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 Common Good (SSCG) purchased the meadow and gave it to the Swiss confederation as an “inalienable national asset”. Since 1860, the SSCG has been managing the Rütli. 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.»

Groups wishing to have a guided tour in German or English with the tenant of the Rütli should get in touch with him directly:

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:


Thanks to the webcam above the Rütli meadow, you can virtually visit the cradle of the Swiss Confederation at any time. The resolution of the camera is such that you cannot recognize individual persons.