World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City

Article Id: WHEBN0008116480
Reproduction Date:

Title: Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Vatican City, Military in Vatican City, Fundamental Law of Vatican City State, Politics of Vatican City, Law of Vatican City
Collection: Gendarmerie, Law Enforcement in Vatican City
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City

Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State
Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano
Agency overview
Formed 1816
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Vatican City State
Size 0,44 km²
Population 836 (2012)
Governing body Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Vatican City
Sworn members 130 (in 2007)
Agency executive Domenico Giani, Inspector General
Gendarme Corps
Vatican gendarme standing guard in the Vatican Gardens.

The Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State (Italian: Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano) is the gendarmerie, or police and security force, of Vatican City and the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See.[1]

The 130-member corps is led by an Inspector General, currently Domenico Giani, who replaced the long-serving Camillo Cibin in June 2006.


  • History 1
  • Organisation 2
  • Other security services in the Vatican 3
  • Equipment 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


In 1816, after the dissolution of the Napoleonic empire, Pope Pius VII founded the Papal Carabinieri Corps for the service of the Papal States. In 1849, under Pope Pius IX, it was renamed, first as the Papal Velites Regiment, and then as the Papal Gendarmerie Corps. It was charged with ensuring public security, and passed from dependence on the Ministry of the Army to dependence on the Cardinal Secretary of State. It took an active part in the battles that finally led to the complete conquest of the Papal States by the victorious Kingdom of Italy. After the capture of Rome in 1870, a small group of members of the Corps continued to serve in the papal residence and the gardens. In 1929, the force was expanded to deal with its duties in the newly founded Vatican City State and in the buildings and other areas over which the Holy See had extraterritorial rights. When in 1970 Pope Paul VI abolished all the military bodies at his service except the Swiss Guards, the Gendarmerie was transformed into a Central Security Office, with the duties of protecting the Pope, defending Vatican City, and providing police and security services within its territory. Its name was changed in 1991 to Security Corps of Vatican City State and in 2002 to Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State.[2]


The corps is responsible for security,

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ Il personale del Corpo garantisce la sicurezza e l'ordine pubblico anche nelle zone extraterritoriali di proprietà della Santa Sede. (The Corps also guarantees the security and the public order within the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See). In: "Corpo della Gendarmeria" (in Italian). Stato della Città del Vaticano. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Corpo della Gendarmeria
  3. ^ Pope receives pair of electric cars from maker Renault
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^


See also

In September 2012, the Gendarmerie was equipped with one Kangoo Maxi ZE electric car.[3] The Gendarmerie also recently received a pair of Ducati police motorbikes.[4][5][6]

They also have more powerful weapons, such as the Beretta M12 and the Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun, a weapon also used by the Italian police. Against possible riots, they are supplied with batons, pepper sprays and tear gas. For the elite-unit Rapid Intervention Group (GIR), members are equipped with the Carbon 15 carbine and Heckler & Koch FABARM FP6 shotguns.

The Gendarmerie is equipped with the Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol in 9 mm Parabellum as the standard issue weapon.


The Swiss Guard are responsible for the security of the Pope, dignitaries and all papal buildings, not the Vatican City State. The Swiss Guard have maintained a centuries long tradition of carrying swords and spears, unlike the Gendarmerie Corps.

Security in Vatican City is also provided by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, a military unit of the Holy See, not Vatican City State.

The Commandant of the Gendarmerie Corps is head of the Directorate of Security and Civil Protection Services, which also oversees the Vatican fire brigade.[2]

Other security services in the Vatican

The Gendarmerie's patron saint is Saint Michael the Archangel.[2] Since 1977, the oratory of San Pellegrino in Vaticano serves as the chapel of the Gendarmerie. The church previously served as the chapel of the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

To qualify for enrollment as a gendarme, a person must be an unmarried male between the ages of 21 to 24 of good health and a practising Catholic. There are also minimum requirements of height and education.[2]

Before 1970, the then papal gendarmes wore elaborate ceremonial uniforms of 19th-century origin, while the present-day Vatican City gendarmes wear dark blue modern police uniforms.

While the protection of the Pope's person is primarily the Swiss Guard's responsibility, the gendarmes ensure public order at the audiences, meetings and ceremonies at which he is present. In Italian territory and in other countries, this is done in liaison with the local police authorities.[2]

[2]).Unità Antisabotaggio; G.I.R.) and an anti-sabotage unit (Italian: Gruppo Intervento Rapido The Vatican Gendarmerie includes two special units, the Rapid Intervention Group (Italian: [2]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.