Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. 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 pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. 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: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national 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. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. 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, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. 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 perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c
The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established the five Nobel prizes in 1895; the prizes in Chemistry, Peace and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901. The prizes are regarded as the most prestigious awards available in the fields of chemistry, peace activism and physiology or medicine. In 1968, Sweden's central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, although not a Nobel Prize, has become informally known as the "Nobel Prize in Economics"; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Between 1901 and 2018, the Nobel Prizes were awarded 590 times to 935 organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 27 organizations and 908 individuals.
The prize ceremonies take place annually in Sweden. Each recipient receives a gold medal, a diploma, a sum of money, decided by the Nobel Foundation. Medals made before 1980 were struck in 23-carat gold, in 18-carat green gold plated with a 24-carat gold coating; the prize is not awarded posthumously. A prize may not be shared among more than three individuals, although the Nobel Peace Prize can be awarded to organizations of more than three people. Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, into a family of engineers, he was a chemist and inventor. In 1894, Nobel purchased the Bofors iron and steel mill, which he made into a major armaments manufacturer. Nobel invented ballistite; this invention was a precursor to many smokeless military explosives the British smokeless powder cordite. As a consequence of his patent claims, Nobel was involved in a patent infringement lawsuit over cordite. Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime, with most of his wealth coming from his 355 inventions, of which dynamite is the most famous.
In 1888, Nobel was astonished to read his own obituary, titled The merchant of death is dead, in a French newspaper. As it was Alfred's brother Ludvig who had died, the obituary was eight years premature; the article made him apprehensive about how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his will. On 10 December 1896, Alfred Nobel died in his villa in San Remo, from a cerebral haemorrhage, he was 63 years old. Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime, he composed the last over a year before he died, signing it at the Swedish–Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November 1895. To widespread astonishment, Nobel's last will specified that his fortune be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind" in physics, physiology or medicine and peace. Nobel bequeathed 94 % of 31 million SEK, to establish the five Nobel Prizes; because of skepticism surrounding the will, it was not until 26 April 1897 that it was approved by the Storting in Norway. The executors of Nobel's will, Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and organised the award of prizes.
Nobel's instructions named a Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize, the members of whom were appointed shortly after the will was approved in April 1897. Soon thereafter, the other prize-awarding organizations were designated; these were Karolinska Institute on 7 June, the Swedish Academy on 9 June, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 11 June. The Nobel Foundation reached an agreement on guidelines for. In 1905, the personal union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved. According to his will and testament read in Stockholm on 30 December 1896, a foundation established by Alfred Nobel would reward those who serve humanity; the Nobel Prize was funded by Alfred Nobel's personal fortune. According to the official sources, Alfred Nobel bequeathed from the shares 94% of his fortune to the Nobel Foundation that now forms the economic base of the Nobel Prize; the Nobel Foundation was founded as a private organization on 29 June 1900. Its function is to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes.
In accordance with Nobel's will, the primary task of the Foundation is to manage the fortune Nobel left. Robert and Ludvig Nobel were involved in the oil business in Azerbaijan, according to Swedish historian E. Bargengren, who accessed the Nobel family archives, it was this "decision to allow withdrawal of Alfred's money from Baku that became the decisive factor that enabled the Nobel Prizes to be established". Another important task of the Nobel Foundation is to market the prizes internationally and to oversee informal ad
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
Canton of St. Gallen
The canton of St. Gallen canton of St Gall, is a canton of Switzerland; the capital is St. Gallen. Located in northeastern Switzerland, the canton has an area of 2,026 km2 and a resident population close to half a million as of 2015, it was formed in 1803 as a conflation of the city of St. Gallen, the territories of the Abbey of St. Gall and various former subject territories of the Old Swiss Confederacy; the canton of St. Gallen is an artificial construct of various historical territories, defined by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Act of Mediation in 1803. About half of the canton's area corresponds to the acquisitions of the abbey of St. Gallen over centuries; the city of St. Gallen became independent of the abbey in 1405. At the same time, the abbey lost control of Appenzell. Conversely, the Toggenburg was acquired by the Abbey in 1468. Both the city and the abbey were associates of the Old Swiss Confederacy, but unlike Appenzell never joined as full members; the territories at Lake Zürich and Rheintal remained independent until 1798.
