49
Feb 21, 2018
Hard to keep tabs on these rascals lately.
+2
Level 70
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?
+11
Level 80
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.
+1
Level 40
Sep 5, 2019
Well as a Turkish it was surprising to see my country in the list, but it makes sense
+3
Level 55
Jul 15, 2020
Yeah, I can't think of a single reason why the pope would like to visit, I don't know, Jerusalem.
+1
Level 80
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?
+1
Level 80
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?
+1
Level 80
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.
+1
Level 80
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.