Exhibition

History of Switzerland

Exhibition

The new, 1,000-m2 Swiss history exhibition depicts how Switzerland came to be over a period of 550 years. The tour through the centuries begins in the late Middle Ages and ends with the challenges facing democratic institutions in the present. The exhibition illustrates the journey from a confederation of states to a federal state as a struggle for identity. In addition, it crosses a time boundary that is often considered taboo for historical museums: It dares to examine contemporary history.

Guided tours

Su 29.9.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

History of Switzerland

Su 6.10.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 20.10.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 10.11.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 17.11.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 24.11.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 1.12.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 8.12.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 15.12.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 22.12.2019

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 5.1.2020

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 12.1.2020

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 19.1.2020

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

Su 26.1.2020

11:00 – 12:00 Uhr

Guided tour

«History of Switzerland»

‘Landesmuseum’ app

With the free ‘Landesmuseum’ app, you can listen to the audio guides to the exhibitions on your own Smartphone. An innovative guide navigates you through the Museum.

App Store   Google Play

 

 

Guided tours can be arranged outside opening hours: Mon between 9.30 am and 6 pm, Tue to Fri between 9.30 am and 7.45 pm. Sat and Sun between 10 am and 5 pm

Registration:  

 2 weeks in advance

Duration:

 

60 minutes; special packages can be offered on request

Group size:

 

max. 25 people per tour

Languages:

 

English, German, Italian, French. Other offers upon request.

Cost:


 

 

CHF 180 for the guided tour + CHF 8 admission per person

Children up to 16 years free.

Schools

School materials

The school materials consist of work sheets designed to help students take a more in-depth look at the exhibition or at individual exhibits and topics.

Guided Tours

Guided tours in English can be arranged, even outside opening hours. Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

Booking:  

at least 2 weeks in advance

Duration:

 

1 hour guided tours, other services by prior arrangement

Group size:

 

max. 25 people

Cost:
 

 

Guided tours for school classes from Switzerland are free of charge.

Intermediate level, secondary school levels I and II

The history of Switzerland – the formation of a state and a new society

How did Switzerland evolve from a confederation into a federal state? What ran counter to this development, what were some of its early signs? What responsibilities did the new federal state assume and how was a national consciousness created? By looking at some of the most prominent objects in the exhibition students can trace the evolution of Switzerland into a national state.

Duration | 1 hour

The history of Switzerland – flight and migration

Why do Swiss sometimes leave their home country? Who comes to Switzerland? What are some important reasons for migration? Are immigration and emigration a modern phenomenon or did they also exist in the past? A historical profile shows that people have always migrated for a variety of reasons. The students can examine the changing motives for immigration and emigration. They will learn what the opportunities and risks are for migrants and about how Switzerland has evolved from a country of emigration to one of immigration.

Duration | 1 hour

The history of Switzerland – from the pike to the robot

Who did the Swiss mercenaries fight for and who profited from war? How did the federal constitution come into being and when did the first weaving loom come to modern Switzerland? The overview tour pinpoints the most important material testimony of Swiss history from the fifteenth century to the present. Tours with a special focus can be arranged with the reservation team. The topics currently on offer are politics, war or the economy.

Duration | 1 hour

Visits without a guide

Democracy tour

The room devoted to the nineteenth century is all about the formation of the state – the process by which a modern federal state evolved. There are twelve tablets available for school classes to use. They comprise six sections featuring short films, information about the objects and comprehension questions.

Guided tours in English can be arranged, even outside opening hours. Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

Booking:  

at least 2 weeks in advance

Duration:

 

1 hour guided tours, other services by prior arrangement

Group size:

 

max. 25 people

Cost:
 

 

Guided tours for school classes from Switzerland are free of charge.

Blog posts

Michael Blatter

1. April 2019

The White Book of Sarnen

Once upon a time, there was a hero named Tell. He was born in an office in Central Switzerland. Tell is an instrument, always working on behalf of whomever is telling his story.

Continue

Michael Fischer

8. April 2019

The Swiss atomic bomb

After the Second World War, the fear of communism was also strong in Switzerland. For this reason, Switzerland made plans to build an atomic bomb of its own.

