Ascend a peak, hike through alpine meadows, explore a forest? You decide! Thanks to over 65 000 kilometres of waymarked trails, virtually every corner of Switzerland is waiting to be discovered. The paths are well marked and as varied as the scenery – in fact, they quickly become an end in themselves.
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The term Helvetia originates from the name Confederatio Helvetia, the Swiss Confederation, which is the official name for Switzerland. Attested as early as 1315, the Confederatio, also known as “oath fellowship” was an eternal pact formed by people from Canton Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. They were the first people that sworn to work together and protect each other from enemies and they were the first to build the great nation called Switzerland. Today, the country consists of 26 cantons and it has one of the strongest industry in the world in terms of economy, diplomacy and tourism.
Helvetia is also a female personification of the country, which you can find easily on Swiss Francs, the official currency of Switzerland, representing both virtues and vices of the confederacy.
We share the value of this confederation as it is through fellowship and cooperation of brave men that gave birth to this beautiful country. Hence, we at Royal Helvetia are dedicated to continue this legacy, to create history through strong cooperation with our partners – we are the Royal Helvetia.
Lucerne, located in the heart of Switzerland is one of the most famous tourist hotspot in the world. And since April 1st. the hometown of Royal Helvetia. Right in the center of Switzerland and very close by where history was made back in the year of 1291. Founding date of Switzerland. Find here the story of the man William Tell.
The legend of William Tell
At the end of the 13th century the sheriffs of Habsburg tyrannized and subdued the people who lived in the area that we today call Switzerland. The most cruel of them all was Gessler who used extremely humiliating methods. Peacock feathers At a time he had placed his hat – decorated with peacock feathers – on a pole at the market-place of Altdorf and announced that every man who passed the market-place should fall down on his knees as a sign of appreciation and reverence.
One day William Tell – a hunter from the nearby valley of Schächen – passed the market-place with his son Walter without paying attention to the hat. Gessler had him arrested immediately and told him that his only chance to stay alive was if he could hit the apple that Gessler had placed on the head of his son Walter- with a cross-bow. Tell’s arrow hit the apple and, when Gessler saw that Tell had brought a second arrow, he asked why. Tell replied that it was intended for Gessler if he had hit his son instead of the apple. Gessler was furious, had Tell dragged on to his boat which was ready for departure to his castle in Küssnacht at the north-western shores of Lake Lucerne. Suddenly there was a raging storm and the boat was close to heeling over. Gessler got scared to death and decided to release Tell from his fetters hoping that he could save them all with his strong arms. Tell stood in towards land and some rock that he knew near Sisikon. He escaped at one single bound. The boat drove on and Tell knew that he was lost. Therefore he hurried to Küssnacht where he hid in a bush near the gorge that led to Gessler’s castle. When Gessler arrived Tell hit him with an arrow straight through his heart.
Since that day Tell’s heroic deed has been regarded as the beginning of the struggle for liberty which finally resulted in the Confederation of Helvetica which we today call Switzerland; “Land of the Schwyzers”. Schwyz was one of the three original cantons that swore the oath and formed the confederation in 1291 on the Rütli. The other original cantons was Uri and Unterwalden. (refers to www.tell.ch)
Tell Monument in Altdorf, Uri