In the Helvetic Republic, the northern parts of the modern canton together with Appenzell became the canton of Säntis, while its southern parts together with Glarus became the canton of Linth. Before the 1798 French invasion, the territory of the modern canton consisted of the free city of St. Gallen, the territories of the Abbey of St. Gallen, the free city of Rapperswil, Pfäfers Abbey and the independent lordships of Rheintal, Sax-Forstegg, Werdenberg and Uznach. In April 1798, the territories of the canton of St. Gallen were divided between the cantons of Säntis and Linth of the Helvetic Republic (along with Appenzell and parts of Schwyz. However, the two new Cantons had immediate financial problems and were forced to institute a number of unpopular taxes and laws; the Abbey was secularized on 17 September 1798 and the Prince-Abbot Pankraz Vorster fled to Vienna. The unpopular laws and the closing of the Abbey caused unrest throughout the area; when the War of the Second Coalition broke out in 1799, an Austrian army marched into eastern Switzerland and returned the Prince-Abbot to his throne at the Abbey.
However, his victory was short lived. The Austrian and Russian armies were defeated outside Zürich and the French Army returned to St. Gallen driving the Prince-Abbot out. In 1803, as part of the Act of Mediation, the area joined the Swiss Confederation as the Canton of St. Gallen; the cantonal constitution of 1803 was revised in 1814. Because of the confessional heterogeneity of the canton's population, the 1814 constitution did unusually organise matters of religion and education not on a cantonal level but introduced a twofold division, with separate Protestant and a Catholic assemblies subordinate to the legislative cantonal assembly; the constitution was revised again in 1831. The constitution of 1831 divided the canton into 15 districts, reduced to 14 in 1918. Due to continuing confessional squabbles over the organisation of schools, the canton placed education under its authority in 1861; the constitution was yet again revised with a stronger emphasis on direct democracy. The 1890 constitution remained in effect, with numerous changes, until 2001, the date of the latest revision of the cantonal constitution.
In the 2001 constitution, the division into districts was replaced by a division into eight constituencies, effective on 1 January 2003. The canton is located in the north east of Switzerland, it is bounded to the north by Lake Constance. To the east lies the Rhine valley. Over the Rhine are Austria and Liechtenstein. To the south, the canton of St. Gallen is bounded by the cantons of Graubünden and Schwyz. To the west lie the cantons of Zürich and Thurgau; the two half cantons Appenzell Innerrhoden and Appenzell Ausserrhoden are surrounded by lands of the canton of St. Gallen; the main rivers of the canton are the Rhine, Thur and Seez. The topography changes from the plains, near river Rhine and Lake Constance, towards the mountainous areas of the Alps in the south. About one third of the canton is wooded. 278.6 km2 of the farm land is alpine pastures. Of the rest of the canton, 259.1 km2 is considered unproductive while 176 km2 is filled with housing or roads. The altitude above the sea-level varies from 398 m to 3,251 m.
The canton includes portions of the lake of Constance, of the Walensee, of the lake of Zürich, several small lakes wholly within its limits. The mountains of the canton include part of a thrust fault, declared a geologic UNESCO world heritage site, under the name Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, in 2008. Since 2003 the canton is subdivided into 8 constituencies replacing the districts. Rheintal with capital Altstätten Rorschach with capital Rorschach Sarganserland with capital Sargans See-Gaster with capital Rapperswil-Jona St. Gallen with capital St. Gallen Toggenburg with capital Lichtensteig Werdenberg with capital Buchs Wil with capital Wil There are 77 municipalities in the canton
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are annual, scientific conferences held in Lindau, Germany since 1951. Their aim is to bring together Nobel laureates and young scientists to foster scientific exchange between different generations and cultures; every Lindau Meeting consists of a multitude of scientific sessions like plenary lectures and panel discussions as well as a variety of networking and social events. The meetings assume a unique position amongst international scientific conferences: With 30-40 Nobel laureates attending they are the largest congregation of Nobel laureates in the world; the meetings are not centered on the presentation of research results, but instead, their main goals are the exchange of ideas and the discussion of topics globally relevant to all scientists. The Nobel laureates do not receive any kind of payment for their participation and are free to choose the topics of their presentations. More than 300 are members of the meetings’ Founders Assembly. Billed by the organising Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings as their ‘Mission Education’, the aim of the meetings is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between Nobel laureates and young scientists but among the international scientific community and the general public.
