Swiss Guard, Vatican City

JUNE 2005 – A serious looking member of the Swiss Guard protects the entrance to the Vatican City. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

The saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” – In this case, we wanted to do as the tourists do. We explored the Piazza di San Pietro and climbed up to the Basilica San Pietro, one of the key attractions in Rome.

The entrance to Vatican City is protected by the Swiss Guard, the only army under weapons operated by the Holy City. It’s just 135 soldiers strong, and serves as the last reserve to defend Vatican City. Its main purpose, however, is to protect the Pope whereever he goes. The team has its own web site with plenty of background information.

I admit that my photo seems to be a bit on the soft side, but I like the fact that he (still) looks scary. You can tell that he’s taking his job very serious. At least I wouldn’t dare for a second to try sneaking in while he’s on duty.

The high resolution image

Capture DateJune 2005
LocationRome, Italy
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions3492 x 5238 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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