Swiss Guards, a body of about 100 soldiers from Switzerland that guards Vatican City and the person of the pope. This corps of soldiers was established in 1505. Its members must be Catholic and citizens of Switzerland.
Formerly, regiments of Swiss guards served as bodyguards to a number of European kings, especially the kings of France. The French regiment was formally organized in 1616. The heroism of its members who died in 1792 defending Louis XVI during the French Revolution is commemorated by Thorvaldsen's Lion of Lucerne, a monument in Lucerne, Switzerland.