The opportunity for participants to form international networks of scientists is regarded as a prime objective by the organisers. The meetings’ leitmotif is ‘Educate, Connect.’ After World War II, Germany was disconnected from the international scientific community due to the ramifications of the Nazi regime. During this time, hardly any scientific conferences of high value took place in Germany; the two physicians Franz Karl Hein and Gustav Parade from Lindau, a small town located on the Bavarian shore of Lake Constance, conceived the idea of organising a scientific meeting to bring together German researchers and physicians with Nobel laureates. They convinced Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg, a member of the Swedish Royal Family and proprietor of nearby Mainau Island, to call upon his good connections to Sweden’s Nobel Committee to support the undertaking; the first meeting, subsequently held in 1951, was dedicated to the fields of medicine and physiology and was attended by seven Nobel laureates, among them Adolf Butenandt and Hans von Euler-Chelpin.
After the success of the initial meeting, the scientific scope was broadened to include the other two natural science Nobel Prize disciplines chemistry and physics. Thus, a mode of annually alternating disciplines for the meetings was established. In 1954, the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings was founded and henceforth established as the organising committee of the meetings. Count Lennart was appointed as first president of the Council. In 1954, the concept of inviting students and young scientists to the meetings was introduced; this step was seen as a measure to add additional value for society to the meetings. Among the young scientists participating that year were students from Eastern Germany. While conceived by Hein and Parade as a European meeting of scientists, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings but became more international. In the beginnings, only students from Lake Constance’s bordering countries Germany and Austria attended but year after year new nations began to send representatives.
Since 2000, each Lindau Meeting is attended by young scientists from between 90 countries. In 1987, Count Bernadotte resigned from his position as president of the Council due to health reasons and his wife, Countess Sonja Bernadotte af Wisborg, took over. Shortly before the turn of the millennium, the future of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings was endangered due to financial uncertainties. In order to counter this negative development, Countess Sonja Bernadotte expanded the Council and added experts from charitable foundations and public affairs as well as representatives of Stockholm’s Nobel Foundation to the committee. Two main goals of Countess Sonja Bernadotte’s aegis were the further internationalisation of the meetings and to improve its public image, both domestically and internationally. On the occasion of the 50th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in the year 2000, the establishment of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings was announced, its main goal since has been to secure the funding of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
Upon its creation, over 40 Nobel Laureates joined the Founders Assembly of the foundation and support the continuance of the conference both morally and financially. The 50th Lindau Meeting in 2000 was the first interdisciplinary meeting that united Nobel laureates and students from all three natural science disciplines of the Nobel Prize; when Countess Sonja Bernadotte died in October 2008, her daughter, Countess Bettina Bernadotte, was elected President of the Council. She continued her mother’s course and worked on establishing further cooperation with research institutions around the world but introduced educational aspects for society in general to the Lindau Meetings. Since their inception, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have taken place in the small Bavarian town of Lindau on the shores of Lake Constance; the city’s center is located on an island in the lake, connected to the mainland via bridges. The meetings focus alternately on physiology and medicine and chemistry – the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines.
An interdisciplinary meeting revolving around all three natural sciences is held every five years. In addition, the Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences is held every three years with recipients of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The
Rudolf I of Germany
Rudolf I known as Rudolf of Habsburg, was Count of Habsburg from about 1240 and King of Germany from 1273 until his death. Rudolf's election marked the end of the Great Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire after the death of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1250. A Swabian count, he was the first Habsburg to acquire the duchies of Austria and Styria in opposition to his mighty rival, the Přemyslid king Ottokar II of Bohemia, whom he defeated in the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld; the territories remained under Habsburg rule for more than 600 years, forming the core of the Habsburg Monarchy and the present-day country of Austria. Rudolf was the first king of the Romans of the Habsburg dynasty, he played a vital role in raising the comital house to the rank of Imperial princes, he was the first of a number of late medieval count-kings, so called by the historian Bernd Schneidmüller, from the rival noble houses of Habsburg and Wittelsbach, all striving after the Roman-German royal dignity, taken over by the Habsburgs in 1438.
