Loyality - Monument "The Dying Lion"

The monument is dedicated to Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti ("To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss"). 

The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy; beside him, there is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland.

From the early 17th century, a regiment of Swiss Guard served as part of the Royal Household of France. During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was forced to move with his family from the Palace of Versailles to his Paris Palace – les Tuileries.

On August 10, 1792, revolutionaries stormed the palace to capture the Royal family. Fighting broke out spontaneously. The Swiss Guards were the only troops that remained loyal and were willing to die for the King. They stayed and fought until they ran low on ammunition and were overwhelmed by superior numbers. More than six hundred were massacred. An estimated two hundred more died in prison of their wounds or were killed during the September Massacres that followed. Two surviving Swiss officers went on later to become senior officers under Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

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