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.
James Blake Wiener01.11.2022In 926, the notorious Magyars raided and sacked the town and monastery of St. Gall. Thereafter, monks in St. Gall wrote and preserved the most detailed and oldest first-hand descriptions of the Magyar invasions of Western Europe.
James Blake Wiener03.10.2022During the Counter-Reformation, Switzerland’s Catholic cantons cultivated strong ties with Spain to counter Protestant ambitions. The “Spanish Road” – a vital artery for the Spanish war effort during the Eighty Years' War – ran directly through Switzerland for a brief period of time.
James Blake Wiener09.09.2022The Old Swiss Confederation won a stunning military victory over France at the Battle of Novara in June 1513. Following up on their successes in Italy, the Swiss and their Swabian allies successfully besieged the city of Dijon in September 1513, which marks the apex of Swiss power across Western Europe.
James Blake Wiener14.03.2022In 1900, the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler created three frescoes the armory hall of the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. Hodler ignored the wishes of his patrons and sparked a nationwide controversy with the composition of the picture for his work «The Retreat from Marignano».