HELVETIORUM FIDEI AC VIRTUTI (“TO THE LOYALTY AND BRAVERY OF THE SWISS”)
Below is our video of a monument dedicated to the Swiss Guard mercenaries who died protecting the house of King Louis XIV of France during 1792 tenth of August insurrection. Six hundred men — more than two-thirds of the force died.
Swiss Guards are the Swiss soldiers who have served as guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century. The Swiss were famous mercenaries for hundreds of years. Since Switzerland was a poor country, young men often sought their fortunes abroad. Swiss troops had a reputation for discipline and loyalty and employing revolutionary battle tactics. They were considered the most powerful troops of the 15th century.
It is no wonder that the Popes maintain a Swiss guard to this day.
— From A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain, 1880
The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.
Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.