Fact: 1 uniform has 154 pieces and it weighs about 8 pounds. 32 hours are put into making it!The Swiss mercenaries played an important role in European politics in the Renaissance period. They were known as some of the best soldiers and were sought out by many European countries to help them in battle. An alliance between the Holy See and Switzerland began during the Italian Wars in the 15th century. Swiss mercenaries were essentially used to fight the Pope’s battles, to defend what was then known as the Papal States from invasion. The founding date of the Pontifical Swiss Guard is set to 1506, when a group of 150 soldiers entered the Vatican for the first time. Eventually, Pope Julius II gave them the title of “Defenders of the Church’s freedom”. Today, a Swiss Guard's responsibilities include: visitors’ control, guard duty, and personal protection to the Pope and College of Cardinals. But on their spare time, some find leisure in various activities. They have their own soccer team and band.