Saturday, February 27, 2010

PhotoHunt: Daily

The Swiss Guards protect the gates of Vatican City daily.

They are responsible for the safety of the Pope. The force has served popes since the 1500's, has varied greatly in size over the years and has even been disbanded. The uniform of the guard was influenced by the paintings of Raphael, not Michelangelo which is the usual impression. It has varied over the years but now weighs 8 pounds, the heaviest of any uniform existing today! The customary uniform is tri-colored with boot covers, white gloves, a high or ruff collar, and either a black beret or the more formal silver for special occasions. Sergeants wear a black top with crimson leggings, while other officers wear an all-crimson uniform.

Since the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II's life, the guards are now trained in small arms. In addition to carrying the 'rapier' sword, they now also have pistols and sub-machine guns at their disposal.


annie said...

That's a very cool shot of those guards doing their daily job. Happy weekend to you.

barb cabot said...

That's such a nice photo.

Trekcapri said...

Hi Flygirl, that's a great photo and choice for this week's theme. Interesting to learn how heavy their uniforms are.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Marta said...

I love how you caught them in silhouette. The photo draws you in and creates a lot of mystery. And an excellent photo for the theme. Have a great weekend.

girasoli said...

Very cool photo and take on the theme!

Thanks so much for your concern on Saturday. We were very lucky to escape damage. Sadly Chile did not. Not only are they dealing with the earthquake but the tsunami that hit them afterwards did a lot of damage.