The Zellweger in Trogen

The textile trade changed life in Trogen (Appenzell Ausserrhoden) in the 18th century.

The Zellweger family in particular shaped the town and its trade. The great wealth they acquired in international trade was partly invested in their home town.

They founded social, cultural and educational institutions and built magnificent palaces. The palaces on the Landsgemeindeplatz speak for themselves.

The success story began in 1726 with the founding of the textile trading company “Gebrüder Zellweger”. The trading network expanded to Malta, Cadiz, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Glasgow, Hamburg, Königsberg, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kaluga, Istanbul and Rijeka, as well as imports and exports from and to North- and South America.

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Rapperswil, Habsburg and the Confederation

The original residence of the Counts of Rapperswil was in Altensdorf (Schwyz Canton). The counts profited from the important trade route over the mountain passes in Graubünden to Lombardy and Venice.

The Counts settled on the hill of today’s castle in Rapperswil in 1220. It is the origin of the town. The opening of the Schöllenschlucht around 1220 opened up a more direct transit route over the Gotthard and probably played a role in this change. The lucrative pilgrimage route to Einsiedeln via Rapperwil may also have been a motive.

Rapperswil has been an independent city parish since 1253; previously the church was under the control of the Pfäfers monastery. The first (Romanesque) church was built on the castle hill in 1229.

The dukes of Austria, the Habsburgs, took control of the city in 1354.  Rapperswil became a free imperial city in 1415.

The town entered into an alliance with the Confederation (Eidgenossenschaft) in 1458. The Orte Schwyz, Glarus, Uri and Unterwalden (1464-1712) and later Bern, Glarus and Zurich (1712-1798) were the ‘supervisors’ (Schirmorte).

The canton of St. Gallen was founded in 1803 and town of Rapperswil became the owner of the castle.

The neo-Gothic church with the dissimilar Romanesque-Gothic towers was built after the fire in 1882.

Sargans Castle

Sargans Castle was built around 1100 by the Counts of Werdenberg-Sargans. The fortifications were gradually expanded.

The first inhabitants were the counts of Montfort, who lived here from the 13th to the 15th century. The last Count sold the county and castle to the Swiss Confederation in 1483. From 1483 to 1798, the bailiffs of the Eidgenossenschaft resided in the castle.

It was not until the French Revolution in 1798 that the power of the Confederation came to an end and the last bailiff left the castle in 1798.

The new canton of St. Gallen became the new owner of the castle.