Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western-Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation, it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815, nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to international organisations.
On the European level, it is a member of the European Free Trade Association. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties, spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions, French and Romansh. Due to its diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names, Suisse, Svizzera. On coins and stamps, Latin is used instead of the four living languages, Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer. The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, a term for the Swiss. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, in use since the 16th century.
The name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, the Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for Confederates, used since the 14th century. The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes, ultimately related to swedan ‘to burn’
Thun is a town and a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland with about 43,783 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2013. It is located where the Aare flows out of Lake Thun,30 kilometres south of Bern, besides tourism and precision instrument engineering, the largest garrison in the country, the food industry and publishing are of economic importance to Thun. The official language of Thun is German, but the spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age, during the early Bronze Age there were a number of settlements along the lake shore and the Aare. A site at Renzenbühl had a chief or noblemans grave which contained one of the richest collections of early Bronze Age artifacts in Europe. Another site at Wiler contained approximately 1,500 maritime snail shells which were harvested from the Mediterranean, the name of the town derives from the Celtic term Dunum, meaning fortified town.
It fell to Rome in 58 BC, when Roman legions conquered almost all of Switzerland, the Romans were driven out of Thun, and out of the rest of Switzerland, by the Burgundians around 400 AD. The Aare became the frontier between the Christian Burgundians and the Pagan, German-speaking Alemanni, who lived north, the region was mentioned for the first time during the 7th century, in the chronicle of Frankish monk Fredgar. The town is first mentioned in 1133 as Tuno, the region of Thun became a part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1033, when Conrad II gained the title of King of Burgundy. The emperors entrusted the Zähringen family, centred in Bern, with subduing the unruly nobles of central Switzerland, around 1190 Duke Bertold V of Zähringen, built Thun castle and expanded the town. After Bertolds death in 1218, his territories went to Ulrich III von Kyburg, in 1264 Thun received town rights and in 1384 the town was bought by the canton of Bern. Thun was the capital of the Canton of Oberland of the Helvetic Republic, in 1819 a Military School was founded in the town, which developed into the main military school in Switzerland.
Thun was connected to the network of Switzerland in 1859. The center of Thun is located on the Aare, just downstream of the point where that river flows out of Lake Thun, the town covers an area of 21.6 km2, with the town boundaries reaching up to 4 km from the town centre. The town ranges in altitude between about 560 m, in the center, and 1,170 m, on its eastern boundary. Thun has an area of 21.58 km2, as of the 2004 survey, a total of 6.03 km2 or 27. 9% is used for agricultural purposes, while 4.32 km2 or 20. 0% is forested. Of rest of the municipality 10.76 km2 or 49. 9% is settled,0.29 km2 or 1. 3% is either rivers or lakes and 0.19 km2 or 0. 9% is unproductive land. From the same survey, industrial buildings made up 5. 7% of the area while housing and buildings made up 26. 8%
Frutigen is a municipality in the Bernese Oberland in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is the capital of the Frutigen-Niedersimmental administrative district, the area around Frutigen may have been settled since possibly the Bronze age or Roman times. It is first mentioned in 1234 as Frutingen, during the Middle Ages there were three castles in the modern municipal border, Tellenburg and Bürg. By 1260 the scattered farmers of the floor had formed a political. The association had its own seal in 1263 and in 1340 it negotiated a peace with an association in the Obersimmental, in 1391, the village of Frutigen gained the right to hold the low court in the village. In 1400, the expanding city-state of Bern annexed the entire valley, the association was powerful enough to force Bern to make concessions. The residents of the valley were freed from the obligation to pay taxes or provide labor for local lords, the valley held onto these freedoms until 1854. The village church, Saint Quirinus church, was first mentioned in 1228 as one of the churches around Lake Thun in the Strättliger Chronicle.
However, this church was built over the foundation of an older church, the earliest church was probably built in the 8th or 9th century above 7th or 8th century tombs. The original church was replaced in the 11th or 12th century and that church was rebuilt in 1421. The current church was built on the ruins of the 1421 church following a fire in 1727, in 1528, Bern adopted the Protestant Reformation and began imposing it on the Canton. Frutigen, like the rest of the Bernese Oberland, resisted the new faith, the large parish of Frutigen was divided several times but still includes the villages of Schwandi and Wengi which are both part of the municipality of Reichenbach. A Roman Catholic parish church was built in 1959, the Catholic Frutigen parish covers approximately the same area as the medieval parish. The valley had always profited from trade over the Gemmi and Lötschen Passes, a sust or warehouse and mountain pass way station was built in Kanderbrück in the 16th century, though similar buildings existed since at least the Middle Ages.
