ST 2008

Department of English, University of Basel
Literature and Culture Studies: Seminar M. Marti

British and American Visitors in Switzerland:

History of Tourism in Switzerland

till 1789 / The Romantics (1789 - 1837) / The Victorians (1837 - 1901) / 20th century

full timeline (one page)

course programme (provisional)



Adam of Usk, passing the Gotthard, writes that he is drawn in an ox-wagon "half dead with cold, and with mine eyes blindfold lest I should see the dangers of the pass" (Wraight, p. 101f)


First guesthouses in Leukerbad

Mary I
1553 - 1558


History / Politics:
Prosecution of Protestants in England.


Visitors (Refugees):
British Refugees in Switzerland (Marian Exiles, 1555-58):
About 200 refugees in Geneva: John Scorye (later Bishop of Rochester), Miles Coverdale (translator of the first completely printed ed. of the Bible), William Kethe, John Bodley, William Stafford, Anthony Gilby, Christopher Goodman, Sir John Borthwick, David Lindsay, John Davidson (later Principal of Glasgow University). John Knox becomes the first pastor of the British community in Calvin's Geneva; Thomas Lever in Aarau (Wraight, p. 36)
Zurich: Edwin Sandys (later Archbishop of York), Robert Horne (later Bishop of Winchester), John Parkhurst (later Bishop of Salisbury).
Basel: John Bale, James Pilkington (later Bishop of Durham), Richard Turner, Thomas Bentham, John Foxe, Lady Dorothy Stafford, Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir Francis Knollys. (Wraight, 112f)


Knox preaches at the "Temple de l'auditoire" in Geneva.

Elizabeth I


Geneva Bible (transl. William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby and Thomas Sampson)


Sir Edward Unton visits "Zwechary" (Switzerland) with his servant and diarist Richard Smith (Como, Lugano, Bellinzona, Gotthard Pass, Andermatt, Altdorf, Lucerne, Basel)
Richard Smith: "This mountaine is from the fote to the topp 2 leages and very stepe the way narrow stony and dangerous snow lyenge uppon the mountaine both winter and somer / uppon the top of this hil is an osterye / al our way unto this mountaine the hills ar very full off chestnutt tres and very abundant of chestnuts / but this mountaine bereth nothing but snow and stones / we ffound extrem cold uppon this hill / we decended this hill still untill we came to a littel towne called olsera [Andermatt] from there rode an enlyshe myle plaine ground and descended agen / from olsera aboute ii enlyshe myles is a brydge which is called ponte inferno / it standeth in a straite betwene the mountaines the beginninge of the ryver of rehin cometh from mount godard and at this brydge hath such a fale among the huge stones that is merveylous." (de Beer, p. 11f)


Fynes Moryson: Constance, Schaffhausen, Eglisau, Zurich, Basle.
In the 16th century, baths were much more popular than mountains. Moryson remarks on guests in Baden: "many have no disease but that of love, howsoever they faine sickness of body, come hither for remedy, and many times find it."


Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) : Chiavenna, Splügen, Thusis, Coire, Berne, Geneva.
"I took my course through the Grisons to Geneva, leaving a discreet country in my opinion too soon." (de Beer, p. 14)


The composer
John Bull (1563-1628), travelling in France and Germany might have heard a patois song "Cé qu'é laîno, le Maître de Bataille", which has similarities to "God Save the Queen"

James I
1603 - 1625


Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639, see 1593): Coire, Thusis, Splügen, Chiavenna


Thomas Coryat (1577-1617) on his way back from Venice: Chiavenna, Splügen, Thusis, Coire, Wesen, Zurich, Baden, Basel.
"The ways are very offensive to foote travellers. For they are pitched with very sharp and rough stones that will very much punish and greate a man's feete." (de Beer, p. 16)


Travel Book:
Thomas Coryat. Coryat's Crudities: Hastily gobled up in five Moneths travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia, commonly called the Grisons country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of high Germany and the Netherlands; Newly digested in the hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, and now dispersed to the nourishment of the travelling Members of this Kingdome.


Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639, see 1593): Basel, Lausanne, Thonon, Chambéry.
"Infection hindered us to pass the nearest way to Chambéry, and forced us to put our horses and selves at hazard over the Leman Lake, and so to traverse Savoy, buy such rocks and precipices as I think Hannibal did hardly exceed it when he made his way (as poets tell us) with fire and vinegar." (de Beer, 17)

Charles I


Sir Isaac Wake undertakes a mission to Berne and Zurich on behalf of the canton of the Grisons. He then urges London to appoint a permanent British mission to Switzerland to support the Protestant cantons. A Threefold Help to Political Obversations. i, concerning the Thirteen Cantons of the Helviticall League, London, 1655. Wake stresses the strategic importance of Switzerland between Germany and Italy.


Oliver Fleming appointed British diplomatic agent to Switzerland


History / Politics:
Henry Duc de Rohan receives orders by Cardinal de Richelieu to march with his army from the Alsace into the Grisons - without offending the cantons he passes. He leeds his army through Basel, Aargau, Baden, Zurich, St. Gallen and Altstätten to Chur. During the campaign ("Bündner Wirren") he stays at Thusis, Spllügen, Chiavenna, Tirano, Maloja, Livigno, Poschiavo, Bormio.


John Milton travels through Switzerland on his return from Italy, via the Simplon Pass, stopping at Brig, Martigny and Geneva, where he stays at the house of Jean Diodati. (= Giovanni Diodati)


Robert Boyle stays at the house of Jean Diodati (= Giovanni Diodati) in Geneva. "There is three wayes from hence into Italy by Sweetserland and ye Grisons, by Turin, and by Marseilles. The first is to peinefull because of ye great quantity of snow that couereth ye mountaines; ye second is to Dangerous because of ye armys that are both in piedmon and upon the state of Milan; the third is ye Longest indeed but ye sweetest..." (de Beer, p. 19)
Boyle then chooses the first: Geneva, Lausanne, Solothurn, Zurich, Coire, Thusis, Splügen, Chiavenna, Bergamo.


The diarist John Evelyn (1620-1702) comes from Domodossola (Simplon, Brig, Sion, Martigny, Bouveret) to Geneva. He comments on the way Swiss people dress: "... little variety of distinction betwixt the gentleman and the common sort, by a law of their country being exceedingly frugal. Add to this their great honesty and fidelity, though exacting enough for what they part with. I saw not one beggar ... I look upon this country to be the safest spot of all Europe, neither envied nor envying; nor are any of them rich or poor; they live in great simplicity and tranquillity; and although of the fourteen cantons, half be Roman Catholic, the rest Reformed, yet they mutually agree, and are confederate with Geneva." (Wraight, 133f)


John Raymond on his way from Domodossola to Geneva: "Having with much paines, yet delight, because of the variety, crouded through some of the Alpes, wee came to dinner at Sampion, at the top of the Mountaine..." (= Simplon Hospiz)

1649 - 1660


History / Politics:
Charles I executed, monarchy abolished.


Transport and Communication:
A weekly post service established by the Luganese Diego Maderno: Lucerne - Milano in 4 days.

Charles II


Some of the "
Regicides" (the judges who had condemned Charles I to death) flee to Switzerland: Edmund Ludlow, John Lisle (assasinated in Vevay in 1664), Cawley, Nicholas Love,and Andrew Broughton. They settle down in Geneva, Lausanne and Vevey.
Ludlow: "In the house where I lodged, the mistress being an English woman, I found good beer, which was a great refreshment to me, after the fatigue of my journey." (de Beer, p. 21)


