"The cradle of the confederation" Chamber of the Swiss national Council by Charles Giron (1859-1914), 1901.
Photograph: www.parlament.ch.

Swiss Culture and History in European perspective


In the spotlight

Tondü Palace and the chimney sweeps of Tessin

Palazzo Tondü (Tondü Palace) is the history of a family of chimney sweeps from Tessin. The history of the many Zuckerbäcker from Graubünden and their worldwide fame is well known. However, most of these emigrants had a poor existence. Only a tiny minority became wealthy through their hotels, restaurants, cafes, patisseries or, e.g. breweries in (capital) … Read more » “Tondü Palace and the chimney sweeps of Tessin”

In the spotlight

Hauterive, Le Latenium. Foto/Photo: TES
The Laténium and the Celtic Culture

In September 2023, an important discovery was made in Lake Neuchâtel. Near Grandson (Canton Vaud), a canoe made of oak trunks was found in the lake. It is about 2,500 years old and dates back to the Iron Age (850-100 BC). Celtic tribes lived in this region at that time. The praam was made between … Read more » “The Laténium and the Celtic Culture”


The Zuckerbäcker and the Weisse Turm in Mulegns

Nova Fundaziun Origen presented the fairytale film installation ‘The Confectioner’s Dream’ in Chur on 11 November. With this work, Nova Fundaziun Origen shows a musical film generated entirely by AI. A confectioner (Zuckerbäcker) returns to Graubünden. He followed his grandfather’s and became a Zuckerbäcker in another country.  He returns to his village of birth and … Read more » “The Zuckerbäcker and the Weisse Turm in Mulegns”


The Uster Day, the new Constitution and Democracy

In the Late Middle Ages, the city of Zurich acquired vast surrounding countryside areas. The canton’s rural population was under the political and economic control of the city’s rulers. Although the Helvetic Republic (1798-1803) proclaimed freedom and equality in 1798, the old city oligarchy enacted 1814 a new constitution that restored their power (called Die … Read more » “The Uster Day, the new Constitution and Democracy”


Monte Verità near Ascona

Canton Tessin has long been (and still is) a haven for political refugees, artists and the avant-garde. Locarno, Lugano and Ascona were sought-after towns. Houses, islands and even hills and mountains got new destinations after 1848. Alfredo Pioda (1848-1909), Franz Hartmann (1838-1912), and Countess Constance Wachtmeister (1838-1910) founded a theosophical institution on Monte Verità near … Read more » “Monte Verità near Ascona”

Latest news

Sixty Years Regio Basiliensis and Crossborder Cooperation

Switzerland has traditionally been closely intertwined with its surrounding regions, culturally, economically, religiously, socially and scientifically. As many as 15 of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, half of the country’s population and two of its three largest cities (Basel and Geneva) border other countries (Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France). 70% of bilateral goods trade … Read more » “Sixty Years Regio Basiliensis and Crossborder Cooperation”


The Iberians in Basel

The Iberians are subject of a major archaeological exhibition in Basel. The Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig, in cooperation with the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya in Barcelona, presents more than 260 exhibits from 40 archaeological excavation sites that illustrate the diversity and beauty of these peoples who lived along the eastern part of the Iberian … Read more » “The Iberians in Basel”

Agenda »

Constitution, Democracy, cantons

The Swiss Political System

Switzerland’s political system is still considered a special case among modern democracies. Its origins lie in a multiplicity of languages, sovereign cantons, social structures and historical development. Elections for the national parliament took place in Switzerland on 22 October. This contribution does not discuss the outcome of these elections. The functioning of the system is … Read more » “The Swiss Political System”

Local history

Locarno and Ascona, Cities of Peace

In 1919, at the end of the First World War (1914-1918), strict peace conditions were imposed on the defeated states in Versailles. In addition to territorial losses and the demilitarisation of the Rhineland, high reparation payments were imposed on the Weimar Republic. Locarno, 1925. The participants in the conference hall It caused tensions which culminated … Read more » “Locarno and Ascona, Cities of Peace”

Nature and Tourism

Landscape, Agriculture and Democracy in Entlebuch and Emmental

The landscape in the UNESCO Bioreserve Entlebuch (UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch) in Canton of Lucerne and the Emmental in Canton of Bern was created in a process spanning over 200 million years. Oceans and seas, the formation of the Alps, cold and warm periods, the shape of lakes and rivers and the deposition of rocks and … Read more » “Landscape, Agriculture and Democracy in Entlebuch and Emmental”