During the 16th century the economy began to change. Instead of raising a variety of crops, the farmers began to specialize in raising cattle for export. The village now had to import grain from the Swiss Plateau, around 1850 the economy shifted again as lace and watch factories moved into the valley. A match stick factory opened in Frutigen in 1850
Canton of Bern
The canton of Bern is the second largest of the 26 Swiss cantons by both surface area and population. Located in west-central Switzerland, it borders the canton of Jura, to the west lie the canton of Neuchâtel, the canton of Fribourg and Vaud. To the south lies the canton of Valais, east of the canton of Bern lie the cantons of Uri, Obwalden and Aargau. The canton of Bern is bilingual and has a population of 1,017,483, as of 2007, the population included 119,930 foreigners. The cantonal capital, the capital of Switzerland, is Bern. Bern joined the Swiss Confederation in 1353 and was between 1803 and 1814 one of the six directorial cantons of the Napoleonic Swiss Confederation and these caves were used at various times during the last ice age. The first open-air settlement in the area is an upper paleolithic settlement at Moosbühl in Moosseedorf, during the warmer climate of the mesolithic period, increasing forest cover restricted the movement of hunters and gatherers. Their temporary settlements were built along lake and marsh edges, which remained free of trees due to fluctuations in water level, important mesolithic sites in the Canton are at Pieterlenmoos and Burgäschisee lake along with alpine valleys at Diemtig and Simmental.
During the neolithic period, there were a number of settlements on the shores of Lake Biel, several of these sites are part of the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the best explored neolithic sites is at Twann, in the Twannbach delta there were about 25 Cortaillod culture and Horgen culture villages that existed between 3800 and 2950 BC. One of the oldest examples of bread from Switzerland, a sourdough from 3560–3530 BC, simple copper objects were already in use in the 4th millennium BC, including a copper pin from Lattrigen from 3170 BC and a knife blade from Twann. Shortly before 2000 BC bronze production entered the area and brought about a surge in development, settlements began to spread into the pre-Alpine and Alpine areas. The area between Lake Thun and the Niedersimmental were densely settled, Late Bronze Age settlements along Lake Biel have yielded up a wealth of items. During the early Iron Age changes in climate forced them to settlements along many waterways and in the valley floors and move to the plateaus.
With increased trade contacts across the Alps, the influence of the Mediterranean grew in the area. Evidence of this include a hydria which was discovered in Grächwil. Burial rituals and social classes became more developed during this time, the so-called princely graves became more common, many of the burial mounds were over 30 m in diameter and 4 m high and richly outfitted with grave goods. In a grave mound in Bützberg the first burial in the mound was followed by burials
Saanen is a municipality in the canton of Berne in Switzerland. It is the capital of the Obersimmental-Saanen administrative district, Saanen is first mentioned in 1228 as Gissinay. In 1340 it was mentioned as Sanon, during the Bronze Age there was a hill fort on the Cholis Grind near the modern village of Saanen. The region was occupied by the Gallo-Romans until the 10th or 11th century when the Alamanni began to drive them out and this migration created the modern language borders in Switzerland. During the Middle Ages several forts were built to guard the mule trails into the Valais and these included the Kramburg, the Swabia Ried tower and the tower Schönried. During the Middle Ages it was part of the vogtei of Vanel in the county of Gruyère, in 1244, the counts became the vassals of Savoy. The counts financial problems forced them to parts of the vogtei. The village became the center of the Saanen district and parish, the villagers often acted against the interests of the counts. In 1340 the valley concluded a treaty with the Simmental.
They entered into treaty in 1393 with the Valais. In 1401, Count Rudolph of Gruyère entered into a treaty with Bern which included Saanen, two years Saanen negotiated their own alliance with Bern. Due to the Bernese alliance, Saanen sent troops, under their own banner, to support the Bernese invasions of Aargau in 1415, the military losses and taxes following the Old Zürich War led Saanen to support the Evil League in 1445 against Bern. It took about six years before Confederation mediation was able to resolve the arguments between Saanen and Bern, during the Burgundian War in 1475 Saanen, together with troops from Château-dŒx and the Simmental captured the Savoy district of Aigle for Berne. Saanen and the district enjoyed a great deal of independence during the 16th century. However, in 1555 the last Count of Gruyère lost the district to Bern when his county went bankrupt. Bern took over the valley in the following year and introduced the Protestant Reformation. The Bernese bailiff administered the districts of Gessenay and Pays-dEnhaut until the fire of 1575 which destroyed much of the town.