John Ray (1627-1705): Sta Maria, Ofen Pass, Zernez, Ponte, Albula, Bergün, Coire, Walenstadt, Glarus, Einsiedeln, Schwyz, Altdorf, Stans, Luzerne, Zug, Zurich, Aarau, Solothurn, Berne, Fribourg, Lausanne, Geneva
The naturalist writes in his Observations ... Made in a Journey through the Low Countries, Germany, Italy and France::
"All the Switzers in general are very honest people, kind and civil to strangers. One may travel their country securely with a bag of gold in his hand. When we came to our inns they would be troubled if we distrusted them so far as to take our portmanteaus into our lodging chambers and not leave them in the common dining room." (Wraight, p. 141) and on Zurich: "The Zurichers who anciently had the reputation for valour, are now much given to merchandise and to accumulate riches, and so taken off from martial studies and exercises"


Edmund Ludlow (the Regicide) composes the Bernermarsch


Travel Book:
J. J. Wagner (1641-95), Index Memorabilium Helvetiae. (The first real Swiss guidebook)

James II
1685 - 1688


Gilbert Burnet visits Geneva, Lausanne, Berne, Solothurn and Basel.
"I left Geneva with a Concern that I could not have felt in leaving any Place out of the Isle of Britain."


Travel Book:
Gilbert Burnet (later Bishop of Salisbury): Some Letters Containing What Seemed Most Remarkable in Switzerland, Italy, etc.


John Dennis

William III and Mary II
1689 - 1702


The British Minister to Switzerland, Thomas Coxe and his wife make an "official visit" to Interlaken and Grindelwald.
"The whole towne rang with joy ye whole day and night ... spectators of all ages and sexes crowded at ye windows ... and saluted me so continually and civilly as I pass't, that I could not putt on my hatt from one gate of ye city to ye other."


Beat de Fischer, Bernese patrician, establishes a Swiss transalpine postal service with a direct link between London and Berne, passing along the left bank of the Rhine.


Travel Book:
Remarks on the Grand Tour lately performed by a Person of Quality


Joseph Addison (1672-1719) visits Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg, Berne, Solothurn, Gotthard, Zurich and St. Gallen.
He writes a letter to Willaim Congreve "from the top of the highest mountain in Switzerland where I am now shivering among the Eternal frosts and snows. ... I am here entertained with the prettiest variety of snow-prospects that you can imagine." (de Beer, p. 26)
"It is very wonderful to see such a knot of governments, which are so divided among themselves in matters of religion, maintain so uninterrupted an union and correspondence, that no one of them is for invading the rights of another. ... This I think must be chiefly ascribed to the nature of the people, and the constitution of their governments." (Wraight, 150)

1702 - 1714


History / Politics:
England declares war on France. The Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill) starts a
campaign on the continent and captures Kaiserworth, Venloo and Liege.


History / Politics:
Marlborough captures Bonn, Huy, Limoges and Guelders.


Urner Loch: First road tunnel in the Alps (64 m.).


Gilbert Burnet: Zurich, Grindelwald. (see also 1686 and 1687)


History / Politics:
Treaty of Utrecht establishes the terms of peace with Louis XIV.


Johann Jakob Scheuzer publishes "Nova Helvetiae Tabula Geographica", the most complete map of Switzerland of the eighteenth century.
Followed in 1723 by Ouresiphoites Helveticus sive Intinera Alpina per Helvetiae alpinas regiones facta annis MDCCII. MDCCIII. etc. (1702-1711, contains illustrations of dragons that have been seen by travellers in the Alps)


Travel Book:
L'Etat de la Suisse, en 1714 - An Account of Switzerland Written in the Year 1714
, by Abraham Stanyan, former British Minister in Berne.

George I


History / Politics:
Jacobite Rebellion in favour of James Stuart, "the Old Pretender", fails in Scotland.

1720 -1729

History / Politics:
England at war with Spain.


