Swiss Guards


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Swiss Guards,

Swiss mercenaries who fought in various European armies from the 15th cent. until the 19th cent. These mercenaries, who were not volunteers, were put at the disposal of foreign powers by treaties (called capitulations) between the Swiss diet, the separate cantons, and the foreign power concerned, in return for money payments. As a result of the traditional alliance between Switzerland and France—dating from the Everlasting Peace of 1516—the Swiss mercenaries played their most important role in the military history of France. Francis I used some 120,000 Swiss levies in his wars, and in the battle of Pavia (1525) his personal guard, the Hundred Swiss, was slain before Francis was captured by the Spanish. Under Louis XIV, the Swiss troops were organized in two categories: the king's military household and the ordinary Swiss regiments. The most famous episode in the history of the Swiss Guards was their defense (Aug. 10, 1792) of the Tuileries palace in Paris in the French Revolution. Some 500 men of the regiment were massacred by the invading mob. Their heroic stand is commemorated by the Lion of Lucerne, the impressive monument by Thorvaldsen at Lucerne, Switzerland. The French revolutionists abolished Swiss troops, but Napoleon I obtained (1803) several Swiss regiments, which were virtually annihilated in the Russian campaign of 1812. Swiss troops were used in the Bourbon restoration, and many of them were massacred in the July Revolution of 1830, after which they were permanently abolished. The Swiss constitution of 1874 forbade all military capitulations and recruitment of Swiss by foreign powers, although volunteering in foreign armies continued until absolutely prohibited in 1927. An exception to the ruling of 1874 is the Swiss Guard of the Vatican, founded in 1505 by Pope Julius II, which is the personal guard of the pope. Recruited from the Catholic cantons of central Switzerland, the Swiss Guard at the Vatican is garbed in colorful costume of Renaissance design.

Swiss Guards

papal praetorian guard instituted by Julius II. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 218, 254]
References in periodicals archive ?
Beyond a prime address at barracks in the Vatican with views overlooking Rome, and the inside dope on what it's like working for a pope, the life of a Swiss Guard is not all that glamorous, however.
Over the course of 90 minutes, we see young Swiss men from a variety of backgrounds prepare to serve as Swiss Guards at the Vatican, go through training, and experience standing post at different sites in Vatican City over a year's time.
Housed in the elegant Chateau de Penthes, the Musee des Suisses dans le Monde presents portraits of illustrious Swiss, from the splendidly costumed Antoine de Reynold de Fribourg, Captain of the Swiss Guards, to the likes of Marat and Necker, as well as tableaux of battle scenes, armour, silver, and other decorative arts.
Synopsis: The Vatican has been overrun, and many people have been murdered by Swiss Guards in St.
And even that cute touch of juvenile Swiss Guards to welcome His Holiness.
Buddhists visit the temple from across the country to celebrate the birthday and pray with their wishes AP PHOTO/LEE JIN-MAN VATICAN CITY Pope Francis poses for a group photo with 30 new Swiss Guards the day before their swearing-in ceremony, at the end of an a meeting at the Clementine hall at the Vatican.
The Huffington Post also quotes Swiss guards confirming the rumour of his nocturnal habit.
We leave the bus for a short walk to visit the "Lion Monument" a carving in sandstone of a grieving lion leaning on a shield with a Swiss flag Mark Twain once remarked as a tourist himself looking at the monument that it was: "the saddest statute he had ever seen" Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen designed it in memory of Swiss guards who died defending Louis VXI and Marie Antoinette in 1812.
As his closest aide wept by his side, Benedict bade farewell to Vatican officials gathered in the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, a corps of Swiss Guards standing by at attention.
The Swiss Guards standing at attention in Castel Gandolfo shut the gates of the palazzo shortly after 8pm local time, closing the doors on a papacy whose legacy will be most marked by the way it ended - a resignation instead of a death.

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