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 4.10.2020

13:30 – 14:30 Uhr

Guided tour

History of Switzerland

Su 1.11.2020

13:30 – 14:30 Uhr

Guided tour

History of Switzerland

Su 6.12.2020

13:30 – 14:30 Uhr

Guided tour

History of Switzerland

Su 10.1.2021

13:30 – 14:30 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.

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History of Switzerland – From pikes to robots

In modern times, Switzerland has remained untouched by wars. But it was not always so. For centuries, Swiss mercenaries fought all over Europe. What role did they play in Swiss politics? How did the modern federal state come into being? The tour illustrates Swiss history from the Middle Ages to the present day. If requested, special emphasis can be placed on one of three topics – politics, war, or economics.

Tour: 1 hour

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 participants 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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

History of Switzerland – State building and a new society

Today, Switzerland is regarded as an exemplary democracy. How did this come about? Why did the cantons unite to form a federal state? Participants will be able to trace the development of the federal state and the growth of national identity by studying selected relevant exhibits.

Tour: 1 hour

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 participants 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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

History of Switzerland – refugees and migrants

Over the years, many Swiss found work outside the country’s borders, while some even made their fortune there. At the same time, many people have come to Switzerland from abroad. Who are they? How do they cope in Switzerland? And why do people leave their home countries in the first place? Participants will study how people become refugees and migrants – from the fifteenth century to the present day.

Tour: 1 hour

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 participants 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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Schools

History of Switzerland – From pikes to robots

Intermediate level | secondary levels I and II

In modern times, Switzerland has remained untouched by wars. But it was not always so. For centuries, Swiss mercenaries fought all over Europe. What role did they play in Swiss politics? How did the modern federal state come into being? The tour illustrates Swiss history from the Middle Ages to the present day. If requested, special emphasis can be placed on one of three topics – politics, war, or economics.

Tour: 1 hour
Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

History of Switzerland – State building and a new society

Intermediate level | secondary levels I and II

Today, Switzerland is regarded as an exemplary democracy. How did this come about? Why did the cantons unite to form a federal state? Students will be able to trace the development of the federal state and the growth of national identity by studying selected relevant exhibits.

Tour: 1 hour

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

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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

History of Switzerland – refugees and migrants

Intermediate level | secondary levels I and II

Over the years, many Swiss found work outside the country’s borders, while some even made their fortune there. At the same time, many people have come to Switzerland from abroad. Who are they? How do they cope in Switzerland? And why do people leave their home countries in the first place?

Tour: 1 hour

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

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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

History of Switzerland – migration then and now

Intermediate level | secondary levels I and II

Migration has been a part of human history from the very beginning. What does it mean to leave one’s home? This interactive tour allows students to retrace migration paths, such as the story of a Jewish woman’s flight from Nazi Germany or that of a Swiss man who migrated to Sumatra and became wealthy there. Various biographies are traced and discussed.

Interactive tour: 1.5 hours
Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

History of Switzerland – Scenic journeys

Middle school

How did children live in Switzerland a century, three centuries, five centuries ago? Using puppets, design, text, and sounds, students will create short narratives. The interactive journey back in time starts with rank-and-file soldiers, then explores child labour and concludes with the modern patchwork family, vividly illustrating stories from everyday life. With Benjamin Müller, drama teacher and specialist in the subject.

Workshop: 2.5 hours


For classes from the city of Zurich and outside the canton: contribution towards costs of CHF 50.00

For classes from the canton of Zurich: Please book at
www.schuleundkultur.zh.ch

 

 

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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

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.

Demokratierundgang

Im Raum des 19. Jahrhunderts dreht sich alles um den Staatsbildungsprozess – ein moderner Bundesstaat entsteht. Mit Tablets können die Schülerinnen und Schüler die Entstehung der Schweizerischen Demokratie erkunden. Der Rundgang besteht aus sechs Stationen: Regierung, Föderalismus, Verfassung, Zugehörigkeit, Mitbestimmung und Neutralität. Es stehen 12 Tablets für die Schulklasse zur Verfügung. Inhalt: Animationsfilme, Objektinformationen und Verständnisfragen.

Ab Sekundarstufe I | Dauer: etwa 45 - 60 Minuten.

Führungen: kostenlos und auch ausserhalb der Öffnungszeiten möglich.

Anmeldung:  

mindestens 2 Wochen im Voraus

Sprachen:

 

Deutsch, Französisch, Italienisch und Englisch.

Unser Newsletter für Schulen informiert Sie regelmässig über aktuelle Angebote.

Newsletter-Anmeldung

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Self-led visits

Self-led visits by appointment only. Prior visits are free of charge for teachers from Switzerland.

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.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Einführung für Lehrpersonen

Führung durch die Ausstellung mit Inputs zur Arbeit mit Schulklassen finden regelmässig statt.

Führungen: kostenlos und auch ausserhalb der Öffnungszeiten möglich.

Anmeldung:  

mindestens 2 Wochen im Voraus

Sprachen:

 

Deutsch, Französisch, Italienisch und Englisch.

Unser Newsletter für Schulen informiert Sie regelmässig über aktuelle Angebote.

Newsletter-Anmeldung

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Blog posts

Dominik Landwehr

5. June 2020

NATEL – from status symbol to everyday object

It was probably one of the most controversial votes in 20th-century Swiss history: James Schwarzenbach's ‘excessive immigration’ initiative of 7 June 1970.

Continue

James Blake Wiener

19. June 2020

Series: Book Printing in Europe (4/4)

The Battle of Grandson is one of the most celebrated and decisive battles in Swiss history, and a key battle of the Burgundian Wars (1474–1477). On March 2, 1476 at Concise in present-day northwestern Switzerland, the Swiss Confederates dealt the Burgundians a crushing defeat from which they would never recover. For the Swiss, Grandson signalled their emergence as an integral player in wider European affairs. It is popularly remembered as the battle in which the Swiss won the “Burgundian booty,” which enriched the soldiers who fought in the battle.

Continue

Andrej Abplanalp

24. June 2020

Before Jass

In the 19th century some Swiss villages provided sponsorship to enable poorer members of their community to emigrate, to stave off financial ruin for the village. An example from the Canton of Aargau shows that this emigration wasn’t always entirely voluntary.

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

Swiss National Museum press contact

+41 44 218 66 63 medien@nationalmuseum.ch

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.