Travel Book:
The Gentleman's Pocket Companion for travelling into Foreign parts, illustrated with maps (London)


Sir Horace Mann goes from Geneva to Grindelwald: "Four years previously, the glacier had advanced so much that the inhabitants were considering a petition to their government for permission to make use of the services of an exorcist to drive the glacier back ... the glacier did in fact recede, though doubtless for other reasons." (de Beer, p. 30)

George II


During his journey with Johann Gesner (Geneva, Martigny, Sion, Leuk, Gemmi, Kandersteg, Interlaken, Meiringen, Joch Pass, Engelberg, Lucerne) Albrecht von Haller conceives his poem Die Alpen (1739).


History / Politics:
Anti-British riots in the Valais as Mandel and Aston, two Englishmen, should get the rights to exploit the iron mines in the Valley of Binn. (Wraight, 162)


Horace Walpole (1717-97) travels with Thomas Gray (1716-71) for two years on the Continent.
Walpole on the Alps: "I hope I shall never see them again".


Literature on Switzerland:
Albrecht von Haller,
Die Alpen
Albrecht von Haller's ode changes the attitudes of many people: The Alps become very popular.


Lady Mary Wortley Montague (Geneva)
Benjamin Stillingfleet (1702-1771), probably in
blue stockings - visits Chamonix from Geneva.
William Wyndham: Geneva, Chamonix
Richard Pococke (1704-1765): Basel, Liestal, Waldenburg, Solothurn, Aarberg, Murten, Lausanne, Nyon, Geneva, Chamonix, Thonon, Evian, Aigle, Bex, Vevey, Fribourg, Murten, Neuchâtel, Berne, Lucerne, Walchwil, Zug, Zurich, Winterthur, Schaffhausen, Basel.


William "Boxing" Wyndham recruits a "large brigade of guides" to climb the Montanvert (Chamonix)


History / Politics:
The Highlanders are massacred at the
Battle of Culloden, Cumberland wins against the Jacobites. Charles Edward, the Young Pretender (Bonnie Prince Charlie), escapes to France.


Philip Stanhope visits Lausanne, Bex, Berne and Einsiedeln on his Grand Tour. HIs father, the Earl of Chesterfield, writes to him: "Bishop Burnet has wrote his travels through Switzerland [see 1687], and Mr. Stanyan, from a long residence there, has written the best account, yet extant, of the thirteen cantons [see 1714]: but those books will be read no more. I presume, after you shall have published your accounts of that country. I hope you will favour me with one of the first copies. To be serious, though I do not desire that you shall immediately turn author and oblige the world with your travels, yet, wherever you go, I would have you as curious and inquisitive as if you did intend to write them." (1747; Wraith, 167f)


James Hutton (1726-1797): Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Zurich, Aarau, Berne, Neuchâtel, Geneva.
Thomas Hollis (1720-74): Geneva, Berne, Zurich.


Because of the excavations Herculaneum (1738) and Pompeji (1748) become major destinations of the Grand Tour.


Travel Book:
The first major guidebook to the
Grand Tour: Nugent, Thomas. The grand Tour or a journey through the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and France (4 vol. London).


Prince Charles Edward Stuart or
Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, stays in Basel at the hotel Drei Könige under the name of Mr. Thompson. He is travelling with Miss Walkinshaw and their daughter, the future Duchess of Albany.
Lord Keith (outlawed because of his participation in the Jacobite Rebellion) is made Governor of the principality of Neuchâtel for Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. (Neuchâtel remains Prussian till 1815)


Edward Gibbon (1737-94) makes a tour of Switzerland (Lausanne, Yverdon, Neuchâtel, Solothurn, Baden, Zurich, Einsiedeln, Basel, Aarau, Berne). In Einsiedeln he comments: "I was astonished by the profuse ostentation of riches in the poorest corner of Euope; amidst a savage scene of woods and mountains, a palace appears to have been erected by magic."
(Back in Lausanne, Gibbon falls in love with Suzanne Curchaud, but his father forbids the marriage. Suzanne then married Jacques Necker, and their daughter became the famous
Mme de Stael. Gibbon returned to England in 1758.)
Voltaire comes to Geneva:
L'auteur arrivant dans sa terre, près du lac de Genève. (epitre 85, 1755)


Literature on Switzerland:
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74) makes Voltaire's acquaintance in Lausanne. Poem "The Traveller".
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Nouvelle Héloise.
George Keate (1729-1797) Verses, occasioned by visiting in 1756, a small Chapel on the Lake of Lucern, in the canton of Uri, erected to the memory of the famous William Tell.


