12 dates that shaped the history of Switzerland

From Roman times, when viticulture was born, to the "sausage incident" that sparked religious conflict across the country - without these events, Switzerland would not be what it is today. There are only 12 dates, but they have created a unique flavor and history in Switzerland.

500 years B.C. - Birth of the Helvetians

Today, Swiss coins bear the letters "Helvetica" or "CH" (Confederation Helvetica). This stands for the Helvetians, a Celtic people who settled in Switzerland around 500 years B.C. and came to control much of the country. In the l century B.C., the Roman Empire arises and Julius Caesar conquers the Helvetians.

150 years B.C. - Wine

The Swiss love wine. The Swiss love wine because of the Celtic influence. The first wine bottles date back to 150 years B.C. But history changed when the brave Romans arrived in Switzerland and began growing grapes. The now famous Lavaux vineyards are believed to have been used as far back as Roman times.

Year 1291 - Birth of the Swiss Confederation

On August 1, that year, 1291, the three cantons united to form the first Swiss Confederation, which overthrew the Habsburgs. The confederation, which originated in central Switzerland, flourished to the point where the northern and southern cantons wanted to join it. The year 1798 - The Confederation collapsed after Napoleon's troops staged a revolution.

Year 1522 - The Sausage Incident

In the 16th century, Luther's teachings and sermons divided Europe and sparked the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland. It began in Switzerland in the year 1522 when Friedrich Zwingli, pastor of Zurich's Grossminster Church, criticized the practice of fasting because a friend of his who ate a few pieces of pork for dinner was accused of heresy. Zwingli quoted Luther, who said that sausages were not forbidden in the Bible, so he could eat them if he wanted. Thus began the division of Switzerland, which led to civil war, and Switzerland became a stronghold of the Reformation during one of the most tumultuous periods of European history - and it all started with a sausage!

Kappeler Milchsuppe, 1869

Year 1648 - Independence as a neutral country

Between the creation of the Confederation and the invasion of Napoleon's revolutionary army, an important treaty was signed. The Treaty of Westphalia was signed, which gave Switzerland legal independence from the Holy Roman Empire. This treaty granted Switzerland legal independence from the Holy Roman Empire.

Year 1699 - Delicious cheese fondue

It is not known when, where or by whom cheese fondue was created, but the first recipe appeared in a book published in Zurich in the year 1699. Since then, cheese fondue has become a symbol of Switzerland and is known all over the world.

Year 1815 - Neutrality

The Treaty of Paris, signed at the Congress of Vienna, included a treaty of neutrality for Switzerland. Switzerland had maintained formal independence and neutrality since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, but neutrality was abolished when Napoleon annexed Helvetia, a puppet state, to France. Switzerland has maintained neutrality since the year 1815. Neutrality should not be confused with pacifism, as Switzerland has an army.

Year 1848 - Swiss Constitution

On September 12, the year  1848, a short-lived civil war broke out between Catholics and Protestants, resulting in the Swiss Constitution, which gave citizenship to Switzerland and the cantons.

Year 1863 - Founding of the Red Cross

The Red Cross symbolizes the Swiss ideal of neutrality. The international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement was born shortly after Henri Dunant, a wealthy businessman, visited Napoleon III to protest France's failed conquest of the Algerian market. Along the way, he witnessed the devastating Battle of Solferino, where 40,000 soldiers were left dead or badly wounded on the battlefield. Shocked by this sight, Dunant returned to Geneva to found the International Committee of the Red Cross and begin an international campaign to make Switzerland, and Geneva in particular, home to the world's largest humanitarian organization.

1875 - Daniel Peter invents milk chocolate

This invention defined the history of Switzerland. Chocolatier Daniel Peter developed milk chocolate by mixing milk powder with chocolate. Peter then began producing milk chocolate with Henri Nestlé. Later, Rodolphe Lindt and other Swiss chocolatiers helped Switzerland become the leading chocolate producer in the world.

1934 - Bank Secrecy Act

Let's be honest, when you think of Switzerland, the first thing that comes to mind is a Swiss bank account. The Bank Secrecy Act of the year 1934 gave bank accounts a number and ensured the anonymity of the account holder. The Swiss love of money was enshrined in law.

1971 - The right to vote for women

It has only been a little over 50 years since women were granted the right to vote in Switzerland. Switzerland was one of the last countries in Europe to grant women the right to vote. Today, Switzerland ranks low in the gender rights rankings (and is heavily criticized by the United Nations), and despite some progress, women still face persistent gender discrimination at work and at home. The suffragette movement started it, and Supraktante was a moment that changes Switzerland to this day.


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