Martigny (Canton Valais), Via per Alpes Poeninas, Britannia-Londinium. Foto/Photo:TES.

Great Britain and Switzerland, a European Friendship

Great Britain and Switzerland have been closely linked since Roman times. Emperor Claudius built the road over the Great St. Bernard in preparation for the Roman invasion of England in 43 A.D.

The road is the equivalent of today’s Gotthard tunnel and NEAT project. Even then, Switzerland was an essential European crossroads.

The Via per Alpes Poeninas near Martigny (Forum Claudii Vallensium), Britannia-Londinium is a reminder of this invasion.

Traders, writers and mountaineers had been visiting the country in large numbers since the end of the eighteenth century.

British engineers were also closely involved in building railways and improving the road network.

The development of tourist resorts and wellness centres, grand-hotels and summer and winter sports after 1850 in Switzerland was mainly a British affair.

Good relations between the two countries remain fully intact to this day. Trade, innovation, the world’s best universities and research centres, a global mentality and, above all, a functioning (direct) democracy and an aversion to megalomaniacal projects and dreams have created bonds between the two countries over the centuries.