Edmund Burke
: Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
Burke's idea of the "Sublime" changes people's view of the Alps.


Voltaire buys an estate called Fernay (near Geneva), where he spends the rest of his life. Visits to Voltaire become - against his wish - part of the "Grand Tour". ("Voltaire at Fernet", D. H. Auden)


Travel Book:
The term "Grand Tour" appears in Voyage of Italy, by Richard Lassels (the word "tourist" only around 1800)


Sport / mountaineering:
Horace-Benedict de Saussure visits Chamonix, and offers a reward to the man who should first succeed in reaching the summit of Mont Blanc.

George III


Literature on Switzerland:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Julie, ou la Novelle Héloise: The lovers, Julie and Saint-Preux, live at the foot of the Alps. The book fosters a cult of the environs of Lake Leman and Switzerland becomes the goal of literary pilgrimages.


Lord Keith gives Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) protection in Neuchâtel. Du contrat social published.
Wieland's translation of Shakespeare published by Orell Gesner & Co, Zurich. Sponsored by Johann Jakob Bodmer.


Literature on Switzerland:
George Keate (1729-1797) The Alps


History / Politics:
After the Peace of Paris has ended the Seven Years' War, the way is open for British tourists to travel to the continent.


British tourists have increased: a Swiss observer estimates that of twenty guests in a Swiss inn, fourteen are British.
Charles Stanhope (1763-1816) and Daniel Malthus (the father of (the father of Thomas Robert Malthus) visit Voltaire in Geneva.
On his Grand Tour,
James Boswell goes from Basel to Solothurn, stays there at the Hotel de La Couronne, visits Lord Keith in Neuchâtel, makes six calls on Rousseau at Motiers and spends some time with Voltaire at Ferney.


Literature on Switzerland:
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74): Poem "The Traveller".


Jean-Jacques Rousseau moves to the Ile St. Pierre (Petersinsel) in the Lake of Bienne.


Samuel Sharp: "I must confess to you that I have yet seen nothing which has afforded me so much pleasure as that extraordinary genious Mons. Voltaire. My principal motive for passing the Alps, by way of Geneva, was a visit to that Gentleman." (Letters from Italy, 1766)
John Wilkes (1725-97): "The Appenines are not near so high or so horrible as the Alps. On the Alps you see very few tolerable spots; and only firs, but very majestic." (de Beer, p. 46)


Jean-Jacques Rousseau accepts an invitation from David Hume to come and live in England.


Adam Smith stays in Geneva, accompanying the young Duke of Buccleuch as a travelling tutor. He meets Voltaire at Ferney, works in Geneva on his Wealth of Nations.
George Keate:
An Epistle to Monsieur de Voltaire


The Irish painter Edmund Garvey exhibits a watercolour of a Waterfall in the Alps at the Royal Academy, one of the first Alpine paintings to be shown in Britain.


The English painter
William Pars (1742-82) is engaged by the 2nd Lord Palermston to accompany him on a 6 weeks' tour of Switzerland, to make "drawings of the most remarkable views and antiquities". Horace-Benedict de Saussure joins them for part of the tour. (Geneva, Chamonix, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Meiringen, Grimsel, Furka, Andermatt)
Frederick Hervey (1730-1803): Geneva, Chur (Coire), Bondo.
Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry and 4th Earl of Bristol, likes to travel, and his reputation for good living and for staying at the best hotels explains the number of hotels named "Bristol" after him.


Mme Coutterand opens the first inn at Chamonix.


William Pars (see 1770) shows his Swiss drawings in London.


