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The Rütli meadow
Photo from Seelisberg of Rütli

Rütli (German pronunciation: [ˈryːtli]) or Grütli (French: [ɡʁytli]; Italian: [ˈɡrutli]) is a mountain meadow on Lake Lucerne, in the Seelisberg municipality of the Swiss canton of Uri. Here the oath of the Rütlischwur is said to have occurred, the legendary turning-point in the pursuit of independence. Every August 1, on the Swiss National Day, the oath is re-enacted to commemorate the forming of the Old Swiss Confederacy.


Land forming the Rütli meadow was bought by the Schweizerische Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft in 1859 in order to preserve its state and, among other reasons, to prohibit the construction of a hotel at the historical site. This non-profit company turned the Rütli over to the government as an inalienable gift.

On July 25, 1940, General Henri Guisan used the site for his speech, now remembered as the "Rütlirapport", to all commanding officers of the Swiss Armed Forces in which he outlined the Reduit strategy and his aim never to surrender if invaded (see Switzerland during the World Wars):

"I decided to reunite you in this historic place, the symbolic ground of our independence, to explain the urgency of the situation, and to speak of you as a soldier to soldiers. We are at a turning point of our history. The survival of Switzerland is at stake.[1]"

Since 1991, Rütli has also been the start of the Swiss Path hiking trail created to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Switzerland.

Recent controversy[edit]

As is often the case across Switzerland, the August 1 celebrations include speeches; at the Rütli it is common for an eminent personality, such as members of the Swiss Federal Council, to speak. After Neo-Nazis disturbed the speeches in 2005, strict controls were enforced in 2006 – only people who registered could get a ticket to the Rütli – but for data privacy reasons, the list could not be reviewed by police to identify known radicals. In 2007, concerns remained (receiving international press attention [1] [2]) and both the President of the Confederation and the President of the National Council decided to deliver keynote speeches to prevent extremists upstaging the commemorative significance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guisan (1946). Rapport du General Guisan a l'Assemblee Federale sur le Service Actif, 1939-45. Bern, Switzerland. p. 203. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°58′10″N 8°35′34″E / 46.969345°N 8.592703°E / 46.969345; 8.592703