Michael van Orsouw27.02.2024Alberik Zwyssig (1808–1854), the musical monk from Uri who composed the Swiss Psalm, had an unhappy life. And then, after his death, his remains were dug up and reburied during the Second World War.
Michael van Orsouw04.12.2023Marie Josse d’Hemel was a distinguished lady who married a Lucerne patrician. She is also said to have died twice. The first time a gravedigger wanted to steal her expensive clothes, which prompted her to return from the dead and live on for another 20 years – a cautionary tale for any would-be grave robbers.
Michael van Orsouw24.08.2023Sisi, the famous Empress Elisabeth, was a much more frequent visitor to Switzerland than previously known. She visited the Bernese Oberland in 1892, where she very much enjoyed a local product normally used as pig feed...
Michael van Orsouw06.07.2023Nowadays, the VW camper van has cult status. It was invented by a Dutchman named Bernadus Pon who spent a lot of time in Switzerland after building a villa there. In 1965, Pon, who by then had become very wealthy, gifted every schoolchild in a small Swiss village with a savings account.
Michael van Orsouw13.06.2023Celebrated actor-director Charlie Chaplin died in 1977 and was buried in the cemetery at Corsier-sur-Vevey. But then, grave robbers dug up his body and demanded large sums of money from the family for its return. A macabre story that could have come straight from one of Chaplin's films, but did in fact happen.
Michael van Orsouw11.05.2023César Ritz was not only a pioneering Swiss hotelier, he also established a luxurious way of life that was immortalised in a song. ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ became a global hit after Ritz himself had sadly died following a decades-long battle with depression.
Michael van Orsouw27.04.2023Roman Scherer’s highly specialised factory in Kriens manufactured wood type for the whole world – including for Pravda, the official newspaper of Russia’s Communist party in Moscow.
Michael van Orsouw31.08.2022In 1909 the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph visited Switzerland. It could have been an official state visit with the mighty Emperor, but it turned out just a “courtesy call”. The Emperor didn’t set foot on Swiss soil, and was gone again after just a quarter of an hour. A strange episode in Swiss foreign affairs.