by Max Barry

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by The Kingdom of -The Alpine Confederation-. . 15 reads.

The Swiss

Pro Helvetia supports and disseminates Swiss arts and culture. We have a worldwide reach through our global network and stimulate cultural production.

Switzerland lies at the crossroads of several major European cultures. Three of the continent's major languages, German, French and Italian, are national languages of Switzerland, along with Romansh, spoken by a small minority. Therefore, Swiss culture is characterized by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of traditional customs. The 26 cantons also account for the large cultural diversity.

Not withstanding the regional disparities, the Alps have played an essential role in shaping the history and culture of Switzerland. The region of the Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Duchy of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. Nowadays, all mountain areas of Switzerland have a strong skiing and mountaineering culture and are associated with folk arts such as the alphorn and yodeling. Other Swiss cultural icons include Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese, watches, cowbells, banking, and the Swiss Army knives.


Folk Arts

    Folk Arts
    Arts folkloriques

    Although there is reasonable doubt whether William Tell ever lived at all, the legend itself had a great impact on the history and culture of Switzerland (statue in Altdorf)



    Folk Hero


    German (Modern Standard, Classical)


    Ink Pen
    Lead Pencil

    Folk art is kept alive in organizations all over the country. In Switzerland, it is mostly expressed in music, dance, poetry, wood carving and embroidery. There are also many regional and local rites demarcating times of the year. Yodeling, despite being stereotypical for Switzerland, is not widespread and is limited to only some mountain areas. The same is true for the accordion, which is sometimes called by the name Schwiizerörgeli, implying that it was a Swiss musical instrument, rather than the German Handorgel.

    The alphorn, or the alpenhorn, is a trumpet-like musical instrument made of wood. The use of the alphorn is seen mainly in mountainous regions, can be very popular in some areas, and like yodeling or the accordion, it has become an emblem of traditional Swiss music.The melodies of folk music vary between regions. Generally those in pastoral areas are floating and wide-ranging. In the inner and southern Alps, however, the melodies are more songlike, and of more limited range. Common and popular themes are about love and the homeland, but patriotic and pastoral themes, as well as hunting themes, are also commonplace.The Alpine folk culture is characterized by very expressive dances. Small musical ensembles can be found in the more mountainous areas, particularly in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The most common form of woodcarving is chip carving. Such carving is normally for the decoration of everyday objects, such as milk stools, neckbands for bells, wooden spoons, or walking sticks.

    Figure carving is also common, particularly of Nativity figures. In some areas, the façades of houses are richly decorated using woodcarving. This is widespread in the Bernese Oberland region where Protestant Christianity predominates. In Roman Catholic regions, this is far less common. Embroidery is common on traditional clothing, particularly women's clothing. Embroidery is often limited to prominent points, such as cuffs, hats and scarves. Embroidery is also used for the decoration of fabric. In the past, embroidery was a home industry in the northeast and the east of Switzerland. Nowadays, embroidery is confined to tourism, as traditional clothes are no longer in use.

    On certain autumn nights, children's processions with lanterns are common in Alemannic Switzerland. Lanterns (called Rääbeliechtli "turnip light") are hand-carved from root vegetables, generally turnips, by removing the interior and putting a candle inside. The Rääbeliechtli is carved with designs such as the traditional sun, moon and stars. The lantern is then suspended by three chains. The children walk through the streets of their town with the lanterns and sing traditional songs. The custom originates with thanksgiving traditions at the end of harvest in November. This tradition is very similar to the tradition of carving turnip lanterns for halloween in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man (where they call halloween Hop-tu-Naa, and have traditional songs), and parts of England and Wales. There the celebration is on 31 October to celebrate the eve of the Celtic New Year.

    One of the most Important Folke Tale of the swiss is, William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. According to the legend, Tell was an expert marksman with the crossbow who assassinated Albrecht Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of the Austrian dukes of the House of Habsburg positioned in Altdorf, in the canton of Uri. Tell's defiance and tyrannicide encouraged the population to open rebellion
    and a pact against the foreign rulers with neighbouring Schwyz and Unterwalden,
    marking the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy.

    Flags are widely used in Switzerland as in a use of National Identity and Pride, thie is some of the following officially recognized flags that are used in Switzerland;

    The Official Flag, The Swiss Duchy, is the official flag of Switzerland, but is not as widely used.

