Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Swiss guards

If you've been to the Vatican, you've noticed guards in somewhat fanciful uniforms. Look close, though, and you can tell that these are soldiers you don't want to mess with. Over the last 500 years, Swiss soldiers have served as mercenary units around Europe. The last remaining regiment is in Rome, where they have served since the time of Pope Sixtus IV in the late 15th century. They carry traditional weapons like swords and halberds, but are actually highly skilled modern soldiers ready to act as the bodyguards to the Pope. I haven't seen the movie Angels and Demons yet, but I guess they must play a role, as they inspired Sir Nadroj to make Swiss Guard minifigs.

Swiss Guards are Catholic Swiss nationals who have completed training in the Swiss army before applying to the Vatican. Their oath of office is:
"I vow to faithfully, honestly and honorably serve the reigning Pope [name of Pope] and his legitimate successors, and to dedicate myself to them with all my strength, ready to sacrifice, should it become necessary, even my own life for them. I likewise assume this promise toward the members of the Sacred College of Cardinals during the period of the Sede Vacante of the Apostolic See. Furthermore, I pledge to the Commandant and to my other superiors respect, fidelity, and obedience. I swear to abide by all the requirements attendant to the dignity of my rank."


  1. Love the Swiss Guard fig. Sir Nardoj is a real innovator and a constant inspiration. This is the best use I've seen so far for the ruffled baby bib piece, and his unconventional use of rubber bands is great.

    Swiss Guards: the most deadly and dedicated guys in clown suits on the planet.

  2. "the most deadly and dedicated guys in clown suits on the planet"

    LOL. Indeed, the one time I was in Rome and visited the vatican, it was sort of funny to see these guys in poofy orange and yellow outfits holding halberds, and then I noticed that behind them in the guardhouse there were machine guns.