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


In the spotlight

The City of Neuchâtel

Not much is known about the habitation of the area of the city of Neuchâtel until the year thousand. The first counts of Neuchâtel date back to the ‘second’ Kingdom of Burgundy (888-1032). The last King, Rudolf III (970-1032), built a castle on the rock—the beginning of today’s Neuchâtel. In the years 1185-1190 followed the … Read more » “The City of Neuchâtel”

In the spotlight

Arlesheim and the Congress of Vienna

The village of Arlesheim (Canton of Basel-Landschaft) is best known for the English Garden of 1785, the Ermitage and the cathedral. Arlesheim became the Allied Forces’ seat in Switzerland after Napoleon’s defeat. Conrad von Andlau (1766-1839) became the territory’s Governor by appointment of the Allies on 15 January 1814 (to govern the French departments of … Read more » “Arlesheim and the Congress of Vienna”


Lux Aeterna and Tuns contemporans

The Ensemble Vocal Origen conducted by Clau Scherrer sings György Ligeti’s (1923-2006) “Lux Aeterna”, It forms the core of the last Passion concerts on the tower on the Julier Pass. Gion Antoni Derung’s “Cantiones Sacrae” and Frank Martin’s “Messe pour double choeur a capella” frame the work of the Hungarian composer. The concert on 2 … Read more » “Lux Aeterna and Tuns contemporans”


The Olympic Village St. Moritz

The first Winter Olympics in St Moritz (canton of Graubünden) began on 11 February 1928. Four hundred sixty-four athletes (among whom twenty-seven women) from 25 countries took part in six sports and 14 disciplines until 19 February, including speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey, bobsleigh and skeleton, skiing, ski jumping, cross-country skiing and Nordic combination. … Read more » “The Olympic Village St. Moritz”


Octophonia and Habsburg

At this special place in Ottmarsheim in Alsace, 20 kilometres from Basel, the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul was founded by the direct ancestors of the Habsburg dynasty. Ottmarsheim Abbey was founded in 1030 by Rudolf of Altenburg. His brother Radbot of Altenburg founded the monastery of Muri (in today’s Canton of Aargau) … Read more » “Octophonia and Habsburg”

Latest news

New Romansh Uniun in Basel

The federal government supports the cantons of Graubünden and Ticino in preserving and promoting the Romansh and Italian languages and cultures. Of the approximately 60,000 Romansh-speaking people, about 40% live outside the language area. Preserving and passing on the language and culture is a significant challenge for those in this ‘diaspora’ The Federal Office of … Read more » “New Romansh Uniun in Basel”


Picasso Célébration 1973–2023

The Fondation Beyeler presents a selection of ten late paintings concerned with images of the artist and his models. These works, created in the last decade of Picasso’s career, attest to the artist’s productivity up to the end of his life. In these paintings, Picasso explores the (self)-image of the artist, the creative act, and … Read more » “Picasso Célébration 1973–2023”

Agenda »

Constitution, Democracy, cantons

The Sonderbundswar that brought Peace

Switzerland has a reputation for slow political decision-making. However, the country did lead the way in introducing democracy and Europe’s first trilingual confederal democratic (for men) republic in 1848. The cantons are the experimental gardens of new political concepts; ultimately, the citizens always have the last say because all citizens are politicians. So it was … Read more » “The Sonderbundswar that brought Peace”

Local history

The Forgotten Ice Industry of Le Pont

In 1879, on Lake Brenet (lac Brenet) in the Vallée de Joux (canton of Vaud), artificial ice cellars or huge sheds of 14,000 m3 for 5,000 tonnes of ice were built. From then until 1942, the ice from the lake was stored in large quantities every winter to be sold in Swiss and French cities … Read more » “The Forgotten Ice Industry of Le Pont”

Nature and Tourism

The Rhine Gorge or the Ruinaulta

The Rhine Gorge, Rheinschlucht in German or Ruinaulta in Romansh, is a 400-metre-deep and 13-kilometre-long gorge in Graubünden. It dates back to the great landslide of Flims, the so-called Filmserstein-Bergstürz, which took place about 9500 years ago. Since 1977, the Rhine Gorge has been listed in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments of … Read more » “The Rhine Gorge or the Ruinaulta”