Vatican - Armed forces



The papal patrol force now consists only of the Swiss Guard, who, sometimes armed with such ceremonial weapons as halberds, walk their posts in picturesque striped uniforms supposedly designed by Michelangelo. The force was founded in 1506 and is recruited from several Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland. It now numbers approximately 100 members. There is also a civilian security force, responsible to the Central Office of Security, which protects Vatican personnel and property and the art treasures owned by the Church. The Vatican maintains its own jail.

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