The Swiss Spectator focuses on the history and culture of Switzerland, a remarkable country with a robust business environment, a relatively well-functioning (direct) democracy and respect for the rule of law.

It features an overview of the country’s museums and exhibitions, cultural events, monuments, rich cultural heritage, commemorations and magnificent nature. The relationship between Switzerland and the European Union is also covered.

The country’s surrounding regions have always played a crucial role in Swiss history and culture: Northern Italy (Valley of Aoste, Lombardy and Vinschgau (Venosta), Eastern France (Franche-Comté, Alsace, Haute-Savoie and Savoie), Southern Germany (Lake Constance region) and Austria (Vorarlberg).

Four periods and subjects are covered: the Roman Empire and the process of romanisation, the Middle Ages (from the Kingdoms of Burgundy to the sixteenth century), the long nineteenth century (1815-1918), and Switzerland’s multicultural, multilinguistic and cosmopolitan aspects.

Events

74th Biennial Exhibition

The 74th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art (La 74e Biennale d’art contemporain) of the Society of Friends of the Museum of Fine Arts (la Société des amis du Musée des beaux-arts, SaMbA) will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts) in La Chaux-de-Fonds from 16 May to 29 August 2021. Organised … Read more » “74th Biennial Exhibition”

Commemorations

Pile Dwellings around the Alps

In 2021, the „Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps“ celebrates the tenth anniversary of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The transnational site was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage registry on June 27th, 2011. Of the more than 1000 known pile dwellings in central Europe, only 111 representative sites in France, Italy, … Read more » “Pile Dwellings around the Alps”

Monuments

Morts pour la patrie

These are the well-known words on every village square in France in memory of the dead in the Franco-German (Prussian) wars of 1870/71, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Switzerland was not involved in these Franco-German conflicts and the last (civil) war on Swiss soil took place from 3 to 29 November 1847. But who are Georges Thibaud … Read more » “Morts pour la patrie”

Multicultural and Cosmopolitan Switzerland

News Newsletters

The origin of the French, German, Italian and Romansh languages and cultures will be addressed. The Roman Empire and the Middle Ages are the crucial periods. The contributions also pay attention to the multicultural, multilingual and cosmopolitan society.

Agenda

Nature and Culture in Art

The Fondation’s collection is connected to Olafur Eliasson’s Life exhibition and explores the relationship between nature and culture in art through selected modern and contemporary art works depicting the human, animal and vegetal realms. Landscapes, still lifes and portraits uncover a dense web of relationships with the environment. The exhibition brings together more than 100 works from … Read more » “Nature and Culture in Art”

Agenda »

Constitution and Democracy

The Great Constitution of 1848

The Constitution of 1848 marked the beginning of a rapid development of the new Swiss Confederation in almost all areas. 1815-1848 The confederation of sovereign cantons  in 1815 became a federal state of three political layers: the federal level, the cantons and the municipalities. The principle of sovereign cantons remained unchanged with one important difference: … Read more » “The Great Constitution of 1848”

Latest news

The Alabama, Putin, Biden and Geneva

Joe Biden (1942), President of the United States, and Vladimir Putin (1952), President of Russia, will meet in Geneva on 16 June 2021. The venue for the meeting is La Grange Park. The city has a long reputation for dispute resolution and meetings between leaders of the great powers. One of the first cases was … Read more » “The Alabama, Putin, Biden and Geneva”

Nature and Tourism

La Grande Béroche and Saint-Aubin

Saint Aubin has been inhabited since ancient times, as evidenced by the remains from the Neolithic period. Romans, Burgundians and Franks then colonised the region. In 1176, the bishop of Lausanne donated the church to the abbey of Saint Maurice. Abbot Guillaume (who died in 1198) rebuilt the church in 1180. From then on, the … Read more » “La Grande Béroche and Saint-Aubin”