Der imaginäre Hut des Landvogts Gessler. Prangins Nationalmuseum. Photo/Foto: TES.

William Tell

The story of William Tell (Wilhelm Tell) is well known. Whether he existed or not is not relevant.

One does not have to take the legend of Romulus and Remus or the Goddess Athena seriously to give them the credit of founding Rome and Greece.

The story of William Tell is relevant as far as it concerns the historical circumstances of the Alpine peasant communities.

One can not deny that the Swiss Confederation exists and that the roots go back to the medieval cooperating of rural  communities and cities. These Orte and cantons and their citizens founded present-day Switzerland in 1815 and 1848.

The ‘what if’ anachronical question is not relevant, nor does the truth of the Tell-story matter.

He is one of the most influential (lenegdary) personalities of Swiss history and even an international symbol of freedom.

The Tell monument and the Tell museum in Bürglen and the Tell monument in his home town Altdorf tell his story. (Source and further information: