Category: switzerland

My favorite detail is the lady sharing a smile with the child. My second favorite detail is the stuffed pig, perched in the child’s lap.

Sweden fought in its last war in 1814, and Switzerland fought in its last war in 1815. So although Swiss neutrality is more famous, Sweden’s neutrality is older.

For those interested, Sweden’s last military action was an invasion to force Norway under Swedish control. Switzerland’s was fighting on Napoleon’s side until Waterloo.

Neither Sweden nor Switzerland participated in either world war, and today, neither are members of NATO.

In 1529, it looked like Switzerland would fall into war between its Protestant and Catholics. Similar religious wars, both small and large, were raging across Europe.

Switzerland’s cantons were divided by religion. To the north was the Protestant-favouring canton of Zürich, led by Martin Luther-like reformer Ulrich Zwingli, a parish overseer who was spreading reform. To the south was Zug and the allied Catholic cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy, who felt their rural union should remain aligned with the Vatican and Rome. In June of 1529 diplomacy failed and the Zürich soldiers marched south to fight.

When the armies met, negotiations between the leadership continued. Meanwhile the soldiers in both armies were hungry, and Zürich had plenty of bread and salt, while Zug had a surplus of milk from its farms. They pooled their resources to make a simple soup of milk and bread. The men who ate together would not fight against each other, and no fighting would happen that year. And the legend of the miltschuppe was born. Even today, politicians in Switzerland share miltschuppe to (symbolically) help resolve disagreements.

An international team of archaeologists and geneticists have compared the genomes obtained from 28 grape pips, discovered at nine archaeological sites in France, the oldest pip dating to some 2,500 years ago. These genomes were then compared to a modern grape DNA database. One grape seed, unearthed at a medieval site in the center of France and dated to around 1100 CE, was found to have DNA identical to Savagnin Blanc. That’s the grape used to produce a wine known in France as Vin Jaune, and in Central Europe as Traminer. The lineage of this one grape has been maintained for 900 years!

The study also found that humagne blanche, a white grape grown in the Swiss Alps, is related to grapes grown by the Romans in southern France. It confirms stories of the Romans bringing grapes and wine into Switzerland.

A couple on their honeymoon look out over a lake in Switzerland, June 26, 1948. Photographed by Bert Hardy.

Skiers passing by the Hotel Chesa Grischuna in Klosters, 1963. Photographed by Slim Aarons.

A hand made of bronze was crafted sometime around 1500 – 1400 BCE in Europe. More than a pound of bronze went into it, plus gold for a socket at the bottom. Why it was made is unknown. It may have been attached to another object, like a staff or a statue, or used as a prosthetic.

Whatever it was used for, the hand eventually ended up in the ground near Switzerland’s Lake Biel. Nearby were a bronze dagger and a rib bone. All three artifacts were uncovered by metal detectorists in October 2017.

A hand made of bronze was crafted sometime around 1500 – 1400 BCE in Europe. More than a pound of bronze went into it, plus gold for a socket at the bottom. Why it was made is unknown. It may have been attached to another object, like a staff or a statue, or used as a prosthetic.

Whatever it was used for, the hand eventually ended up in the ground near Switzerland’s Lake Biel. Nearby were a bronze dagger and a rib bone. All three artifacts were uncovered by metal detectorists in October 2017.

Manufacturing a pressure pipe, Vernayaz, Switzerland, 1938

via reddit

Teenagers in Zurich, Switzerland, 1958

via reddit