Castle of St Angel are actually Roman tomb (Mausoleum of Adrian) converted into the fortress. Many times it served as a last refuge for the Popes when Rome was taken and their life was endangered.
Most famous episode was in a year 1527, when allied German and Spanish forces stormed Rome and laid city waste; 12 000 people were killed during next 8 days. Pope was carried to the Castle by two cardinals, while Swiss Guard made last stand at the entrance to St Peter Cathedral; all 160 guardians were killed, taking about 900 of attackers with them. Last fight raged at the cathedral's altar. But Pope was saved by this outstanding bravery and later on was able to continue his politics.
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