Norton Nicholls, encouraged by Thomas Gray, crosses Switzerland on his way from Paris to Milan. He visits Salomon Gessner in Zurich, "the poet, author of the death of Abel of which you have read the translation, he is a man of genius and amiable; - I pass everywhere like current coin as the friend of poor Mr. Gray..." (Black, p. 35)


The 8th Duke of Hamilton on the Grand Tour, accompanied by John Moore, visits Geneva, Chamonix, Martigny, Evian, Lausanne, Berne and Basel.


Lord Charles Greville is the first person to cross the Gotthard pass in a wheeled carriage.
The botanist and garden architect Thomas Blaikie (1851-1838) is sent by Dr Fothergill (Upton near Stratford.) and Dr Pitcairn, to search for rare alpine plants in Switzerland. He passes through: Geneva, Thonon, Evian, Morgins, Monthey, Bex, Sion, Leuk, Gemmi, Kandersteg, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Thun, Berne, Biel, St. Imier, Vallorbe, Lac de Joux, Chamonix, Lausanne, Vevey, Aigle.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (together with Counts Friedrich Leopold and Christian Stolberg): Schaffhausen, Zurich, Einsiedeln, Schwyz, Rigi, Altdorf, Andermatt, Gotthard, Altdorf, Brunnen, Zug, Zurich, Basel.


William Coxe (1747-1828) visits Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Appenzell, Sargans, Walenstadt, Glarus, Einsiedeln, Rapperswil, Zurich, Zug, Lucerne, Altdorf, Andermatt, Furka, Münster, Grimsel, Meiringen, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Kandersteg, Gemmi, Leuk, Sion, Martigny, Chamonix, Geneva, Lausanne, Yverdon, Neuchâtel, Le Locle, Murten, Fribourg, Berne, Bienne, Solothurn, Basel.
Coxe makes his first visit to Switzerland, visiting Lavater and Salomon Gessner. (see also 1779, 1785, 1786 and 1802)
The painter
John Robert Cozens (1717-86) is accompanying Richard Payne Knight on his tour: Geneva, Chamonix, Martigny, Berne, Thun, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Meiringen, Engelberg, Surenen, Altdorf, Klausen, Glarus, Coire, Thusis, Splügen, Chiavenna.


John Robert Cozens (1717-86), 55 watercolour drawings: The Valley of the Rhone, Between Chamonix and Martigny


William Beckford (1759-1844): "Were I not to go to Voltaire's sometimes and to the mountains very often I should die."

Travel book:
Jakob Samuel Wyttensbach publishes a guide-book to the glaciers and peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

. 1779

William Coxe (1747-1828) comes from Chiavenna to St Moritz and finds a health spa: "I am lodged in one of the boarding-houses, which abound in this place, for the Accommodation of persons who drink the waters." (de Beer, p. 62) He moves on to Zurich via Zuoz, Schuols, Nauders, Sta. Maria, Umbrail, Chiavenna, Splügen, Thusis, Chur (Coire), Lenzerheide, Davos, Klosters, Landquart, Disentis, Oberalp, Andermatt, Altdorf, Brunnen, Schwyz, Gersau, Stans, Lucerne.
Thomas Martyn collects material for his guide book to Switzerland (see 1787). He starts a round trip from Geneva, visiting Lausanne, Vevey, Aigle, Berne, Solothurn, Basel, Schaffhausen, Konstanz, Zurich, Lucerne, Biel, Neuchâtel, Thun, Interlaken, Brienz, Meiringen, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Fribourg, Chamonix
Frederick Hervey (1730-1803) comes from Aosta (Grand St. Bernard, Martigny) to Berne.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Duke Karl August von Weimar: Basel, Moutier, Biel, Bern, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Meiringen, Bern, Lausanne, Chamonix, Martigny, Sion, Leukerbad, Brig, Furka, Altdorf, Lucerne, Zurich, Schaffhausen.


Sport / Mountaineering:
Mr. Blair, an Englishman living in Geneva, erects a small wooden hut on the Montenvers. Blair's Cabin lasts till 1812.


