The town of Schwyz (; french: Schwytz; it, Svitto) is the capital of the
canton of Schwyz The canton of Schwyz (german: Kanton Schwyz ) is a canton of Switzerland, canton in central Switzerland between the Swiss Alps, Alps in the south, Lake Lucerne to the west and Lake Zürich in the north, centered on and named after the town of Schw ...
in Switzerland. The Federal Charter of 1291 or ''Bundesbrief'', the charter that eventually led to the foundation of Switzerland, can be seen at the ''Bundesbriefmuseum''. The official language of Schwyz is (the Swiss variety of) Swiss Standard German, German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic German, Alemannic Swiss German (linguistics), Swiss German dialect.


The earliest certain record of the name dates to 972, recorded in Medieval Latin as '. There are a number of uncertain records dated between 924 and 960, in the form ''Swites'' (''Suuites'') and ''Switz''. The name is recorded as ''Schwitz'' in the 13th century, and in the 17th to 18th century often as ''Schweitz''. The name's etymology is uncertain. It was long presented as derived from the name of an eponymous founder in Swiss legend, one Swiss Swedish origin legend, ''Suito'' or ''Switer'', an explanation found in Swiss school textbooks until the first half of the 20th century. There is currently no consensus on the name's derivation. A Germanic etymology was suggested by Gatschet (1867), deriving the name from an Old High German verb ' "to burn" (referring to slash-and-burn clearing of woodland for habitation). Brandstetter (1871) is critical of Gatschet's suggestion and prefers derivation from an Alemannic personal name in ''Svid-'' as it were presenting a scholarly defense of the ''Suito'' of the founding legend. The etymology proposed for the ' by Hubschmied (1929) derives the name from a Gallo-Roman *', from the Gaulish or Latin word for ":wikt:Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/suH-, pig", via a Romance *' "(mountain, pasture) of pigs" yielding an Alemannic '. Hubschmied distanced himself from this opinion in 1961, preferring an unspecified pre-Roman (or "Etruscan") source. Sonderegger (1966) revisits Gatschet's ' "slash-and-burn" proposal, but now claims derivation from a cognate Celtic root, ', Proto-Celtic ' with a meaning of "clearing" or similar, giving Gaulish *' (the long vowel as in ' "Rhine"), Gallo-Romance *''Svēdus, -is'', and finally ' in Old High German by the 8th century. The name ' was extended to the area dominated by Schwyz (the Canton of Schwyz), and later to the entire Old Swiss Confederacy. Other cantons tended to resent this in the 15th century, but after 1499 the term ' was widely self-adopted, out of spite so to speak, since it had been employed as a term of abuse by the Swabian side during the Swabian War. ' and ' (the origin of the English name ''Switzerland'') could be used interchangeably as country names in the 16th century. The Swiss German pronunciation is the same for the name of the town and that of the country (the two are distinguished only by use of the definite article for the latter, "Schwyz", "Switzerland"). The spelling of ''y'' for [iː] originates from the ligature ''IJ (digraph), ij'' in 15th-century handwriting.


While a few Switzerland in the Roman era, Roman era coins have been found in Schwyz, the earliest evidence of a settlement comes from the 8th century. The Alamanni cemetery at the parish church and the church itself are both from the first half of the 8th century. This first church was followed by a second Ottonian Renaissance, ottonian church around 1000, which may have been destroyed by the 1117 Verona earthquake. In 1121 the third church building, a Romanesque architecture, romanesque building, was consecrated. This was followed in the 15th Century by the much larger fourth church which was destroyed, along with much of the village, by fire in 1642. The fifth church, an early Baroque architecture, baroque church was replaced because of serious structural defects by the current late baroque church which was dedicated in 1774. Because Schwyz was the capital of a canton, many of the government organizations administered both the town and the canton at the same time, and the history of the town is closely tied to the history of the canton. According to the chronicle of Johann Stumpf (writer), Johann Stumpf from 1548, the old town originally consisted of a village square, the church and its cemetery, the town hall, the inn, the archive tower and a number of scattered wooden houses. Around 1500, to distinguish it from the Canton of Schwyz, Schwyz town was often called ''Kilchgassen'', which meant the village around the church but not the surrounding villages. The fire of 1642, which destroyed 47 buildings in the center of the village, allowed the town to be totally rebuilt. A new, larger town square with major roads radiating out was built in front of the new church and the new city hall. The houses were rebuilt as urban townhouses and a ring of about 30 large Patrician (post-Roman Europe), patrician farm houses grew up surrounding the village center.


