The Contents

Switzerland is in the middle of Europe, millions of tourists visit it annualy, and many have second homes. Yet knowledge and understanding about its history, culture, democracy, and functioning is often lacking. And what do Swiss know about their country, cantons and other language regions? This medium aims to be an informative and inspiring source.

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.

The website’s four languages symbolise quadrilingual Switzerland. French and German connect the country’s two largest language regions and language communities, and English and Dutch present the country to a (European) audience outside Switzerland. Romanche and Italian (the country’s other two languages) are not the website’s main languages but have the attention in articles and announcements. Almost all articles are published in three or four languages.

The site features an overview of the country’s  direct democracy, the federal government, the cantons and the municipalities, local history, museums and exhibitions, cultural events, monuments, rich cultural heritage, commemorations and magnificent nature.

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, European and cosmopolitan character.

About the Editor

After graduating in 1985, Maarten A.M.Chr. Koning (1959) worked six years as a publisher for Kluwer’s publishing house. From 1991 until 2007, he organised around 100 workshops, conferences and seminars and published four law journals and various books in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

From 2008 to 2013, he was the project director of ‘The European Supreme Courts. A Portrait Through History’ (Third Millennium Publishers London, 2013).

In 2008 he began specialising in visual presentations, analyses and publications in history and art to understand European cooperation and integration (TES, the European Spectator).

He graduated from the University of Utrecht, Faculty of Law (MA), from the University of Leiden, Faculty of Arts, ancient history specialisation (MA), and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Faculty of Humanities, medieval art and Nineteenth-century art specialisation (BA).