Grütli - Rütli

Lisbeth and Edy Truttmann-Christen
Restaurant Rütlihaus
CH-6441 Rütli
Tel. +41 41 820 12 74
Fax +41 41 820 12 70

The Rütli is the most mythical meadow in Switzerland. It is located in a difficult-to-reach spot on the steep shores of Lake Lucerne, just below the village of Seelisberg.

Contrary to what is often believed in popular imagery, this is not where the famous Pact of 1291, considered to be the originating act of Switzerland, was made.

This pact was merely the renewal of an old legal and defensive alliance concluded by the representatives of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden. The only original copy was rediscovered in the Schwyz archives in 1724, but it was only at the end of the 19th century, with the emergence of nationalism, that it was given a founding value.

While the Pact of 1291 is a historical fact, what happened on the Rütli meadow is part of legend. According to a 16th-century chronicler, in 1307 it was the site of a conspiracy against the Austrian bailiffs.

A real step towards independence, whereas the Pact of 1291, in a way, was only the record of a unionist meeting...

Accessible only on foot or by boat, the Grütli, beyond the symbol, is best appreciated from Seelisberg, 350m higher, from where the view over the region is truly spectacular.