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Formerly simple agricultural land, today Canton Schwyz is valued for its rich cultural heritage. The people of Schwyz foster a traditional, varied cultural life which is also open to new cultural forms. The canton’s broad cultural offering is complemented by those of nearby Zurich and Lucerne.  

Einsiedeln Monastery

The Benedictine monastery of Einsiedeln ranks amongst Switzerland’s most important historical centres of thought and culture. Founded in 934, the monastery was extended, modified and rebuilt on a number of occasions during the ensuing centuries before finally receiving its beautiful Baroque appearance in 1735. Renowned throughout the world as a place of pilgrimage and a station on the Way of St. James, Einsiedeln draws numerous pilgrims and other visitors all year round.   

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Legacy of the Old Confederacy

Canton Schwyz is a founding canton of Switzerland – and even lends its name to the country itself. The Federal Charter of the Confederates dating from 1291 is kept at the Museum of Swiss Charters in Schwyz. This document represents the earliest written record of Swiss independence. The Battle of Morgarten of 1315, which served to reinforce the Old Confederacy’s independence from the House of Habsburg, is depicted on the facade of Schwyz town hall. The historical Ital Reding Estate in Schwyz is also well worth a visit and ranks amongst the canton’s most highly prized architectural legacies.

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William Tell - national hero

William Tell is Switzerland’s most important legendary figure. A respectable mountain farmer, he resisted the tyrannical bailiff, Heinrich Gessler and, thanks to his prowess with the crossbow, ambushed and killed the despot in the Hohle Gasse (Hollow Way) near Küssnacht. Tell’s blow for liberty sparked a rebellion by the Old Confederacy around 1300, in which he played a leading part. This initial stage of the uprising culminated in the Battle of Morgarten of 1315 (see above).

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Stradivarius collection

The local history museum in Gersau houses the world’s largest collection of Stradivarius instruments. The museum is located in Gersau town hall, a building of historical interest in its own right. Aside from the Stradivarius collection, the venerable edifice is also home to displays featuring Gersau silk spinning, as well as two of Gersau’s famous sons, the writer and poet Josef Maria Camenzind and the composer Beno Ammann.  

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Vögele Cultural Centre 

The Vögele Cultural Centre acts as a platform for the key issues of our times. The centre hosts large-scale thematic exhibitions exploring the wider aspects of art and culture, with the programme of exhibitions drawing a broad audience.    

More information may be found in the Service Box.