The Swiss Guard
From the 15th to the 19th centuries Swiss mercenaries, who had a reputation as trained and loyal soldiers, served at several European courts such as at the French, Prussian, Austrian, Tuscan, Neapolitan and the Savoy Court, as well as the Papal court.
Contrary to popular belief, the traditional yellow-red-blue striped uniform of the Swiss Guards, which is worn even today, was not designed by Michelangelo but the commander of the Swiss Guards, Colonel Jules Repond, in 1914; he was inspired by Raphael’s frescoes.
Applicants for the Pontifical Swiss Guard must be Catholic, single, at least 5ft 8.5in (174 cm) tall, high school graduate, military experienced Swiss males between the age of 19 and 30 years.
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