Landsgemeinde in Appenzell

Sunday, 29 April 2012, Laura and I drove to Appenzell in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden in order to see the Landsgemeinde.  The Landsgemeinde is one of the oldest examples of direct democracy.  I learned about it a couple of years ago when I took a History of Switzerland course.  I believe that the Landegeinde has happened there since the signing of the Bundesbrief in 1291.

Direct democracy is really only still possible since this city is very small, and the only other Swiss city where it takes place if Glarus.  Being Swiss history buffs of some sort, Laura and I decided that we must go see it for ourselves.

The drive to Appenzell was full of fog and rain, but once we got there the weather lightened and we were able to see the beauty of the area.  I’d heard it was beautiful, but you really must experience it for yourself.  The green hills, yellow flowers, and brown cows, all encircled by the Swiss Alps.  It’s really a sight.  Unfortunately, since I had only had three hours of sleep the night before, in my daze I forgot my photo camera.  Such stupidity.

However, Laura and I arrived in Appenzell at noon just as the voting was starting.  We saw the Appenzeller men carrying their ceremonial swords and heading to the Landesgemeindeplatz to vote.  I was under the false impression that the men voted by putting their swords in the air, but to my disappointment this didn’t happen.  How ever seeing so many people there interesting in their government made me think a lot about my studies, and that maybe it wasn’t so pointless.

After watching the first two votes, Laura and I walked around the city for a bit.  Spent too much money on fabulous cheeses and then got in the car and drove to St. Gallen.  It was a quick visit, only to see the Stiftsbibliothek or Abbey Library.  It is one of the oldest libraries in Switzerland, and a picture of it is almost always included in those “Most Beautiful Libraries” lists.  It isn’t that large, but it is very ornate and imposing.  It also has a mummy inside which was donated for some reason.  At around 17:00 we left St. Gallen after a coffee, and headed back to Lugano and back to schoolwork.  However, getting in the car and going outside of Ticino really was a nice break.  And I definitely want to go back to Appenzell sometime, and with my photo camera dammit.

My vlog from that day:

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Posted on May 3, 2012, in vlog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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