The bailiff moved to the monastery of Mont Rouge
The Oberhasli district is a historical Landvogtei or Talschaft in the Bernese Highlands, bordering on the cantons of Obwalden, Nidwalden and Wallis. However Haslital is a term and designates only the major valley of the Aare and does not designate the many sidevalleys. The local dialect is of the Highest Alemannic variety, from 1833 to 2009, Oberhasli was incorporated as the Oberhasli district, the easternmost of the 26 districts of the canton of Bern, bordering the district of Interlaken to the west. Since 2010, Oberhasli and Interlaken have been united as the administrative district Interlaken-Oberhasli. With its area of 551 km², it is larger than the canton of Basel-Landschaft, the name Haslital is first attested in 1234 and still valid for the major valley of the Aare. The prefix Ober- first appears in the 16th century for disambiguation with Hasle bei Burgdorf, the origin of the name is likely Old High German hasal hazel. The upper parts of the Haslital are part of the World Heritage Site of the Jungfrau–Aletsch–Bietschhorn as defined in 2007, Oberhasli has historically been of great strategical significance due to its central location in the Central Alps, commanding several passes.
Among them are, The Grimsel Pass to the connecting to the Goms of the Upper Valais. The Susten Pass to the east connection with the connecting with the valley of the Alpine Reuss, the northern part of the St. Gotthard Route. The Joch Pass to the northeast at the beginnng of the Gental, the low Brünig Pass to the north connects Meiringen and the Haslital with the upper canton of Obwalden and further down to rest of Central Switzerland, such as Lucerne. And the Grosse Scheidegg, a pass in the southwest with a connection to Grindelwald. Besides the main valley, the Haslital, which includes the alluvial plain of the Aare between Meiringen and Lake Brienz, there are several lateral valleys, among them are, The proper Haslital starts at the Grimselpass and the outflow of the Aare at the Grimselsee, respectively. The Ürbachtal has the form of a large S before it enters the Haslital just before Innertkirchen, the Gauligletscher is endorsed in a funnel between the Hangendgletscherhorn, Bärglistock, and Ewigschneehorn.
It enters its water into the Gaulisee, which collects its waters from the Grienbergligletscher, the Hienderstock, Bächlistock, after the Gaulischafberg cliffs, the water flows into the Mattenalpsee. It collects the water from Steinlouwihore and the Ritzlihore, now the Ürbachwasser turns west and enters the proper Ürbachtal on a lower level between the Gallouwisteck to the east and the Dossen to the west. The water turns slowly east again below the range called Englehörner in the east. And after a drop of about 200m the Ürbachwasser enters the Aare just before Innetrkirchen from the left, the Gadmertal starts at two places, One arm lies right below and south of the Titlis and north of the Fünffingerstöck. Here, the Wendengletscher drains its water into to Wendenwasser, south of the Five Finger Stock the Susten Pass connects Uri with the Bernese Highlands
The French invaded Switzerland and turned it into an ally known as the Helvetic Republic. The interference with localism and traditional liberties was deeply resented, although some modernizing reforms took place, resistance was strongest in the more traditional Catholic bastions, with armed uprisings breaking out in spring 1798 in the central part of Switzerland. During the French Revolutionary Wars of the 1790s, the French Republican armies expanded eastward, the French Republican armies enveloped Switzerland on the grounds of liberating the Swiss people, whose own system of government was deemed as feudal, especially for annexed territories such as Vaud. Some Swiss nationals, including Frédéric-César de La Harpe, had called for French intervention on these grounds, the invasion proceeded largely peacefully, since the Swiss people failed to respond to the calls of their politicians to take up arms. On 5 March 1798, French troops completely overran Switzerland and the Old Swiss Confederation collapsed, on 12 April 1798,121 cantonal deputies proclaimed the Helvetic Republic and Indivisible.
