Appenzell Ausserrhoden

Appenzellerland Tourismus Ausserrhoden
St. Gallerstrasse 49
CH-9100 Herisau
Tel. +41 71 898 33 00
Fax +41 71 898 33 09

The two half-cantons of Appenzell are regions with long-standing traditions, such as that of the piquant Appenzeller cheese, the secret recipe for which has been handed down for over 700 years!

The canton of Appenzell, which is completely surrounded by the canton of St. Gallen, was once divided into "rhodes", subdivisions that played a judicial and economic role.

When the canton split into two half-cantons in 1597, Appenzell Ausserrhoden was formed from the six rhodes of the former, predominantly Protestant bailiwick of Trogen, while the Catholic rhodes became the half-canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden.

This explains the strange names of these half-cantons!

Appenzell Innerrhoden was also, until its abolition in 1997, one of the cantons where elections and votes were held in a "Landsgemeinde", a system of direct democracy dating back to the early Middle Ages, which still exists in its neighbouring canton of Innerrhoden.

Both Appenzell cantons have long-standing traditions, some of which are a little extreme: the tradition of the pungent Appenzeller cheese, the secret recipe for which has been passed down for over 700 years, is much applauded, but it is very difficult to accept the tradition that denied women the right to vote until 1989 in Ausserrhoden, and that forced the Federal Court to impose it on its neighbour in 1990!

All these particularities make the two Appenzell cantons a must-see if you want to immerse yourself in the totally atypical history of this strange agglomerate that is modern Switzerland!