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The Roman Empire and Romanization

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The Mosaics of Orbe-Boscéaz

The Villa is the largest estate in Roman Switzerland. The villa had exceptional dimensions, 230 x 90, and was organized around five courtyards, the two main ones being surrounded by colonnades. In this part there were also heated baths. Several rooms were decorated with mosaics on the floor. The surrounding wall of the villa had … Read more » “The Mosaics of Orbe-Boscéaz”

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The Helvets

The Helvets (Helvetii in Latin) was the name for some Celtic tribes who inhabited the Swiss Plateau some centuries before the era. The names of some of these tribes are known, including the Tigurini, Ambrones, Verbigeni and Tugini. The Rauraci and Suebi inhabited the regions of Basel, Southern Alsace and Baden in the same period. … Read more » “The Helvets”

European Affairs

Congratulations and Chapeau Switzerland

The lake of Brienz (Brienzersee) prepares itself for the first of August, 2019, apparently inspired by “The cradle of the confederation”, mural in the Great Hall of the Swiss parliament, by Charles Giron (1859-1914), 1901. Giron has the Rütli in mind, the meadow at Lake Urner (Urnersee), a part of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee). According to … Read more » “Congratulations and Chapeau Switzerland”

The Middle Ages, Arts and State Building

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Waltensburg Church

The church in Waltensburg or Vuorz in Romansch was built in the 12th century, renovated and extended, including the extension of the choir arch and vaults, late-Gothic alterations and a new nave vault and gallery in 1711. The frescoes on the interior walls and on the exterior construction are from four periods. The oldest paintings … Read more » “Waltensburg Church”

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Medieval Avenches

Since its foundation by the Romans in 15 BC, Aventicum, today Avenches, was the capital of the tribe of Helvetii. Today it is one of the most important Roman archaeological sites of Switzerland, although only a quarter of the Roman city has been excavated and is visible. The amphitheatre, the Grange des Dimes temple, the … Read more » “Medieval Avenches”

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The long nineteenth century 1815-1918

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The Queen in Switzerland

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s visit to Switzerland. The British Queen spent five weeks in Switzerland from 7 August to 9 September 1868. After the death of her husband Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1861, the queen had largely withdrawn from public life and could no longer escape her grief. She also … Read more » “The Queen in Switzerland”

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A beneficial Democracy

The Constitution of 1848 is still the political fundament of modern Switzerland. The Constitution, partly based on the American model, establishes the confederal status of the country, the cantons and communes, and the role played by the citizens. The last major revision of the Constitution took place in 1999. One of the most striking provisions … Read more » “A beneficial Democracy”

Agenda
Asterix and the Helvetians

On the occasion of the new album of Asterix, The daughter of Vercingetorix (part 38, published by Editions Casterman under the title ‘La fille de Vercingétorix’) the archaeological site and the Roman museum in Avenches show a series of original slides from previous albums. Special attention is also paid to the Album’ The Helvetians’. Asterix was created … Read more » “Asterix and the Helvetians”

Multicultural and Cosmopolitan Switzerland

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Staff Wanted

The Swiss Guard in the Vatican is expanded from 110 to 135 men. The small army is, therefore, looking for personnel, which is difficult to find nowadays, because they have to be catholic, male, unmarried and of Swiss nationality. The Guard was founded in 1506 and is the only military organization in another country where … Read more » “Staff Wanted”

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History of a Great Festival

The Fête des Vignerons (Unesco World Heritage) is a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation since the 18th century in the canton of Vaud in a region that stretches from Pully to Lavey near Valais. It all started in the 17th century. Vevey, which is located on the main European trade … Read more » “History of a Great Festival”

Quotes

Direct democracy means much more than occasionally consulting the public. In a sense, each voting citizen is a politician and politically active, just to different degrees. Direct democracy is an embracive, relatively confusing, sometimes time-consuming, delicately balanced, permanently rotating and constantly changing mechanism, whose purpose is to include in the decision-making process all those who must live with the consequences of the decision. It is of immense value, but only functions when everyone who wants to be a part of it has an idea how it functions. W. Thurnherr, The Swiss Confederation. A Brief Guide 2018. Bern, 2018.

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