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The “Rütli of the Fifth Switzerland” celebrates 30 years of existence

04.02.2022 – PD/MUL

A small commemoration took place in Brunnen (SZ) at Lake Lucerne in November in honour of the Area for the Swiss Abroad set up in 1991. It represents a piece of home for all Swiss living abroad.

The 5,400 square metre area on the shores of Lake Lucerne is a place of “great emotional significance”, said Alex Hauenstein, at the celebration on 18 November 2021. Hauenstein, President of the Area for the Swiss Abroad foundation, recalled how many Swiss all over the world have a connection to the square: many of them contributed financially to the purchase of this small piece of Switzerland. The location is often referred to as the “Rütli of the Fifth Switzerland” due to its symbolism.

Petra Föllmi plays the accordion – and President Alex Hauenstein (left) and his deputy Norbert Mettler (right) appear in good spirits. Photo: Josias Clavadetscher

Petra Steimen, President of Schwyz cantonal government, also emphasised this significance in her address. She spoke of a “point of reference” and a “place of longing” for Swiss Abroad. Irène May, mayor of Ingenbohl (Brunnen, SZ, is in Ingenbohl municipality), also pointed out that the square contributes to the quality of life of Brunnen’s inhabitants too: children fly their kites, older people walk by the lake and partygoers let off steam there.

The Area was opened in May 1991, the 700th year of the Confederation. The choice of Brunnen as a location is also significant, as it is prominent in the emergence of Switzerland as a country. Leading figures from Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden met there a number of times. The gradual establishment and development of the Confederation thus began in Brunnen. The Federal Charter drafted in Brunnen on 9 December 1315, known as the “Morgartenbrief” in Swiss history books, bears witness to that

The Federal Charter drawn up in Brunnen in 1315, also known as the “Morgartenbrief“, contains the first known mention of the word “Eitgenoze“. (Confederation).

At the event, Foundation President Alex Hauenstein also expressed his hope that the square in Brunnen would continue to represent the allegiance of Swiss Abroad to the Confederation and their connection to their home country as well as uniting the Swiss living in Switzerland with their fellow citizens in near and more far-flung foreign locations |

Picture  The Area of the Swiss Abroad in Brunnen – on the shores of Lake Lucerne. Photo Axel B. Bott, Symedya