On 14 April 1798, an assembly was called in the canton of Zürich. The new régime abolished cantonal sovereignty and feudal rights, the occupying forces established a centralised state based on the ideas of the French Revolution. Many Swiss citizens resisted these ideas, particularly in the central areas of the country. Some of the controversial aspects of the new regime limited freedom of worship. In response, the Cantons of Uri and Nidwalden raised an army of about 10,000 men led by Alois von Reding to fight the French and this army was deployed along the defensive line from Napf to Rapperswil. Reding besieged French-controlled Lucerne and marched across the Brünig pass into the Berner Oberland to support the armies of Bern, at the same time, the French General Balthasar Alexis Henri Antoine of Schauenburg marched out of occupied Zürich to attack Zug and the Sattel pass. Even though Redings army won victories at Rothenthurm and Morgarten, Schauenburgs victory near Sattel allowed him to threaten the town of Schwyz, on 4 May 1798, the town council of Schwyz surrendered.
On 13 May and Schauenburg agreed to a cease-fire, no general agreement existed about the future of Switzerland. Leading groups split into the Unitaires, who wanted a republic, and the Federalists. Coup-attempts became frequent, and the new régime had to rely on the French to survive, the occupying forces insisted that the accommodation and feeding of the soldiers be paid for by the local populace, which drained the economy. The treaty of alliance with France broke the tradition of neutrality established by the Confederation, all this made it difficult to establish a new working state. Instability in the Republic reached its peak in 1802–1803, which included the Bourla-papey uprising, by then, it was 12 million francs in debt having started with a treasury of 6 million francs. This together with local resistance caused the Helvetic Republic to collapse, at that time, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, summoned representatives of both sides to Paris in order to negotiate a solution
Meiringen is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. Besides the village of Meiringen, the municipality includes the settlements of Balm, Brünigen, Hausen, Sand, Unterbach, Wylerli, the village is known for its claim to have been the place where the meringue was first created. The blazon of the coat of arms is Or an Eagle displayed Sable crowned, beaked and membered of the first. In it, the words the first refer to the first tincture mentioned, namely or. It further implies, for each of the nouns that precede the word of. Meiringen is located in the eastern Bernese Oberland region, in the Haslital on the reaches of the river Aare. On the left bank it stretches up into the Alps and reaches an elevation of 3,191 m at the summit of the Wellhorn, the municipality has an area, as of 2009, of 40.59 square kilometers. Of this area,17.75 km2 or 43. 7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 13.27 km2 or 32. 7% is forested. Of the rest of the land,3.04 km2 or 7. 5% is settled,0.53 km2 or 1. 3% is either rivers or lakes and 6.09 km2 or 15. 0% is unproductive land.
Of the built up area and buildings made up 3. 1%, out of the forested land,29. 7% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1. 4% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land,3. 3% is used for growing crops and 17. 8% is pastures and 22. 5% is used for alpine pastures, all the water in the municipality is in rivers and streams. Of the unproductive areas,5. 6% is unproductive vegetation and 9. 4% is too rocky for vegetation, Meiringen is first mentioned in 1234 as Magiringin. Due to its location at the foot of several alpine passes. The first village church was built in the 9th or 10th century, when it was destroyed in a flood the new church of St. Michael was built about 5 m above the old church. The current church of St. Michael dates from the 15th century and was renovated in 1683-84, the Restiturm castle was constructed in the 13th century, whilst the Wyghus fortress in the Brünig Pass was first mentioned in 1333, though it was destroyed later. Meiringen was always the political capital of the surrounding valley and it was the capital of the Imperial reichsfrei bailiwick of Hasli.
In 1275 it formed an alliance with the city of Bern, in 1311, Hasli was given to the house of Weissenburg by Henry VII. After an unsuccessful revolt in 1334, Hasli passed to the city of Bern as a territory in name
Act of Mediation
The Act of Mediation was issued by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 February 1803 establishing the Swiss Confederation. The act abolished the previous Helvetic Republic, which had existed since the invasion of Switzerland by French troops in 1798, after the withdrawal of French troops in July 1802, the Republic collapsed. The Act of Mediation was Napoleons attempt at a compromise between the Ancien Régime and a Republic and this intermediary stage of Swiss history lasted until the Restoration of 1815. Following the French invasion of 1798, the decentralized and aristocratic Old Swiss Confederation was replaced with the highly centralized, however the changes were too abrupt and sweeping and ignored the strong sense of identity that most Swiss had with their canton or city. Throughout the following four years, French troops were often needed to support the Helvetic Republic against uprisings, the government of the Republic was divided between the Unitary and the Federalist parties. By 1802 a draft constitution was presented, but was defeated in a popular vote in June 1802.
