James Blake Wiener06.02.2024It’s often forgotten that Locarno was a hotspot of confessional strife. The Locarnese Protestants and their subsequent expulsion in 1555 precipitated significant comment and a high degree of interconfessional distrust among the Swiss Confederates.
James Blake Wiener11.01.2024The life of Henry Hotze is largely unknown in Switzerland. Born in Zürich, Hotze emigrated to the United States. Later, he became the Confederacy's chief propagandist in Europe during the U.S. Civil War.
James Blake Wiener12.12.2023In August 1854, Giovanni Antonio Palla from Cevio and Tommaso Pozzi from Coglio returned to Ticino after becoming wealthy through mining in the Australian state of Victoria. News of their arrival spread like a wildfire. Though few of the 2000 Ticinese in the Australian Gold Rush of the 1850s would be that lucky, they left a unique imprint upon the country.
James Blake Wiener14.11.2023James Joyce’s impact upon world literature is profound and he wrote a sizable portion of Ulysses in Zürich – a city that he enjoyed immensely and called home several times during his tumultuous life.
James Blake Wiener19.09.2023Around 400 years ago, scholars began to address the education of deaf people and developed sign language for the first time. Switzerland played an interesting, complex and perhaps outsized role in this process.
James Blake Wiener02.03.2023From peasant’s son to almost Pope: Matthäus Schiner (c. 1465-1522), who came from the Upper Valais, was a decisive figure in European politics during the height of Swiss power in Europe. He remains controversial to this day.
James Blake Wiener22.11.2022The Walsers migrated outwards to settle and tame uncultivated pastures in the harsh high altitudes of the Alps between c. 1150-1450. This migration represents one of the last great movements of peoples during the Middle Ages, and the legacy of Walser resourcefulness still looms large in Swiss culture.
James Blake Wiener10.11.2022On 13 November 1475, the Valaisans and their Confederate allies defeated the powerful army of Savoy at the gates of Sion. Their victory in the now little-known «Battle on the Planta» was of great importance for the Confederation and decisive for its successes in the Burgundian Wars.