Various human-shaped stelas with jewelry, weapons and tools.
Birth of the Warriors

Stone stelas from Neolithic Europe tell of a new social class: the heavily armed warriors who were supposed to protect the property of the elites.

The Swiss in front of Bellinzona and its castles, 1422.
Bellinzona’s Castles

The Castles of Bellinzona count among the most outstanding examples of heavy military architecture in the Alpine region. Because they safeguarded access to the Alpine passes, these late-medieval castles were of considerable value to the Duchy of Milan and coveted by the Old Swiss Confederation.

Soldiers of the Dutch colonial army during the Aceh War (1873-1912) in northeast Sumatra, in which numerous Swiss mercenaries were also involved.
Swiss mercenaries in the Dutch colonial army

Between 1815 and 1914 around 7,600 Swiss mercenaries served in the Dutch colonial army. In search of work and adventure, they aided the violent expansion of the Dutch colonial empire in what is now Indonesia.

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Three museums – the National Museum Zurich, the Castle of Prangins and the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz – as well as the collections centre in Affoltern am Albis – are united under the umbrella of the Swiss National Museum (SNM).