Their courage, endurance and a fanatical devotion to his patron for five centuries admired rulers, kings, dukes and emperors of different countries and peoples. They - the smallest army in the world. They - the Vatican's Swiss Guard.
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Their main feature - the boundless devotion overlord. Often, they preferred to die rather than retreat.
Many believe that today the Swiss Guards are one of the trademarks of the Vatican constitute a guard of honor during the official receptions and so are the Pope and the Vatican City. However, there is nothing wrong views on guard on ceremonial folk unit.
Certainly, no ceremony is complete without guard guards. But this is only a small part of their service. The main purpose of the Guard - Guard pontiff - remains unchanged. The Swiss Guard is a completely modern military corps with the relevant objectives, training and equipment.
Organization of service weapons, the principles of military discipline and etiquette in the Guard are the same as in a modern army in Switzerland. Guards also conduct reconnaissance and carry out preventive measures for the protection of public order and security at the Vatican. Today Guard has adopted and methods of struggle against terror.
Guards protect four entrances to the Vatican, monitor access to the city-state, give background information to pilgrims. When Pope social outlets they dressed in civilian clothes, are always in close proximity to his person and guarantee his personal security.
The project forms at one time worked and one of the guard commanders Repond Jules, who had an outstanding artistic taste. In particular, it replaced the hat berets, which indicate the rank of guards, entered the white collar, based on the ancient drawings developed bib.
Holiday uniforms guards characterized by its picturesque - metal helmet with an ostrich feather, striped breeches and coats, white gloves and collars. The colors - yellow, blue and red. These are the traditional colors of the Medici family name. Over 500 years of Swiss Guard uniforms festive virtually not changed.
Every year, May 6, the day when the Swiss Guard for the first time entered into a deadly fight, defending the Vatican Guard recruits solemnly take an oath of allegiance to the Pope.