Travel Books:
William Coxe (1747-1828): Sketches of the Natural, Civil and Political State of Swisserland. (see 1776)
Horace-Benedict de Saussure: Voyages dans les Alpes.


Lauterbrunnen: A new rectory is built to take up guests.


Francis Towne and John "Warwick" Smith


History / Politics:
Revolution in Geneva.


The Duke of Gloucester, the King's brother, has an argument with an innkeeper at Stäfa.


Visitors / Residents:
Edward Gibbon settles in Lausanne (till 1793) to work till 1787 on the completion of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.


Sir George Beaumont (1753-1827), watercolourist, comes to paint in Switzerland.


Sir Thomas Constable (1762-1823) travels on foot through Switzerland, pursuing botanical studies.


William Beckford setttles in La Tour-de-Peilz (near Vevey) to work on his novel Vathek.
William Coxe (1747-1828) makes another complete tour (after 1776 and 79): Schaffhausen, Zurich, Basel, Moutier, Biel, Solothurn, Berne, Langnau, Lucerne, Stans, Engelberg, Altdorf, Andermatt, Furka, Grimsel, Meiringen, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Kandersteg, Gemmi, Leuk, Sion, Martigny, Chamonix, Martigny, Bex, Vevey, Lausanne, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Murten, Fribourg, Biel, Porrentruy, Basel.


The poet Thomas Sedgwick Whalley (1746&endash;1828), visiting Konstanz, Frauenfeld, Zurich, Lucerne, Einsiedeln, Schaffhausen, Zurich, Berne, Solothurn, Balsthal and Basel complains about Coxe's guide book: "I do not agree with Mr. Coxe. The situation of Lucerne appears less beautiful to me, than that of Zurich. ... As I entered Lucerne by land, and with calm ideas, its position towards the lake, though picturesque, fell far short of my expectations" (de Beer, p. 77f)


Sport / mountaineering:
Horace-Benedict de Saussure: ascends Mont Blanc (second after the locals Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard).


40-50 Englishmen are imprisoned in Geneva because they tried to get out of the city after the gates were shut. They are banished for life from the Republic.


Sport / mountaineering:
Colonel Mark Beaufoy ascends Mont Blanc soon after Horace-Benedict de Saussure.


Travel Book:
Thomas Martyn. Sketch of a Tour through Swisserland. the earliest English guide-book to Switzerland.


Charles James Fox (1749-1806) visits Biel, Berne and Lausanne.
William Windham (1750-1810),: Schaffhausen, Basel, Solothurn, Biel, Berne, Thun, Interlaken, Lausanne.
Windham meets Fox in Berne.


George Augustus Wallis (1761-1847), the English landscape painter, tours Switzerland.


History / Politics:
French Revolution. (cf. Impacts on Britain) Declaration of the Rights of Man. (Déclaration des droits de l'homme).


Travel Books:
Coxe, William. Travels in Switzerland. (after visits in 1776, 1779, 1785 and 1786)
Heinrich Heidegger, Zürich: Handbuch für Wanderer durch die Schweiz


Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, completes his education for three years in Geneva. Visits
Sir Philip de Loutherbourg in Biel (Bienne), joins the Masonic Lodge of Geneva.


The first guesthouse at Kandersteg: Gasthof "zum Ritter"

till 1789 / The Romantics (1789 - 1837) / The Victorians (1837 - 1901) / 20th century

full timeline (one page)

Black, Jeremy. The British Abroad. The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century. New York 1992
de Beer, G. R. Travellers in Switzerland. London 1949
Bernard, Paul B. Rush to the Alps. New York 1978.
Jud, Markus. Geschichte der Schweiz,
Verkehr []
Wraight, John. The Swiss and the British. Salisbury: Russell:1987

course programme (provisional)

other timelines:
American History:
Colonial America / 1789 - 1901 / 1901 - 2003
British History:
History of Great Britain