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Culture of Switzerland

Libraries and Museums Literature Art

Swiss culture has contributed notably to literature, art, and music. It is an amalgam of the German, French, and Italian cultures embodied in the Swiss linguistic regions; however, it is separated from these parent cultures, for example, by Swiss dialects and cultural cross-pollination. From early times Switzerland has been exposed to many foreign influences, and as early as the Middle Ages the country had achieved a high cultural level. Carolingian culture, particularly painting and Romanesque architecture, flourished, and the Sankt Gallen (Saint Gall) monastery was a brilliant center of Western culture. Since then most European cultural trends, such as humanism and the Reformation, have been assimilated. Calvin and Huldreich Zwingli, another 16th-century Swiss religious leader, had an enormous impact on the culture of their country. By the 18th century, however, Swiss culture had become increasingly internationalized. In contemporary Switzerland theater and music flourish. The Stadttheater Basel, Stadttheater Bern, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Théâtre de la Comédie in Geneva, and Théâtre Municipal de Lausanne are the leading centers of drama; and in the world of music the Opernhaus Zürich, the municipal opera house, is particularly well known.

Libraries and Museums
The library of Basel University, with about 2.8 million volumes, is among the largest in Switzerland. The Swiss National Library, in Bern, and the libraries of the United Nations (UN) and of the International Labor Organization, both in Geneva, are among the most important specialized libraries. Switzerland has many federal, cantonal, and municipal public libraries. The National Museum, in Zürich, houses the most important of several large historical collections in Switzerland. Fine arts museums in Basel, Bern, and Zürich contain collections of 15th- and 16th-century German, 17th- and 18th-century Dutch and Flemish, 19th-century French impressionist, and contemporary European works.

Swiss literature comprises Latin-Swiss literature and the more important German-Swiss and French-Swiss literatures, which are closely linked to the literatures of the neighboring countries. Less significant are the Italian-Swiss, Romansh, and Swiss-dialect literatures. Latin-Swiss literature was important chiefly during the Middle Ages in religious and humanistic works. The most important Swiss literature is in German, beginning with the poetry of the minnesingers of the Middle Ages and including the popular ballads and chronicles dating from the 14th to the 18th century. The most outstanding German-Swiss authors include Gottfried Keller, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Hermann Hesse, Carl Spitteler, Jeremias Gotthelf (pseudonym of Albert Bitzius), Max Frisch, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt. One of the best-known French-Swiss authors is Charles Ferdinand Ramuz. A famous Swiss children's book is Heidi (1880; translated 1884) by Johanna Spyri.

A number of Swiss artists have achieved international recognition over the centuries. Chief among them are the painters Conrad Witz, Henry Fuseli, Arnold Böcklin, Ferdinand Hodler, and Paul Klee. The sculptor Alberto Giacometti and the architect Le Corbusier are world renowned.

The Swiss composers Ludwig Senfl and Heinrich Loris, called Henricus Glareanus, made important contributions to European music during the Renaissance. Important Swiss composers in recent years have included Ernest Bloch, Othmar Schoeck, Frank Martin, Ernst Levy, and Conrad Beck. The Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet gained worldwide fame as conductor of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, based in Geneva. The Swiss are also noted for developing the yodel, a kind of wordless singing with abrupt shifts in pitch.

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Photographer Geneva Swiss freelance photographer based in Geneva Switzerland
Atelier de musiqueStage de lutherie: construction collective d`un luth médiéval et d`une guiterne. Concerts de musique médiévale. Conférences sur la musique pour luth médiéval et sur les instr. du Moyen Age
Fotograf Oliver OettFotograf, Oliver Oettli, Biel, Bern, Schweiz, Fotograph, Photograph, Fotostudio,Portrait, Shootings, Studioshootings, Mode, Hochzeitsreportage, Hochzeitsfotograf, Events, Werbung, Akt

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