Today (1st August) is Swiss National Day, so I’d like to wish everyone, and especially my Swiss followers (er, Tammy, I think that’s you) a very wonderful day. 🙂
It’s also very timely, (and I couldn’t have planned it better), that I publish something about a little place which Jude and I visited last week called Rütli. I doubt non-Swiss (and even some Swiss) citizens could tell you about the significant part that it played in the history of this beautiful country. It’s not even a town or a small village, but a simple meadow, which can only be reached by boat or hiking path.
As the story goes, back in 1291, representatives from the 3 cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden (today split into Obwalden and Nidwalden) met there in secrecy to renew their pact to oppose the constraints placed on them by the Hapsburg nobility. Effectively it was the first federal treaty and formed the beginnings of the modern state of Switzerland.
Soon after, those 3 would be joined by the cantons of Lucerne (in 1332), Zurich (1351), Glarus & Zug (1352) and Bern (in 1353). The 26th and last canton to join the federation, the Jura, you may be surprised to learn, was as late as 1979.
For the 700th anniversary, a Swiss path was commissioned, to run around the lake from Rütli to Brunnen. It is divided into 26 cantonal sections, whose sequence corresponds to the order in which they joined the Confederation and the length of each section is based upon the number of people living in each canton in 1991 – with 5mm representing each inhabitant. Marker stones are placed at the appropriate points to show the change from one canton to the next. (See map and pics below).
I’ve also added a picture of our tent, to prove that we were camping. Lastly, I’d like to wish all fellow Yorkshire folk a happy Yorkshire day too ! 🙂