The forests of Switzerland have been managed since time immemorial – and for centuries, they were also cleared on a large scale. The complex relationship between humans and the forest is immortalised in the names of towns and localities.
On 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.
Long before Switzerland became a popular tourist destination, the hot mineral springs at Baden in Aargau were a magnet for people in search of rest and relaxation. The first souvenir of Switzerland: high-profile guests and numerous travel reports carried the spa town’s reputation into the wider world.
Renowned for its beauty and ranking among the best-preserved of medieval European castles, Chillon Castle is a medieval fortress on the shores of Lake Geneva. It was the seat of the powerful Counts of Savoy until 1536, when Bernese troops seized it. Later, the castle was a source of inspiration for writers and poets.
At the Marian shrine of Oberbüren (Canton of Bern), the medieval Catholic Church offered some very special services: children who were stillborn or had died at birth were briefly brought back to life so that they could be baptised and then properly buried.