"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

Chaplin’s World on the shores of Lake Leman

6 June 1944 (D-Day) was not only a day of deliverance for citizens of occupied countries in Western Europe. It was also a moment of hope for actor and film director Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977). Although he was only four days older than the German dictator, he outlived him by over 32 years. They never met … Read more » “Chaplin’s World on the shores of Lake Leman”

In the spotlight

Bilingual Biel/Bienne

After the Celtic and Roman times, Seeland was situated at the edge of the (first) Burgundian Kingdom (443-534). The Three Lakes region (the lakes of Biel/ Bienne, Morat/Murten and Neuenburg/ Neuchâtel) was still populated by Gallo-Roman people. The German-speaking Alemanni immigrated to this region in the fifth and sixth centuries.  However, it was not until … Read more » “Bilingual Biel/Bienne”


Europe’s dance capital in Riom

Riom (canton of Graubünden) turns into Europe’s dance capital in summer. Nowhere else on the continent will there be so many ballet performances in a single month. Riom’s two iconic stages (the castle and the Clavadeira) will host dancers who will stage eight full-length contemporary world premieres. The initial impetus for Riom’s expanded dance programme … Read more » “Europe’s dance capital in Riom”


The Rütli, an oath and an impeachment

Der Weg der Schweiz is a historic road along Lake Urnersee, the southernmost arm of Lake Lucerne. The length is about 35 kilometres and is divided into 26 stages for the 26 cantons. The order was determined by the time the cantons joined the Confederation. The length of the sections is based on the number … Read more » “The Rütli, an oath and an impeachment”


Maria-Rickenbach Monastery, pilgrims and America

Rickenbach in the canton of Nidwalden was first mentioned in 1314. The late Gothic statue of Mary with the infant Jesus dates from the period (around 1350). According to legend, the statue was rescued in 1528 during the iconoclasm of the Reformation in the Bernese Oberland and brought to Rickenbach, where the altar of the … Read more » “Maria-Rickenbach Monastery, pilgrims and America”

Latest news

Opening of the Centre Albert Anker in Ins

The Centre Albert Anker in Ins (Canton Bern) reopened to the public on 7 June after 12 years of renovation. The complex explores the artistic, political, and social life of Swiss artist Albert Anker (1831-1910) in the authentic setting of his home, studio, and extension with an art pavilion. The Centre Albert Anker includes the … Read more » “Opening of the Centre Albert Anker in Ins”


Charlie Chaplin and Louis de Funès in Chaplin’s World

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) and Louis de Funès (1914-1983) connected deeply with their bodies, expressions and rhythm. Their gait and legendary dance acts expressed emotions then, and they still do. The exhibition ‘Mouvement and Speech’ (le geste et la parole), a resounding success in Saint-Raphaël (France), offers a unique exploration of the diversity of their talents. … Read more » “Charlie Chaplin and Louis de Funès in Chaplin’s World”

Agenda »

Constitution, Democracy, cantons

Lake Wohlensee, the Niederried-Oltigenmatt Reserve and the European Court of Human Rights

Many of Switzerland’s 1,500 lakes are reservoirs. The country pioneered eco-friendly electricity, or ‘white energy,‘ in the nineteenth century. Even trains have been running on this energy since the 1920s. Switzerland is also a forerunner in a city heating system. In the 1950s, for example, this facility could already supply 40,000 homes and businesses in … Read more » “Lake Wohlensee, the Niederried-Oltigenmatt Reserve and the European Court of Human Rights”

Local history

Charmey, Cerniat and Broc, small villages with a great past and present

Have you heard of Cerniat? Yet this village in the municipality of Val-de-Charmey (canton of Freiburg) is the seat of Switzerland’s only Chartreuse. The Chartreuse de la Valsainte (le val de tous les saints) was founded in 1924 by Girard de Corbières, Seigneur of the Corbières. Freiburg acquired the Seigneurie in 1553. Apart from the … Read more » “Charmey, Cerniat and Broc, small villages with a great past and present”

Nature and Tourism

Two villages, two inns, a medieval bell and nature in Emmental

The source of the Emme, at 2197m between the Hohgant and Augstmatthorn mountains, is the border area of the Bernese Oberland and Canton of Lucerne. The river flows into the Aare at the border of Canton Solothurn near Luterbach. Between lies the Emmental, with Langenthal as the regional centre of the Obere Emmental and Burgdorf … Read more » “Two villages, two inns, a medieval bell and nature in Emmental”