The tranquil site on the southern finger of Lake Lucerne the locals call Lake Uri is nicknamed the "Cradle of the Confederation". Legend associates the meadow in the heart of Switzerland with the alliance of the three founding cantons in 1291. In 1804 the dramatist Friedrich Schiller then combined the myth of William Tell with the Rütli. And in 1860 the Swiss Society for the Public Good (SSPG) purchased the meadow and gave it to the Swiss confederation as an "inalienable national asset". The Rütli attracts around 100,000 visitors every year, including children on school trips, hikers from everywhere in Switzerland, tourists and politicians from all over the world.
On 29 July 2001, Vaclav Havel, the former President of the Czech Republic, delivered a speech on the Rütli:
«I bow at this place before the principle of the treaty. And I bow here before the will of the small nations, the small entities, the small communities, to live in peace and to defy the pressure imposed by the powerful and the strong.»
Why not get to know the Rütli yourself, and see what it means to you.
Groups wishing to have a guided tour in German or English with the tenant of the Rütli should get in touch with him directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Groups wishing to be given a presentation on the history and concept of the Rütli, or an official welcome from the SGG's Rütli administrator, should contact the management team at the SGG: email@example.com
Scottish Highland Cattle arrived at the Rütli on 6 May, where they will be put out to graze on the historic meadow. News of change of cattle breed was first released in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in July 2014; it was followed by something of a media storm and solicited a number of outraged responses in online commentaries and letters to editors. In an online survey by 20 Minuten newspaper, 24% of readers said they wanted local cattle on the Rütli, 51% thought it wasn't important and 5% of respondents said they would prefer it if there were no cows there at all.