Vatican seels to build new Swiss Guard barracks accomodating of woman

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05/05/2022
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The new barracks of the Swiss Guards will have single rooms with private bathrooms, that could open a door to women joining the force, yet the Vatican has yet to make that decision.

For the time being, the foundation responsible for realizing the project is seeking the needed funds. Leading the effort is Jean-Pierre Roth, the former governor of the Swiss National Bank.

The foundation says that the new barracks will cost some 45 million euros to build. So far they've raised 37.5, but Roth jokes that this isn't the most difficult part of the process.

JEAN-PIERRE ROTH
Foundation, Swiss Guard Barracks Renovation

So, just to mention it's easier to find money than building the barracks.

Since the Vatican is a UNCESCO world heritage site, the renovation project must comply by strict guidelines.

The renovation is no small undertaking. First it will require demolishing the building, for two reasons.

First, beacuse regulation stipulates that the families of Swiss Guards must live in the barracks. Secondly, because the Pope has increased the size of the force from 110 to 135 soldiers, meaning that more rooms must be built, something which the current rigid structure of the building does not allow. 

JEAN-PIERRE ROTH
Foundation, Swiss Guard Barracks Renovation

The present building is a XIX century building, builded with the techniques of the XIX century and it requires really to be basicly renovated all or even reconstructed.
The point is that the present building is not flexible enough. You cannot change the number of floors, for instance, so if you want to have more space for the guards it requires to rebuild everything.

The new barracks will respect UNESCO's requirements, and will maintain its original facade to follow the aesthetic guidelines asked by Italy. Although the barracks are not on Italian soil, they want to keep the building's aesthetic in line with their neighboring country.

JRB

TR: JM

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