    The most used flag in Switzerland is the Confederation Flag, It was the fist Swiss flag and is used widely over the nation, this flag is also used in the seal of the National Council.

    A Canton flag, The Nidwalden Flag, is used by the canton, Nidwalden. Traditional culture in Nidwalden has been kept alive by many local organisations. There is traditional music, yodeling, dances, theaters and festivals. There are also a number of modern cultural events, such a concerts and galleries.


    A Canton flag, The Glarus Pilgrim, is used by the canton, Glarus. The Flag features a a pilgrim walking towards the dexter argent, habited sable, holding in his dexter hand a staff, in his sinister hand a bible, and about his head a halo, the majority of the population (81%)
    identifies as Christian which symbolizes the canton's spirituality.

Die Architektur
l' Architecture

Einsiedeln Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the village of Einsiedeln in the canton of Schwyz, Switzerland.





Monastery Benedictine


    There is a strong architectural tradition in Switzerland. The Romanesque style of the 12th century can be found in the cathedrals of Basel, Sion, Chur, Geneva, Zürich and Schaffhausen. This style, which is rich in expression, can also be found on many castles and fortresses around the country, many of which preserved in a good condition. The cathedrals of Lausanne and Bern are of the Gothic style, and the churches of Einsiedeln and St. Gallen are of Baroque style. During the Renaissance, a large number of architectural masters gave their talents to Italy. Most of these came from the southern canton of Ticino. The Prisons near the Doge's Palace in Venice and the Rialto Bridge in Venice were built by Antonio da Ponte. The Bridge of Sighs in Venice was built by Antonio Contino, and Domenico Fontana (1543–1607) designed the entire Lateran Palace in Naples as well as the façade of the St. John Lateran Church and the Royal Palace in the same city. Fontana's nephew Carlo Maderno was an architect to Pope Paul V. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, the gallery of the Palazzo Spada and the Filippini monastery were built by Francesco Borromini, and Carlo Fontana was responsible for the façade of San Marcello al Corso and the Montecitorio Palace; Baldassare Longhena, from Maroggia, built the church of Santa Maria della Salute, the Rezzonico and the Widmann palaces; all in Venice.

    Giliardi and Oldelli families from Ticino set up architecture practices in Russia. Giovanni Giliardi built The Orphanage in Moscow, and his son Domenico Giliardi was in charge of the rebuilding Moscow public buildings, including the University, after the Great Fire of 1812. Domenico Trezzini built many places in St. Petersburg by the orders of Peter the Great; Pietro Trezzini (not related to Domenico) continued the tradition in 1740s. Early in the 20th century, a new movement, called the Style Sapin, was created by the architect and painter Charles l'Eplattenier in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

    It was a variation of Art Nouveau, and it became popularly known as the Style Sapin, or pine tree style, since l'Eplatennier insisted that the best model for art and architecture in the region was the pine tree, along with the other native plants and trees of the Jura mountains. Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret), was a student of l'Eplattenier, and at the age of eighteen built his first house, a chalet with a pine tree decorative design, in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He became a major force in western modern architecture in the 20th century. Distinctive architecture of high quality can be found around Switzerland.
    It is often considered as particularly innovative
    modern architecture. Mario Botta is a famous architect who influenced modern architecture. The architects Jacques Herzog
    and Pierre de Meuron from Basel received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2001, and in 2009 the prize was
    awarded to Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.



    The Old City of Bern, is the medieval city center of Bern, Switzerland. Built on a narrow hill bordered on three sides by the river Aare, its compact layout has remained essentially unchanged since its construction during the twelfth to the fifteenth century.

    The Abbey of Saint Gall, is a dissolved abbey (747–1805) in a Catholic religious complex in the city of St. Gallen in Switzerland.

    The Castles of Bellinzona tare a group of fortifications located around the town of Bellinzona.

    The Abbey of Saint John is an ancient Benedictine monastery in the Swiss municipality of Val Müstair

    The Landwasser Viaduct is a single-track six-arched curved limestone railway viaduct. It spans the Landwasser between Schmitten and Filisur

    The La Chaux-de-Fonds is a Swiss city in the canton of Neuchâtel. It is located in the Jura mountains at an altitude of 1000 m, a few kilometers south of the French border.

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