Hardly any other military formation enjoys a world reputation as distinguished as that of the Swiss Guard. It was founded in 1506 by Julius II for his protection during the Italian wars. The most loyal and courageous soldiers came from Switzerland, a very poor country at that time with few opportunities to make a living. In more than 500 years of history, the Guards have given constant and selfless service to the Pope. Their sternest test came during the infamous "Sacco di Roma", when, on 6th May 1527, Rome was plundered by German, Spanish and Italian soldiers. 147 guards lost their lives to the far superior numbers of plunderers. The remaining 42 men escorted the Pope to safety in the Engelsburg. Right up to the present day, the Confederate bodyguard is distinguished by its loyalty, reliability and faultless military professionalism. In addition to police and sentry work, the Swiss Guard also carries out representative duties and is synonymous worldwide for the typically Swiss values of trust and safety.