Continue

Nathalie Büsser

10. April 2019

Handsome men for ‘Frau Hauptmannin’

The history of Swiss foreign military service is a story of men – but they’re only half the story. Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts and cousins all worked in the family-run mercenary soldiers business, invested their own money, were co-owners and had inheritance claims.

Continue
All blog posts

Media

Permanent exhibition “History of Switzerland”

National Museum Zurich
published on 10.4.2019

The new, 1000-m2 Swiss history exhibition depicts how Switzerland came to be over a period of 550 years – beginning in the late Middle Ages, through the early modern era to the democratic institutions challenged by globalisation today.

In addition to citizenship, the right to vote and separation of powers, a democratic society needs an integrative community. This includes participation in national institutions and identification with shared symbols. How these institutions came to be and the use of such symbols is the central theme of the new permanent “History of Switzerland” exhibition. Local, language-regional and international puzzle pieces illustrate this interplay and the development process from the Old Swiss Confederacy into a modern federal state.

The new permanent “History of Switzerland” exhibition thus takes you on a tour from the 15th to the 21st century. The journey through the centuries conveys the historical context of regional movements and international using selected exhibits: Unique manuscripts and famous pieces, such as Charles Le Brun’s Alliance Tapestry from 1663 and the anti-aircraft cannon by the Bührle company, highlight important social and economic setbacks and achievements in Switzerland. The exhibition explains the development of Switzerland at various turning points.

The history of Switzerland is also a history of borders that have been formed and repeatedly moved, whether they are geographical, linguistic or religious borders. The continually renewed attempts to overcome these divisions made it possible to become a modern, sovereign state in the heart of Europe. The exhibition also crosses a time boundary that is often considered taboo for historical museums. It dares to examine contemporary history. The part of the exhibition dedicated to the 21st century deals with global issues such as migration, climate change and robotics. Questions are posed for the present day. The answers to these questions will shape Switzerland’s future.

Images

Description

Booty from the Swabian War, flag fragment, around 1490. Painted silk taffeta. Swiss National Museum

Description

Les Suisses illustres, painting, around 1829, Jean-Elie Dautun, Lausanne. Oil on canvas. Swiss National Museum

Description

Section of railway line in the Biaschina gorge, 1888, A.C. Champagne. Digital print. Swiss National Museum

Description

Seal of the Federal Treaty, print, after 1816, Zurich. Aquatint on paper. Swiss National Museum

Description

Federal constitution of 1848, Laurenz Lüthi, Solothurn. Gouache and calligraphy on paper. Swiss National Museum

Description

Model of the parliament building, scale 1 :100, made by Zaborowsky Modellbau, Zurich. Acrylic glass PVC, CNC-milled and sprayed. Swiss National Museum

Description

Alternator, 1895, Brown, Boveri & Cie., Baden. Cast steel. Swiss National Museum

Description

5.3 cm rapid-fire cannon with mobile armoured gun carriage, 1892, Grusonwerk, Magdeburg. Steel. Swiss National Museum

Description

Flag of the Swiss embassy in Berlin, before 1940. Viscose. Swiss National Museum

Description

Sign with bullet holes, around 1945, Budapest. Enamelled sheet metal. Archiv für Zeitgeschichte, Zurich

Description

Helvetia with a spear at the ready, FBB banner, around 1976, Helen Pinkus-Rymann, Margareta Peters Zurich. Painted fabric. Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv

Description

A view of the exhibition. Swiss National Museum

Description

A view of the exhibition. Swiss National Museum

Partner

The Swiss National Museum would like to thank the Foundation Willy G. S. Hirzel for the generous support.