In July Napoleon withdrew French troops from Switzerland, ostensibly to comply with the Treaty of Amiens, following the withdrawal of French troops in the summer of 1802, the rural population revolted against the Helvetic Republic. In the Canton of Léman, the Bourla-papey revolt broke out against the restoration of land holdings. While this rebellion was quieted through concessions, the following Stecklikrieg, so called because of the Stäckli or wooden club carried by the insurgents, with Napoleon acting as a mediator, representatives of the Swiss cantons met in Paris to end the conflict and officially dissolve the Helvetic Republic. When the Act of Mediation was produced on 19 February 1803 it attempted to address the issues that had torn the Republic apart, much of the language of the Act was vague and unclear, which allowed the cantons considerable room in interpretation. In the preamble of the Act of Mediation Napoleon declared that the political state of the Swiss was as a Federation.
The next 19 sections covered the 19 cantons that existed in Switzerland at the time, the original 13 members of the old Confederation were restored and 6 new cantons were added. Two of the new cantons were formerly associates, while the four others were made up of lands that had been conquered at different times — Aargau, Ticino. Five of the six new cantons – Graubünden was the exception – were given modern representative governments, however, in the 13 original cantons many of the pre-revolutionary institutions remained in place. The landsgemeinden, or popular assemblies, were restored in the cantons, the cantonal governments in other cases being in the hands of a great council. Overall, the granted to the state were extremely broad. The following 40 articles, which were known as the Acte fédéral or Acts of Confederation, defined the duties, the responsibilities of the Confederation included, providing equality for all citizens, creation of a Federal Army, the removal of internal trade barriers and international diplomacy.
There were to be no privileged classes, burghers or subject lands, Switzerland was mentioned throughout the Act
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. The nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the form of the first three confederate allies used to be referred to as the Waldstätte, with the Napoleonic period of the Helvetic Republic the term canton/cantone/Kanton was fully established. From 1833, there were 25 cantons, which became 26 after the secession of the canton of Jura from Bern in 1979. The term canton, now used as English term for administrative subdivisions of other countries, originates in French usage in the late 15th century, from a word for edge. After 1490, canton was increasingly used in French and Italian documents to refer to the members of the Swiss Confederacy, English use of canton in reference to the Swiss Confederacy dates to the early 17th century. It was increasingly replaced by Stand after 1550, the French term canton was not adopted into German usage prior to 1648, and after that only in occasional use. The prominent usage of Ort and Stand only gradually disappeared in German-speaking Switzerland with the Helvetic Republic, only with the Act of Mediation of 1803 did German Kanton become an official designation, retained in the Swiss Constitution of 1848.
The term Stand remains in usage and is reflected in the name of the upper chamber of the Swiss Parliament. Republic Some cantonal constitutions provide for a formal name of the state. Most of Romandys cantons and Ticino call themselves république/Repubblica officially, at least within their constitutions, for example, the canton of Geneva refers to itself formally as the République et canton de Genève. Though they were part of the Holy Roman Empire, they had become de facto independent when the Swiss defeated Emperor Maximillian in 1499 in Dornach. The old system was abandoned with the formation of the Helvetic Republic following the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798, the cantons of the Helvetic Republic had merely the status of an administrative subdivision with no sovereignty. The Helvetic Republic collapsed within five years, and cantonal sovereignty was restored with the Act of Mediation of 1803, the status of Switzerland as a federation of states was restored, at the time including 19 cantons.
Three additional western cantons, Neuchâtel and Geneva, acceded in 1815, the process of Restoration, completed by 1830, returned most of the former feudal rights to the cantonal patriciates, leading to rebellions among the rural population. The Liberal Radical Party embodied these democratic forces calling for a new federal constitution and this tension, paired with religious issues escalated into armed conflict in the 1840s, with the brief Sonderbund War. The victory of the party resulted in the formation of Switzerland as a federal state in 1848. The cantons retained far-reaching sovereignty, but were no longer allowed to maintain standing armies or international relations. Each canton has its own constitution, legislature and courts, most of the cantons legislatures are unicameral parliaments, their size varying between 58 and 200 seats
Unterseen is a historic town and a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. The historic town however is found at the northern bank of the Aare. Just across the Aare is the town of Interlaken, both municipalities are located on the flat alluvial land among steep mountains, which is called the Bödeli. Unterseen belongs to the Small Agglomeration Interlaken with 23,300 inhabitants, along with Interlaken, Unterseen is an important tourist center in the Bernese Highlands, and from the town one can see the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The oldest traces of a settlement in the area are scattered neolithic tools, during the second century AD, a Roman graveyard was built in the area. An Early Middle Ages cemetery shows that there was a settlement in the area, the area was known as Interlacus by 1133 when Interlaken Monastery was founded on the opposite side of the Aare. Interlaken village grew up across from the Monastery in the following years, by 1239 it was known as villa Inderlappen and in 1280 it was civitas Inderlappen.
The city of Unterseen was founded on 13 July 1279, when King Rudolf I von Habsburg granted Baron Berchtold III of Eschenbach-Oberhofen permission to build a stronghold between the two lakes. The name came from unter, which in Middle High German meant between, and seen, which means lake, the fortification was given Stadtrecht in this agreement. By 1281 Interlaken and Unterseen was mentioned collectively as stat ze Inderlappen oder Undersewen and in 1291 they were called Inderlappen and it was built by the secular nobles of the area to limit the growing the power of the Monastery and to control a bridge over the Aare. The young town was put in a conflict with the Interlaken Monastery. After the Swiss Confederations victory in the Battle of Sempach in 1386, the villages were brought under Bernese control, during the Reformation the town turned against Interlaken Monastery and did not join the Berner Oberland uprising. As a result of their loyalty they were rewarded with the Alp Sefinen, in 1364, a fire broke out in the Monasterys mill.
It spread to the village of Unterseen and destroyed much of it, in 1470 Unterseen was burnt down for the second time and Bern undertook the reconstruction with the town house in the center. A chapel was first mentioned in the village in 1353 and it was rebuilt in 1470 following the fire. The current church building was built in 1852 after part of the church collapsed. After the establishment of the Helvetic Republic, Unterseen became a center of resistance against the reestablished Bern feudalism, the Unspunnenfest in 1805 and 1808 was planned as a means of reconciliation between the urban and rural citizens. The attempt was a failure and the government forbade such a festival, in 1815, many of the towns citizens played a role in the unrest in Interlaken
The Berner Oberland, is the higher part of the canton of Bern, Switzerland, in the southern end of the canton, and one of the cantons five administrative regions. The mountain range in the Berner Oberland south of the Aare, the flag of the Berner Oberland consists of a black eagle in a gold field over two fields in the cantonal colours of red and black. The Swiss German dialects spoken in the Berner Oberland are Highest Alemannic German, contrasting with the High Alemannic Bernese German spoken in Bern, in the short-lived Helvetic Republic, the Berner Oberland had been a separate canton. Prehistorically the Berner Oberland was crossed by hunters or traders, the Romans settled along the river and the lakes. They used a number of alpine passes including, the Brünig, Grimsel, Lötschen, Rawil, during the High Middle Ages, a number of Berner Oberland villages grew around valley parish churches which were religious and cultural centers within each surrounding valley. During Middle Ages, the Berner Oberland first belonged to the Kingdom of Burgundy followed by the Dukes of Zähringen, after the extinction of the Zähringen line, the Berner Oberland was ruled by a number of local Barons.
For a time, some of the Walser barons ruled portions of the Berner Oberland, the Saanen valley was ruled by the Counts of Gruyères. Portions of the passes were held, until the 19th century. The expansionist policy of the city of Bern led them into the Berner Oberland, through conquest, mortgage or marriage politics Bern was able to acquire the majority of the Berner Oberland from the indebted local barons between 1323 and 1400. Under Bernese control, the five valleys enjoyed extensive rights and far-reaching autonomy in the Bäuerten and Talverbänden, throughout the Late Middle Ages, the Berner Oberland, as a whole or in part, revolted several times against Bernese authority. During the Middle Ages, the settlement pattern in the Berner Oberland was somewhat consistent, a main settlement grew on the valley floor below an elevation near 1,100 m. This main settlement had a market and often a castle or other fortifications and this market town was surrounded by scattered villages and individual farm houses to an elevation of 1,600 m.
During the 14th-16th centuries, the Berner Oberland villages began extensive trading with the Bernese grain producing towns in the lowlands. This allowed the villages to renounce self-sufficiency in grain and focus on raising cattle in the high alpine pastures. They exported cattle over the passes into Italy and into the Bernese lowlands, around 1500, in addition to the seven medieval markets, eleven new cattle markets opened to allow the Berner Oberland villagers to sell their cattle. After the Napoleonic invasion of Switzerland in 1798, the old Bernese order was fractured, within this new canton, historic borders and traditional rights were not considered. As there had no previous separatist feeling amongst the conservative population. In 1729, Albrecht von Haller published the poem Die Alpen about his travels through the alpine regions and this combined with other reports and alpine paintings started the tourism industry in the Berner Oberland