Sometimes the past is so complex, diverse or extensive that it needs more than one article. For these cases, we have created series that deal with one topic in several articles.
Louise and Leopold
In 1902, Crown Princess Louise and Archduke Leopold of Austria-Tuscany fled to Switzerland. The siblings sought to escape from their straitjacketed life in the bosom of the Habsburg family. They succeeded, but their lives became a scandal-plagued descent into a normal middle-class existence, and ultimately ended in poverty and loneliness.
In Switzerland, the runaway Habsburgs Louise and Leopold deliberately laid false trails in order to continue hiding their whereabouts. But their efforts were unsuccessful, and the scandal shocked the aristocracy and the public throughout Europe.
After fleeing to Switzerland, Leopold settled there permanently and became a citizen of the city of Zug. His wife, on the other hand, preferred to spend her time at Monte Verità, a Mecca for alternative lifestylers. It wasn’t long before the storm clouds started gathering…
Leopold Wölfling remarried, and his bride was once again a lady with a dubious reputation. And his naturalisation became problematic. His sister Louise, now also living in Switzerland, was presented with an opportunity to take revenge on the royal house of Saxony…
The former Archduke Leopold was still a citizen of Regensdorf, but spent years embroiled in arguments with the Regensdorf municipality, while Louise remarried, and fled back to Switzerland when her marriage became rocky.
An elevator to the 3,700-metre summit of the Wetterhorn. At the beginning of the 20th century, this was one engineer’s dream. His dream did eventually come true, even if not in its entirety: in 1908 Switzerland welcomed its first aerial cableway for passenger transport.
Today, pedestrians almost always have right of way. That hasn’t always been the case. Since the first zebra crossing was installed in Basel in 1948, however, pedestrian road use has become a lot safer.
In 1853 efforts got under way to ‘break the stone’ that stood between the cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn. Five years later the Hauenstein, Switzerland’s first real railway tunnel, was opened.
We mentally associate schwingen, traditional Swiss wrestling, with brawny herdsmen fighting a clean fight in idyllic mountain surroundings. But it’s not as straightforward as that. Urban dwellers played a bigger role in popularising the sport than one might think.
Around 1880, women here and there in Switzerland picked up boxing gloves for the first time. With their efforts initially dismissed as circus sideshows, women battled until the 1990s to be allowed to box competitively.