Who designed the Swiss Guard uniform?

vatican Swiss Guard uniforms

Robert Young/Via Flickr

Michelangelo sometimes gets credit for the beautifully distinctive Papal Swiss Guard uniforms at the Vatican. Instead, it’s Raphael who helped influence the guardsmen’s attire.

The vibrant blue, yellow and red—the colors of the Medici—have been used since the 1600s, and the Swiss Guard uniforms have had minor changes through the centuries. Commandant Jules Repond designed the modern uniforms in 1914, drawing inspiration from Raphael’s frescoes, including The Mass at Bolsena.

Founded in 1506, the Papal Swiss Guard is the Vatican’s military unit and is charged with protecting the pope and guarding the Apostolic Palace and the gates of Vatican City.


Editor’s note (2021): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.

Topics: History

Katie from EF

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