Listening to them gives you the shivers.
Folk tales tell of extraordinary, supernatural, or miraculous incidents. They recount stories in which ghosts, witches, even the Devil himself feature, or they may deal with historical figures and events.
Traditional tales are known from all parts of the country, but central Switzerland is especially rich in them. The exhibition focuses on well-known legends such as the tales of William Tell, the miraculous “Devils Bridge”, the fateful “Black Spider”, the fiery “Pilatus Dragon”, the enchanted “Blüemlisalp”, the vengeful “Sennentuntschi”, and the spooky “Toggeli”.
We offer various guided tours of the exhibition for companies, institutions, associations or private groups.
Please contact us for further advice.
The alps in legend
Private guided tour for groups
Are there such things as ghosts, dragons, witches, or the Devil himself? What are tutelary symbols? How much truth is there in folk tales? On the guided tour through the exhibition “The Alps in legend” you will travel to a mythical world of folk tales from the region of the Alps. You get to know where the tales come from, how they were collected, what recurrent motifs they feature and what role they play. Tales such as that of William Tell, the Devil’s Bridge, or the Sennentuntschi are just a few examples from the rich narrative trove of “The Alps in legend”.
Duration: 60 minutes
2 weeks in advance
60 minutes; special packages can be offered on request
max. 25 persons per tour
|CHF 120 for the tour, plus a reduced admission fee of CHF 8 per person.
Free entrance for children up to 16 years.
|Opening hours:||Tuesdays - Sundays between 10.00 am – 17.00 pm|
Guided tours for Swiss school classes are free.
We are happy to make it available to you for individual advice and adapted to your needs. Don't hesitate to contact us!
Information and registrations: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For guided tours and indipendents visits for school groups, please contact us 14 days in advance.
Entrance and guided tours are free of charges for Swiss school classes.
The alps in legend
Scary tales that give you goosebumps
Folk tales give you the shivers, leave you filled with wonder, and are fascinating at the same time. Are there such things as ghosts, dragons, witches, or even the Devil himself? What are tutelary symbols? And, how much truth is there in folk tales? From 23 April to 2 October 2022, the exhibition «The Alps in legend» at the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz tells about folk tales from the region of the central Alps and looks at their origins and how they spread.
The Devils Bridge, the Sennentuntschi, and, of course, the story of William Tell: these are just three examples of famous tales and legends from central Switzerland. Unlike fairy tales, legends are believed to be «true» and always bear reference to a specific place, person, event or time. They tell of extraordinary, supernatural, or miraculous incidents. They feature ghosts, witches, even the Devil himself, along with historical events and figures. No wonder they capture people’s imagination and make them shudder but, at the same time, they often also contain an educational, socio-critical, even moralizing element.
Who began collecting folk tales, when, and for what purpose? What’s behind these short stories? Superstition, folk religion, or even a shred of history as the example of William Tell seems to imply? And, what do we mean when we say that the motifs of legends «wander»?
The Black Spider and the Pilatus Dragon
These are just some of the questions the exhibition «The Alps in legend» at the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz (from 23 April to 2 October 2022) tries to answer. It is concerned with how tales and legends originate and spread but also questions their function and the impact they had. The show not only deals with tales transmitted by word of mouth and legends recorded in writing, but also with the rich imagery they generated. The focus is on famous folk tales such as the Black Spider, the Pilatus Dragon, or the enchanted Blüemlisalp. In addition, audio stations provide an opportunity to listen to many other tales from the Alps, allowing visitors to become immersed in a world of scary stories – and, possibly, making them realize after their visit what impact and significance these tales still have for us in present-day society and as individuals.
Evenings of storytelling and guided tours for young and old
A rich supporting programme invites those interested to learn more about the subject of tales and legends. In exciting guided tours, experts provide insight and interesting background information regarding the origins, reception, and various motifs of folk tales. Guided family tours and amulet workshops allow young and old to immerse themselves in the world of legends, and on special «storytelling evenings» listeners can experience from close-up typical folk tales from the cantons of Uri, Ticino, Valais and Schwyz.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us:
Pia Schubiger | exhibition curator | Swiss National Museum.
T. +41 41 819 60 15 | E-Mail: email@example.com
Karin Freitag | Communications | Forum for Swiss History Schwyz.
T. +41 41 819 60 18 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Overall management Denise Tonella
- Project direction and concept Pia Schubiger
- Research associate Magdalena Bucher
- Public relations and marketing Karin Freitag-Masa (direction), Conny Lüönd
- Cultural services and museum education Isabelle Marcon Lindauer
- Scenography Martina Nievergelt / Ralph NicoteraLoosli Zehnder, Szenografie und Innenarchitektur, Basel
- Graphic Design Clavadetscher Gestaltung für Kultur und Wirtschaft, Schwyz
- Exhibition construction Alder Stahl und Schweiss, Atelier S&G, Bubu AG, formenformen gmbH, marty schreinerei gmbH,
Luziferro AG, Perplex Plus AG, Utiger Maler AG, Roland Reichlin
- Lighting design Marc Hägeli
- Loan services Maya Jucker, Laura Mosimann, Angela Zeier
- Conservation and mounting of objects Markus Leuthard (direction), Jürg Mathys (project direction), Charlotte MaierJürg Mathys
- Logistics of objects and mounting of objects Christian Affentranger, David Blazquez, Simon D’Hollosy,
Reto Hegetschweiler, Markus Scherer
- Photographs Jörg Brandt, Zvonimir Pisonic
- Photographic library Andrea Kunz, Fabian Müller, Remo Sidler
- Lithographs and scans Georg Sidler
- Animation and sound installation Movl GmbH Charlotte Germann und
Tweaklab AG Kaspar Hochuli
- Media planning, implementation and programming René Vogel (direction), Thomas Bucher, Pasquale Pollastro
Tweaklab AG Hanspeter Giuliani, Dominik Schläpfer, Nica Giuliani, Remo Hobi
- IT, Web and audio Thomas Bucher, Pasquale Pollastro, Danilo Rüttimann, René Vogel (Leitung)
- Translations Marie-Claude Buch-Chalayer, Giovanna Planzi, Nigel Stephenson
- Copy-editing Apostroph Luzern AG
- We thank Hans Steinegger, Schwyz
- Annina Arter Textile & Surface Design, Zürich
- Burgerbibliothek Bern, Grafische Sammlung
- Gotthelf-Zentrum Lützelflüh
- Grimm-Sammlung der Stadt Kassel
- Sabine Hertig, Stampa Basel
- Historisches Museum Luzern
- Historisches Museum Obwalden,
- Sammlung Hanspeter Niederberger
- Historisches Museum Uri, Altdorf
- Hans Jörg Leu, Baden
- Liechtensteinisches LandesMuseum, Vaduz
- Museum der Kulturen Basel
- Museum Schloss Thun
- Natur-Museum Luzern
- Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität Basel
- Rätisches Museum, Chur
- Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Volkskunde Basel
- Staatsarchiv Uri
- Tell-Museum Bürglen
- Pierre-Yves Tribolet, Le Mont-Pèlerin
- Verkehrshaus der Schweiz, Luzern
- Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Graphische Sammlung
- ZHB Luzern Sondersammlung