The Rhine

Der Rhein bei Schaffhausen. Foto: TES.

The Rhine was and is a river of borders and connections simultaneously. The significance of the Rhine for politics, trade, culture, language, religion and conflicts is complex. The Rhine patiently flowed from its source at the Gotthard Massiv to the North Sea for millennia. The peoples and countries on both banks of the Rhine were … Read more » “The Rhine”

Swiss Mercenaries

Jost Vital Troxler (1827-1893), Louis Wyrsch, Alias “Borneo Louis”. Collectie en foto Museum Nidwalden, Stans.

From the mid-fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, soldiers of the Eidgenossenschaft were the most sought-after export product. The prestige of these mercenaries’ fighting spirit, courage, and armament rose to unprecedented heights after the defeats they inflicted on the most powerful armies: Habsburg in 1315, 1386, 1415, 1460 and 1499 and the mighty Duchy of Burgundy … Read more » “Swiss Mercenaries”

Smoke on the Water

Recording of the Concert of Frank Zappa and the Mothers after their last song 'King Kong'. Source: T.U.B.E.

One of the greatest success stories in the history of rock music was written in Montreux (canton of Vaud) in Switzerland. On 4 December 1971, fifty years ago, at 16.20 in the afternoon, the fire alarm went off in the famous Casino. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were finishing their last song when … Read more » “Smoke on the Water”