Anna Göldi was one of the last victims of the superstitious belief in witches in Europe. The trial took place in Glarus, today in Switzerland. The conservative Republic of Glarus had been very reticent on holding witch trials throughout the entire crazy period. Historians had been puzzled for a long time why a witch trial should have been held as late as 1782 in a place with almost no witch trials taking place previously. In 2007, they discovered proof that there had been two connected trials going on at the same time.
Neuchatel is a beautiful little town in Switzerland situated on Lake Neuchatel, but it is a city. It was an anachronistic holdover from the middle ages well into the 19th century. It's feudal past almost brought newly founded Switzerland and the Kingdom of Prussia to declare war on each other in the middle of the 19th century. Today, it has a university and is a center for tourists visiting the beautiful lakeside countryside and the Jura Mountains.
Swiss national hero William (Wilhelm) Tell might be one of the best known national heroes in the world. His famous shot at an apple placed on his son’s head inspired writers and composers from different countries. Operas, poems, dramas, books, and comics have been produced in several languages. It's Batman and Robin with crossbow and arrow.
The small village of Arlesheim is situated on the outskirts of the city of Basel in Switzerland. Mainly a farming community, it contains a cathedral and a town center built in the 17th century, two castles, and a large English garden. Arlesheim is worth a visit for its sights alone, but a must for music lovers to hear the world-famous Silbermann organ in the cathedral.
The Forcellina and Lunghin Passes together build a crossroad with the Septimer Pass. The Forcellina Pass starts in the Avers Valley to end north of the culmination point of the Septimer Pass; the Lunghin Pass starts in the Engadin to reach a point slightly more to the north on the same pass. Like the Septimer Pass, they are a paradise for hikers and mountain-bikers.
This is the legend of Saint Nicolas (or Santa Claus) as it is told in Switzerland. The legend probably dates from the 11th century, sometime after the worship of Saint Nicolas was introduced into the Holy Roman Empire by Empress Theophanu. She had brought the saint's story and his worship with her from her native Constantinople.
Everybody knows London, where the kings and queens of England were crowned and where the United Kingdom crowns kings and queens to this day. We know Rome where emperors were crowned for a thousand years. Most might know Aachen as the place where the kings of the Eastern Franks were crowned. But do you know Solothurn, where the kings of Burgundy were crowned for over 500 years?
Switzerland is a country with four main languages. 75 years ago, Romansh was recognized as the fourth national language by ballot. Since then, it has been declared a dead language many times over. If you visit the Engadin Valley in Grisons, it will show that the language is alive and kicking. It is alive thanks to the children of migrant workers living there.
Emperors, Kings, and other rulers had the prerogative of granting the right to hold markets and fairs. Markets were regular affairs held on a specific day of the week every week; fairs were intended to be much larger and would be held over several days or even weeks once a year. Both were intended to strengthen local business and provide additional tax income.
According to Swiss history writing, the foundations for modern Switzerland date to 1291. The date being conveniently close to the dissolution of the Order of the Knights Templar many see a connection between the two in later developments. Did the Knights Templar bring their legendary treasure to Switzerland and made it as rich as it is?
The city of Fribourg is located only 20 miles from Bern, but is today mainly French speaking though it started out as a German (or Alemannic) speaking city. It boasts the only Catholic University in Switzerland and has retained its medieval character throughout the city to this day. If you want to get a feeling for the lifestyle 600 years back, this is the place to visit.
The Swiss city of Lausanne is best known as the world’s Olympic capital; sometimes it is called the World Sports Capital as well because it houses both the International Olympic Committee as well as the CAS. But it is also a charming small town on Lake Geneva with a friendly population that makes you feel very much at home anytime you visit.
Geneva is mostly seen as the seat of the United Nations and the International Red Cross. This is flattering, but it is also a very old city full of history with a unique international charm. At some time or another, it was capital to three kingdoms, home to a handful of saints and to many more less saintly. Situated on Lake Geneva (in French Lac Leman), it is a beautiful place to spend some days of a holiday.
The Swiss city of St Gallen is linked with high quality embroideries used by leading fashion designers around the world. It is also a beautiful town with a long history and a picturesque historic city center. At its very center stands the magnificent monastery dedicated to St Gall with its baroque cathedral and UNESCO World Heritage library.
Basel is a cultural center with more than 60 museums. The city's special geographical situation bordering both Germany and France has brought forth peculiarities, such as three railway stations in the town center and a trinational airport. It is also a city steeped in legend, most of which is fervently believed by its inhabitants.