Category Archives: Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement

Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past. They were built over a period of a half-century, in the course of what Le Corbusier described as โ€œpatient researchโ€. The Complexe du Capitole in Chandigarh (India), the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (Japan), the House of Dr Curutchet in La Plata (Argentina) and the Unitรฉ dโ€™habitation in Marseille (France) reflect the solutions that the Modern Movement sought to apply during the 20th century to the challenges of inventing new architectural techniques to respond to the needs of society. These masterpieces of creative genius also attest to the internationalization of architectural practice across the planet.

Since 2016 it is a Unesco site.

Thank to my mom for the postcard.

francia - corbusier

Thanks to Prashant for the postcard.

india - corbusier

Thanks to Sita for the postcard.

india - corbusier 2

Thanks to Svenja for the postcard.

germania - corbusier

Thanks to Bei for the postcard.

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Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps

This serial property of 111 small individual sites encompasses the remains of prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements in and around the Alps built from around 5000 to 500 B.C. on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands. Excavations, only conducted in some of the sites, have yielded evidence that provides insight into life in prehistoric times during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Alpine Europe and the way communities interacted with their environment. Fifty-six of the sites are located in Switzerland. The settlements are a unique group of exceptionally well-preserved and culturally rich archaeological sites, which constitute one of the most important sources for the study of early agrarian societies in the region.

Since 2011 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Christina for the postcard.

austria - dwells

Thanks to Gabi for the postcard.

pile dwellings

italia - pile dwellings

Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the economy.

Since 2007 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Isabella for the postcard.

svizzera - lavaux

Monte San Giorgio

The pyramid-shaped, wooded mountain of Monte San Giorgio beside Lake Lugano is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period (245โ€“230 million years ago). The sequence records life in a tropical lagoon environment, sheltered and partially separated from the open sea by an offshore reef. Diverse marine life flourished within this lagoon, including reptiles, fish, bivalves, ammonites, echinoderms and crustaceans. Because the lagoon was near land, the remains also include land-based fossils of reptiles, insects and plants, resulting in an extremely rich source of fossils.

Although it is primarily of geological significance, Monte San Giorgio also displays other natural values, as well as cultural links between the geology and the life of the local community. Noteworthy features include dry meadows on limestone subsoils that are home to plant populations not found elsewhere in Switzerland or in the entire southern Alpine zone of Italy. The site is rich in fungi and has 37 of the modern vertebrate species on the national Red List, 21 of which are protected under the Berne Convention.

Since 2010 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Le and David for the postcard.

svizzera - monte san giorgio

La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning

The site of La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle watchmaking town-planning consists of two towns situated close to one another in a remote environment in the Swiss Jura mountains, on land ill-suited to farming. Their planning and buildings reflect watchmakersโ€™ need of rational organization. Planned in the early 19th century, after extensive fires, the towns owed their existence to this single industry. Their layout along an open-ended scheme of parallel strips on which residential housing and workshops are intermingled reflects the needs of the local watchmaking culture that dates to the 17th century and is still alive today. The site presents outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing-towns which are well preserved and still active. The urban planning of both towns has accommodated the transition from the artisanal production of a cottage industry to the more concentrated factory production of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The town of La Chaux-de-Fonds was described by Karl Marx as a โ€œhuge factory-townโ€ in Das Kapital where he analyzed the division of labour in the watchmaking industry of the Jura.

Since 2009 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Le and David for the postcard.

unico2014038

Old City of Berne

Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Berne developed over the centuries in line with a an exceptionally coherent planning concept. The buildings in the Old City, dating from a variety of periods, include 15th-century arcades and 16th-century fountains. Most of the medieval town was restored in the 18th century but it has retained its original character.

Berne developed along the lines of exceptionally coherent planning principles. The medieval establishment of Berne, reflecting the slow conquest of the site by urban extensions from the 12th to the 14th century, makes Berne an impressive example of the High Middle Ages with regard to the foundation of a city, figuring in the European arena among the most significant of urban planning creations. The features of Berne were modified to reflect the modern era: in the 16th century, picturesque fountains were introduced to the city and restoration work was carried out on the towers and walls and the cathedral was completed. In the 17th century, many patrician houses were built of sandy limestone, and towards the end of the 18th century, a large part of the constructed zones underwent transformation. However, this continual modernization, right through to the present day, was carried out observing the need to conserve the medieval urban structure of the city. The Old City of Berne is a unique example demonstrating a constant renewal of the built substance while respecting the original urban planning concept, and presenting a variation of the late Baroque on a theme of High Middle Ages.

Since 1983 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Le and David for the postcard.

unico2014039

Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona

The Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona in the north-eastern part of the country covers a mountainous area of 32,850 ha which features seven peaks that rise above 3,000 m. The area displays an exceptional example of mountain building through continental collision and features. Excellent geological sections through tectonic thrust, i.e. the process whereby older, deeper rocks are carried onto younger, shallower rocks. The site is distinguished by the clear three-dimensional exposure of the structures and processes that characterize this phenomenon and has been a key site for the geological sciences since the 18th century. The Glarus Alps are glaciated mountains rising dramatically above narrow river valleys and are the site of the largest post-glacial landslide in the Central Alpine region.

Since 2008 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Le and David for the postcard.

unico2014034