Neuchâtel: History & Tradition

The city of Neuchâtel celebrates the first millennium of its existence in 2011.
Over the centuries, mighty empires have clashed to conquer this canton’s land. The Holy Roman, the Prussian and the Napoleonic empires have come and gone. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna recognized the King of Prussia as Prince of Neuchâtel, just as the Principality gained the status of a Swiss canton. Following the revolution of 1 March 1848, the Canton integrated fully with modern Switzerland and severed its ties to the Prussian monarchy, becoming a republic.


NE history


Tradition – Grape harvest festival

The grape harvest festival takes place on the streets of the city of Neuchâtel on the last weekend of September. It marks the start of the grape harvest in the countryside surrounding the town; in 2010, the festival was held for the 85th time. A procession with guggenmusik groups is held on the Friday evening, followed by a costumed children’s parade on the Saturday afternoon, while the Sunday features the traditional “Corso Fleuri”, another parade in traditional dress, with banners and flowers.

Read more... (only available in French)


NE history


Culinary tradition

Torrée neuchâteloise

This traditional celebration, typical of Neuchâtel, involves lighting a big fire in a field and cooking sausages and potatoes under the embers. Nowadays you can hold a torrée at any time of year, if you can find the right location. The dish was, however, traditionally eaten in during the autumn months.



NE history


Traditional products

  • Absinthe
  • Saucisse sèche aux noisettes
  • Chocolate truffles à l’Œil-de-Perdrix 
  • Sparkling wines

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Gazzetta Svizzera