Of all countries, the Vatican City’s army, known as the Pontifical Swiss Guard, is the oldest. This 0.44 square kilometer country, of which the Pope is the absolute ruler, hardly needs to defend itself because it is only the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic Church and not a political entity. The Swiss Guard, therefore, is just a ceremonial army. It was founded on February 22, 1506 when about 150 Swiss Mercenaries marched to Rome to serve under Pope Julius II, known as the warrior Pope.
Today the army has 110 guards, clad in flamboyant stripe uniforms. Most of the soldiers are still armed with a medieval weapon which looks like a combination of spear and battle axe.