Disc fibula, gold, bronze and semi-precious stone, end of 6th century AD, Oberbuchsiten SO

How the “Röstigraben”came to be

This brooch, called a fibula, belonged to a woman living in what is today the canton of Solothurn around the year AD 600. It is made of gold and set with semi-precious stones.The fibula was used to fasten a cloak over the wearer’s chest–a fashion the Germanic tribes had brought to Switzerland.

The Germanic migration not only brought changes in fashion, customs, and diet to Switzerland, but also multilingualism. While the Alemannians imposed their own language on the north of the country, the Germanic tribes of the Langobards and Burgundians in the south and southwest adopted the Latin language of the local population. So it is thanks to the Germans that Switzerland is divided into German-speaking and Romance-speaking residents today.

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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). The permanent exhibitions at the museums present Swiss history from its beginnings to the present, and give an insight into Swiss identities and the rich tapestry of our country’s history and culture. Temporary exhibitions on current topics add to the experience.

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