Three names

The names for yesterday: Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden. The Urkantonen, or original cantons, of Switzerland:


Yesterday, August 1st, was Swiss National Day.

From Wikipedia:

The Swiss National Day (German: Schweizer Bundesfeiertag; French: Fête nationale suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala svizra) is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on 1 August. Although the founding of the Swiss Confederacy was first celebrated on this date in 1891 and annually since 1899, it has only been an official holiday since 1994. The document is one of several dozen pacts attested for the territory of Switzerland in the period of the mid-13th to mid-14th century.

… The date is inspired by the date of the Federal Charter of 1291, Pacte du Grutli, placed in “early August”, when “three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation” (Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden), an action which later came to be regarded as the founding of Switzerland.

A modern map of Switzerland, showing the 26 current cantons:


“`Uri and Schwyz are pretty easy to find, but Unterwalden (to their west) has since been divided in two, an upper canton Obwalden and a lower one Niwalden (canton Appenzell, whose name you might recognize in the name of Appenzeller cheese, has similarly been divided in two).

Just to the east of Uri and Schwyz is canton Glarus, where the Zwickys come from.

In 2004 for National Day Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter illuminated Castle Chillon (on Lake Geneva, in the southwest corner of the country, far from the Urkantonen) in the Swiss flag:


Hofstetter has done illuminations all over Switzerland (also all over the world, including Washington’s National Cathedral and the Colisseum in Rome); here’s his 2012 illumination of the Jungfrau:


Chillon Castle. From Wikipedia:

(#5) Castle of Chillon, looking ridiculously picturesque

Chillon Castle (French: Château de Chillon) is an island castle located on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud. It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhone. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.

Picturesque and also Romantic. The castle was the locale of a celebrated Romantic poem:

The Prisoner of Chillon is a 392-line narrative poem by Lord Byron. Written in 1816, it chronicles the imprisonment of a Genevois monk, François Bonivard, from 1532 to 1536. (Wikipedia link)

And then of Delacroix’s 1834 painting The Prisoner of Chillon:


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