On May 6th 1527, the city of Rome was sacked by the mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. On that day, 147 Swiss Guards lost their lives defending Pope Clement VII (r. 1523-34).
The event is commemorated each year with the swearing-in of new recruits, who take a solemn oath of allegiance to the pope. The ceremony is held in the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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