Guarding the Pope in style

Swiss Guards are soldiers who have served as bodyguards at European palaces since the 15th century. The Papal Swiss Guard is the only one that still exists and are responsible for the safety of the Pope. They serve as the de facto military of Vatican City. Guards must be Catholic, single males with Swiss citizenship and have completed basic training with the Swiss military. The uniform has a distinctly Renaissance appearance and is inspired by Michelangelo and Raphael paintings.

Cardinals Leave General Congregations

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 07: Archbishop of Toronto cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins (C) leaves the Paul VI Hall at the end of a session of cardinals general congregations on March 7, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. There is no indication as yet when a Papal conclave will take place following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Cardinals Leave General Congregations

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 07: Indian cardinal George Alencherry leaves the Paul VI Hall at the end of a session of cardinals general congregations on March 7, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. There is no indication as yet when a Papal conclave will take place following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Cardinals Leave General Congregations

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 07: Italian cardinal Severino Poletto leaves the Paul VI Hall at the end of a session of cardinals general congregations on March 7, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. There is no indication as yet when a Papal conclave will take place following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Cardinals Leave General Congregations

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 07: German cardinals Walter Kasper leaves the Paul VI Hall at the end of a session of cardinals general congregations on March 7, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. There is no indication as yet when a Papal conclave will take place following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Cardinals Leave General Congregations

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 07: Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet (R) and Archbishop of Kinshasa Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya (L) leave the Paul VI Hall at the end of a session of cardinals general congregations on March 7, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. There is no indication as yet when a Papal conclave will take place following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Members of the Swiss Guard prepare to close the doors to Pope Benedict XVI's residence in Castel Gandolfo and transfer responsibility for his security to the police as he starts his retirement on February 28, 2013 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Emeritus Pope. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Vatican Prepares For The Departure This Week Of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 26: Members of the Swiss Guard stand at a vehicle entrance at the edge of Saint Peter's Square ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's last public audience on February 26, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on February 27, 2013 before he retires the following day. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Vatican Prepares For The Departure This Week Of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 26: A member of the Swiss Guard stands at a vehicle entrance at the edge of Saint Peter's Square ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's last public audience on February 26, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on February 27, 2013 before he retires the following day. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Members of the Swiss Guard prepare to close the doors to Pope Benedict XVI's residence in Castel Gandolfo and transfer responsibility for his security to the police as he starts his retirement on February 28, 2013 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Emeritus Pope. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Members of the Swiss Guard prepare to close the doors to Pope Benedict XVI's residence in Castel Gandolfo and transfer responsibility for his security to the police as he starts his retirement on February 28, 2013 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Emeritus Pope. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Members of the Swiss Guard prepare to close the doors to Pope Benedict XVI's residence in Castel Gandolfo and transfer responsibility for his security to the police as he starts his retirement on February 28, 2013 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Emeritus Pope. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Members of the Swiss Guard prepare to close the doors to Pope Benedict XVI's residence in Castel Gandolfo and transfer responsibility for his security to the police as he starts his retirement on February 28, 2013 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Emeritus Pope. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Holds His Final General Audience Before His Retirement

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 27: Pope Benedict XVI waves to a Swiss Guard as he leaves St Peter's Square on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff has attended his last weekly public audience before stepping down tomorrow. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Holds His Final General Audience Before His Retirement

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 27: A Swiss guard stands in front of the Vatican as Pope Benedict XVI delivers his final general audience in St Peter's Square before his retirement on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff has held his last weekly public audience before stepping down tomorrow. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Holds His Final General Audience Before His Retirement

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 27: A Swiss Guard stands in St Peter's Square ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's final general audience before his retirement on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience later before he abdicates tomorrow. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI Holds His Final General Audience Before His Retirement

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 27: A Swiss guard stands in front of the Vatican as Pope Benedict XVI delivers his final general audience in St Peter's Square before his retirement on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff has held his last weekly public audience before stepping down tomorrow. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Vatican Prepares For The Departure This Week Of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 26: A member of the Swiss Guard stands at a vehicle entrance at the edge of Saint Peter's Square ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's last public audience on February 26, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on February 27, 2013 before he retires the following day. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Vatican Prepares For The Departure This Week Of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 26: (EDITORS NOTE; THIS DIGITAL IMAGE WAS CREATED USING A VARIABLE PLANE LENS) Members of the Pope's Swiss Guard protect the gates to St Paul's Basilica on February 26, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on February 27, 2013 before he retires the following day. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Vatican Prepares For The Departure This Week Of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 26: A member of the Pope's Swiss Guard gives directions to three nuns at the gates to St Paul's Basilica on February 26, 2013 in Rome, Italy. The Pontiff will hold his last weekly public audience on February 27, 2013 before he retires the following day. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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