Kurt Messmer16.11.2023On 16 November 1848, the first Federal Council elections were held – a unique event in Europe at that time. The composition of the first national government is striking. And who wouldn’t have wanted to be friends with Stefano Franscini?
Kurt Messmer31.07.2023Young nations need long histories. In 1891, the Federal Council of Switzerland, a 43-year-old state at the time, somewhat arbitrarily decided the country went back 600 years, even assigning its foundation to a specific day, 1 August. Without delving too much into the dogma, the story goes something like this.
Kurt Messmer18.07.2023Here is a simple test. The pilgrimage church of Hergiswald at the foot of Mount Pilatus contains a visually stunning depiction of biblical scenes from the baroque period, circa 1650. What response does this cultural-historical cosmos elicit from you?
Kurt Messmer21.02.2023Over is over. The past is finished, set, unchangeable. History, on the other hand, is open, vivid, changeable, and thus disputable. Is there any such thing as certain knowledge? Yes – just not for ever.
Kurt Messmer12.12.2022Five years of acrimonious struggle, city-cantons versus rural cantons, six attempts at a resolution, and finally an agreement stamped with the seals of the eight old towns, valid at the same time for the two new ones, Fribourg and Solothurn. It’s pretty special. It’s probably part of who we are, even now. A derivation with possible interpretations.
Kurt Messmer03.11.2022A walking tour of Obwalden’s principal town. A connection, a story, emerges from the juxtaposition of locations and features. It recounts the history of a dynasty, typical for Central Switzerland, embodied in buildings. Four generations of Imfelds.
Kurt Messmer15.08.2022The Greek myths are a treasure chamber of human possibilities and limits. A little foray into the life of Heracles, the greatest hero of them all, provides ample evidence of this. The setting is archaic and mythical; the knowledge gained is ageless.
Kurt Messmer29.04.2022On Labour Day, we celebrate the glories of work. We raise a glass to the workers, but also to the chroniclers, artists and photographers. The pictorial sources they created show people at work throughout the centuries.