- August 1 -

Swiss National Day

The Swiss National Day (German: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French: Fete nationale Suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala Svizra) is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on 1 August. It is an official national holiday since 1994, although the day had been suggested for...

Swiss National Day

The Swiss National Day (German: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French: Fete nationale Suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala Svizra) is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on 1 August. It is an official national holiday since 1994, although the day had been suggested for the celebration of the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy as early as 1889.
The date is inspired by the date of the Federal Charter of 1291, placed in "early August", when "three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an action which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland."

The official date of birth of the Old Swiss Confederation is August, 1st 1291. This date can be found on a document of alliance whose age of more than 700 years has been confirmed by radionuclear (C14) analysis recently. It all began with a new transalpine trading route and with three small valleys in central Switzerland that had remained outside the focus of the dukes and kings for a long time.

From the 11th to the 13th centuries, many cities (among them the federal capital Berne, Lucerne, and Fribourg) were founded. Skilled craftsmen specialized in producing high quality goods and trade became more important in a society in which farmers had used to be self-suppliers for centuries. Trade gave also more importance to roads crossing the Alps, a mountain chain with peaks of up to 4000 m (12000 ft) separating central Europe from Italy and the Mediterranean Sea.
At the same time, people from the upper part of Wallis (Rhone valley) developed means to suspend wooden water pipes and catwalks in steep rocks. Some of these people from Wallis wandered east and settled in upper Uri and Graubünden (Grisons) around A.D. 1200. So the Schöllenen canyon in Uri, that had blocked the way from Lake Lucerne to St. Gotthard pass, was overcome by the new technology and a new trade route developed.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_National_Day
http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/old-swiss-confederacy-1291.html

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