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Compiled by Allison Turner

Brief News from Zug/Lucerne


“Rigi – Queen of the Mountains”

1 August Celebrations 1 August 1291 was (more or less) the date on which three representatives from the first cantons swore an oath of fealty at Rütli, Uri by Lake Lucerne. Although for security reasons, that location is no longer accessible on the first of August, other traditional events are to be found all around the lake on that day. Expect to hear choirs and alpenhorns, and see flag-throwing. At night-time on the mountain overlooking Hergiswil (home of the glassworks), the locals create a fiery cross with dozens of lanterns. In Brunnen, just across from the Rütli, there’s a particularly large celebration, with fireworks at night. In Obwalden, the celebration moves from Kerns in the morning to Melchsee-Frutt at night. The program begins with music at 11:00 and free Älplermagronen from 11:45. Make your way to the gondola from Stöckalp to Melchsee-Frutt by 17:20, where there is

“Rigi – Queen of the Mountains”

a special menu at the three restaurants (reservations required) and then at dusk the alpenhorns will make their solemn music as the bonfire dances. Engelberg has music all day and a lantern parade at 20:45. There are certainly plenty of other options as well, including a party by the lake in Zug.

Musical Zug Zug may be known as a quiet town, but if you catch it on a good day there are some lovely sounds to be heard. Every Wednesday evening from June to August there are Concerts on the Square at the Landsgemeindeplatz in Zug’s old town. These concerts cover a wide variety of musical styles, from yodeling to salsa. At the Lake Festival on 30 June, there will be three stages set up for the musical acts. And at Zug’s Jazz Night (which is actually two nights, 23 and 24 August) you can listen to any kind of music you like, as long as it’s jazz. 14 different groups perform, about half of them from the town of Zug.

In other entertainment offerings, the Seepromenade in Zug is one of two dozen locations for the Open Air Kino, the public transport version of a drivein movie, from 9 to 15 August, about two evenings a week at sunset.

Excalibur from Lake Zug Members of the Archaeological Depart­ ment of Canton Zug made an unexpected discovery in 2010 while diving in Oberwil: a sword at the bottom of the lake. Its ownership and dating have not been determined with certainly (there are a few theories, but King Arthur has indeed been ruled out), but it is the star attraction of the current exhibition at the Burg Zug museum. The show also presents other aspects of medieval life, of knights as well as the less celebrated members of society. The Burg Zug is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 14:00–17:00 and Sundays 10:00–17:00. The exhibition continues until 30 September.


There’s only one way of getting up the Rigi (unless you walk up), and that’s by rail or cablecar. The first ever mountain railway with the newly invented rackand-pinion system was built up there from Vitznau in 1872, and another line from Arth-Goldau soon followed. A new edition of Rigi – Queen of the Mountains by Ron Smith has just come out, telling you all about the Rigi Railways in fabulous pictures in full colour, showing the beautifully restored trains and the Rigi in all its moods. This booklet with explanatory notes in English/German is a lovely souvenir of the mountain; it’s available from all Rigibahnen stations, including the Weggis cablecar, and their on-line shop. Or you can have it sent to you by the author for £10.75. ISBN 978-0-9547007-1-3 M Stannard

Hello Switzerland for Expatriates, Summer Edition 2012  

Hello Switzerland is written by expats for expats living in Switzerland. Designed mainly for English speakers, the magazine contains feature...