Rudolf was born on 1 May 1218 at Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl in the Breisgau region of present-day southwestern Germany. He was the son of Count Albert IV of Habsburg and of Hedwig, daughter of Count Ulrich of Kyburg. Around 1232, he was given as a squire to his uncle, Rudolf I, Count of Laufenburg, to train in knightly pursuits. At his father's death in 1239, he inherited large estates from him around the ancestral seat of Habsburg Castle in the Aargau region of present-day Switzerland as well as in Alsace. Thus, in 1240 in order to quell the rising power of Rudolf and in an attempt to place the important "Devil’s Bridge" across the Schöllenenschlucht under his direct control, Emperor Frederick II, granted Schwyz Reichsfreiheit in the Freibrief von Faenza. In 1242, Hugh of Tuffenstein provoked Count Rudolf through contumelious expressions. In turn, the Count of Habsburg failed to take his seat of power; as the day passed on, Count Rudolf bribed the sentinels of the city and gained entry, killing Hugh in the process.
In 1244, to help control Lake Lucerne and restrict the neighboring forest communities of Uri and Unterwalden, Rudolf built near its shores Neuhabsburg Castle. In 1245 Rudolf married Gertrude, daughter of Count Burkhard III of Hohenberg, he received as her dowry the castles of Oettingen, the valley of Weile, other places in Alsace, he became an important vassal in Swabia, the former Alemannic German stem duchy. That same year, Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon. Rudolf sided against the Emperor; this gave them a pretext to damage Neuhabsburg. Rudolf defended it and drove them off; as a result, Rudolf, by siding with the Pope, gained influence. Rudolf paid frequent visits to the court of his godfather, the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II, his loyalty to Frederick and his son, King Conrad IV of Germany, was richly rewarded by grants of land. In 1254, he engaged with other nobles of the Staufen party against Bishop of Basle; when night fell, he burnt down the local nunnery.
Pope Innocent IV excommunicated him and all parties involved. As penance, he took up the cross and joined Ottokar II, King of Bohemia in the Prussian Crusade of 1254. Whilst there, he oversaw the founding of the city of Königsberg, named in memory of King Ottokar; the disorder in Germany during the interregnum after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty afforded an opportunity for Count Rudolf to increase his possessions. His wife was a Hohenberg heiress. Successful feuds with the Bishops of Strasbourg and Basel further augmented his wealth and reputation, including rights over various tracts of land that he purchased from abbots and others; these various sources of wealth and influence rendered Rudolf the most powerful prince and noble in southwestern Germany. In the autumn of 1273, the prince-electors met to choose a king after Richard of Cornwall had died in England in April 1272. Rudolf's election in Frankfurt on 1 October 1273, when he was 55 years old, was due to the efforts of his brother-in-law, the Hohenzollern burgrave Frederick III of Nuremberg.
The support of Duke Albert II of Saxony and Elector Palatine Louis II had been purchased by betrothing them to two of Rudolf's daughters. As a result, within the electoral college, King Ottokar II of Bohemia, himself a candidate for the throne and related to the late Hohenstaufen king Philip of Swabia, was alone in opposing Rudolf. Other candidates were Prince Siegfried I of Anhalt and Margrave Frederick I of Meissen, a young grandson of the excommunicated Emperor Frederick II, who did not yet have a principality of his own as his father was still alive. By the admission of Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria instead of the King of Bohemia as the seventh Elector, Rudolf gained all seven votes. Rudolf was crowned in Aachen Cathedral on 24 October 1273. To win the approbation of the Pope, Rudolf renounced all imperial rights in Rome, the papal territory, Sicily, promised to lead a new crusade. Pope Gregory X, despite the protests of Ottokar II of Bohemia, not only recognised Rudolf himself, but persuaded King Alfonso X of Castile, chosen German