In 1531, two years after the legendary Milchsuppe (milk soup) incident, a battle took place at Kappel after all. The Protestants suffered a crushing defeat, and were forced to abandon their dreams of an exclusively Protestant Switzerland.
Peter Viktor von Besenval was born 300 years ago. A Swiss baron and a mercenary officer in the service of the French crown, Besenval was a passionate collector of objets d’art and plants, and a notorious ladies’ man.
Between 1815 and 1914 around 7,600 Swiss mercenaries served in the Dutch colonial army. In search of work and adventure, they aided the violent expansion of the Dutch colonial empire in what is now Indonesia.
On 10 September 1898, Luigi Lucheni murdered the Austrian Empress Sisi in Geneva. After his arrest, he asked to be beheaded. The Swiss judiciary refused his request. In the end, though, the anarchist did lose his head…
Salt is much more than just a seasoning. Salt is essential to life, and therefore a valuable commodity. For centuries Switzerland was dependent on salt imports. In 1836, a determined German drilling specialist and ‘salinist’ changed that for good.