Lenders

Amt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie, Solothurn
Archiv für Zeitgeschichte ETH Zürich
Archives Contestataires, Carouge
Biofarm, Kleindietwil
Burgergemeinde Fribourg
Coop Zentralarchiv, Basel
Eidgenössisches Departement für Verteidigung, Bevölkerungsschutz und Sport, Bern
Eidgenössisches Justiz- und Polizeidepartement, Bundesamt für Polizei fedpol, Bern
Firmenarchiv der Novartis AG, Basel 
Gemeinde Unterbäch
Kunstsammlung der Stadt Zürich
Mario und Hélène Comensoli Stiftung, Zürich
Max Havelaar Stiftung, Zürich
Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund, Zürich
Mirage-Verein Buochs, Wolfenschiessen
Musée d’Isérables
Museum für Musikautomaten, Seewen
Polizeimuseum, Zürich
Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, Bern
Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv, Zürich
Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, Winterthur
Stiftung Ortsarchiv Grabs
Unterallmeind Korporation Arth
Velokurierladen Bern
Verband Swissmem, Zürich
Weisbrod-Zürrer AG, Hausen am Albis 

Exhibtion imprint

Overall management   Andreas Spillmann
     
Curators and project direction   Erika Hebeisen, Denise Tonella
     
Scientific collaboration   Aaron Estermann, Sandra von Euw, Selina Stuber
     
Research and expertise   Adrian Baschung, Jürg Burlet, Cyril Dessemontet, Andrea Franzen, Boris Hänssler, Joya Indermühle, Marco Jorio, Elisabeth Joris, Michael Jucker, Michael Kempf, Rebecca Sanders, Hans Rudolf Schelling, Christian Schorno, Daniela Schwab, Christina Sonderegger, Francesco Spöring, Texetera GmbH: Erik Thurnherr
     
Scenography   Alex Harb
     
Graphics   LDSGN: Thomas Lehmann mit Büro4 AG für Gestaltung + Kommunikation
     
Graphic Key Visual   Roli Hofer
     
Media installations   Thomas Bucher, Büro4 AG für Gestaltung + Kommunikation, Claudiabasel GmbH, Ulrich Heiniger, IJsfontein Interactive Media GmbH (Medienkonzept Sektion 21. Jh.), Pasquale Pollastro, Danilo Rüttimann, Tweaklab AG, René Vogel, Zense GmbH
     
Audioguide and audio stations   kellerthurgau: Markus Keller, tonwelt GmbH (Mandarin)
     
Video recordings   Alkmini Boura, Rémi Mazet
     
Cultural services and museum education   Stefanie Bittmann, Lisa Engi, Maria Iseli
     
Public relations and marketing   Andrej Abplanalp Peter Krebs, Carole Neuenschwander, Alexander Rechsteiner
     
Technical management   Mike Zaugg
     
Exhibition construction   Hannes Baur, Bachir Ezzerari, Michelle Fässler, Gianina Flepp, Marc Hägeli, Schanon Neukom, Louis Perez, Mike Roder, David Schwitter, Debbie Sledsens
     
Conservation management   Katharina Schmidt-Ott
     
Conservation and montage of objects   Nikkibarla Calonder, Natalie Ellwanger, Elisabeth Kleine, Martin Ledergerber, Iona Leroy, Sarah Longrée, Uldis Mākulis, Véronique Mathieu Lingenhel, Jürg Mathys, Leila Meister-El Ansari, Claudia Merfert, Françoise Michel, Elke Mürau, Carolin Muschel, Gaby Petrak, Ulrike Rothenhäusler, Peter Wyer, Tino Zagermann
     
Logistics of objects and montage of objects   Alder Stahl + Schweiss Wädenswil, Christian Affentranger, David Blazquez, Simon D'Hollosy, Reto Hegetschweiler, Markus Scherer
     
Loans   Maya Jucker, Franziska Pfenninger, Bernard Schüle, Angela Zeier
     
Advisory committee   Heidi Amrein, Ellen Bryner, Beat Högger, Markus Leuthard, Andreas Spillmann
     
Controlling of project   Ellen Bryner
     
Head of legal affairs and contracts  

Ursina Geissbühler, Beat Högger

     
Photography   Jonas Hänggi, Donat Stuppan
     
Photo library   Andrea Kunz, Fabian Müller
     
IT / Web   Danilo Rüttimann, René Vogel
     
Translations   Bill Gilonis, Marco Marcacci, Laurence Neuffer, Tradukas GbR
     
Final editing   Eva Carlevaro, Ingrid Kunz, Laurence Neuffer, Carmela Petralia, Rebecca Sanders, Miriam Waldvogel, Samuel van Willigen
     

Audio-visual archive material is used by kind permission of SRG SSR.