Jan. 29, 2014
-- The holidays are at our doorsteps and we would like to leave investments for a while and look at Switzerland as the land of rich cultural heritage.
Probably the most famous Swiss national hero famous outside the country is William Tell. According to the legend, William Tell came from Bürglen located in the canton of Uri not far from the present-day Brunnen and was a skillful crossbowman. The events took place at the time when the part of Switzerland was in the hands of the Austrian House of Habsburg. The newly arrived Habsburg bailiff Albrech Gessler, in order to show who was in charge, hang a hat on a pole in the center of Altdorf and commanded every man to bow before it when passing by.
One day, on November 18 1307 to be precise, Tell and his son set off to Altdorf for business and, either because of the pride or the lack of attention, didn’t bow before the hat. For that, he and his son were put in prison and sentenced to death. But the fame of a skillful crossbowman reached Gessler and before the punishment, he offered Tell to play a game one would call a Swiss roulette in which Tell would hit an apple on his son's head with a single shot. Tell hit the apple, but also got another bolt ready at hand. Gessler was amazed at Tell’s marksmanship and was about to release William and his son, but first he asked him why he had got another bolt ready. Tell’s answer was simple: “If I had failed to hit an apple, I would have definitely hit your head with a second shot”.
Gessler was outraged from such an impudence and sent Tell on a boat to Küsnacht Castle’s prison. But the storm happened on Lake Lucern let William escape the boat.
Seeking revenge, Tell went to the castle on foot and shot the bailiff with the second bolt. Those events sparked the Swiss national rebellion that resulted in the creation of the Swiss Confederation.