CE017 Swiss Guardsman at Attention
Dressed in his best number-one ceremonial uniform this Guardsman holds the long halberd, a 2-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use in the 14th and 15th Centuries. He also wears the metal, front and back breastplate armour as well as the Spanish-style “Morion” helmet with the red crested ostrich feathers. By his side, like all other guardsmen, a sword.
Anyone who has ever visited Rome must also see St.Peter’s Square and the Vatican. If you have done so then you have probably encountered one of the oldest and most colourful military units in the world …. The Pontifical Swiss Guard.
Founded in 1506 these Swiss soldiers have provided security for the Pope himself and for the precincts of Vatican City for more than 500 years. Their ceremonial uniform, as seen in these figures, harks back to renaissance times. It was, at one time, suggested that the great painter and sculptor Michaelangelo designed them.