Besides the town of Schwyz, the municipality includes the settlements of Ibach, Switzerland, Ibach, Seewen, Schwyz, Seewen and Rickenbach, Schwyz, Rickenbach. To the east, the municipality includes, or borders on, the mountains of Hochstuckli, Kleiner Mythen, Grosser Mythen, Rotenflue, and Furggelenstock. The river Muota flows out of these mountains and through the municipality on its way to Lake Lucerne. The Haggenegg Pass and Holzegg Pass both cross to Alpthal, whilst the Ibergeregg Pass crosses to Oberiberg. Schwyz has an area, , of . Of this area, 46.4% is used for agricultural purposes, while 39.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 8.7% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (5.8%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).

Coat of arms

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is ''Gules, a Confederate cross couped in the hoist argent.''


Schwyz had a population () of . , 15.6% of the population were resident foreign nationals. Over the year 2010–2011 the population reduced by 0.6%. Migration accounted for −0.9%, while births and deaths accounted for 0.0%.Swiss Federal Statistical Office
accessed 11 December 2013
Most of the population () speaks German language, German (12,441 or 90.1%) as their first language, Serbo-Croatian is the second most common (378 or 2.7%) and Italian language, Italian is the third (273 or 2.0%). There are 23 people who speak French language, French and 25 people who speak Romansh language, Romansh. , the population was 49.9% male and 50.1% female. The population was made up of 5,824 Swiss men (42.2% of the population), 1,058 (7.7%) non-Swiss men, 5,932 Swiss women (43.0%) and 988 (7.2%) non-Swiss women. Of the population in the municipality, 6,681 or about 48.4% were born in Schwyz and lived there in 2000. There were 2,195 or 15.9% who were born in the same canton, while 2,780 or 20.1% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 1,797 or 13.0% were born outside of Switzerland. , children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 25.6% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 60.3% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 14.1%. , there were 6,314 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 6,305 married individuals, 722 widows or widowers and 461 individuals who are divorced.STAT-TAB Datenwürfel für Thema 40.3 – 2000
accessed 2 February 2011
, there were 5,250 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.5 persons per household. There were 1,582 households that consist of only one person and 536 households with five or more people. , a total of 4,968 apartments (90.3% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 375 apartments (6.8%) were seasonally occupied and 156 apartments (2.8%) were empty.Swiss Federal Statistical Office STAT-TAB – Datenwürfel für Thema 09.2 – Gebäude und Wohnungen
accessed 28 January 2011
, the construction rate of new housing units was 4.8 new units per 1000 residents. the average price to rent an average apartment in Schwyz was 1185.58 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$950, £530, €760 approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one-room apartment was 543.08 CHF (US$430, £240, €350), a two-room apartment was about 904.87 CHF (US$720, £410, €580), a three-room apartment was about 1068.78 CHF (US$860, £480, €680) and a six or more room apartment cost an average of 1461.34 CHF (US$1170, £660, €940). The average apartment price in Schwyz was 106.2% of the national average of 1116 CHF.Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Rental prices
2003 data accessed 26 May 2010
The vacancy rate for the municipality, , was 0.25%.

Historic population

The historical population is given in the following chart: Colors= id:lightgrey value:gray(0.9) id:darkgrey value:gray(0.8) ImageSize = width:800 height:500 PlotArea = top:10 left: 100 bottom:90 right:100 Legend = columns:3 left:220 top:70 columnwidth:160 AlignBars = justify DateFormat = x.y Period = from:0 till:14000 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical AlignBars = justify ScaleMajor = gridcolor:darkgrey increment:3000 start:0 ScaleMinor = gridcolor:lightgrey increment:600 start:0 Colors= id:TO value:yellowgreen legend:Total id:GE value:teal legend:German_Speaking id:IT value:green legend:Italian_Speaking id:CA value:lightpurple legend:Catholic id:PR value:oceanblue legend:Protestant id:SW value:red legend:Swiss PlotData= color:yellowgreen width:40 mark:(line,white) align:center bar:1850 from:start till:5432 text:"5,432" color:TO bar:1870 from:start till:6137 text:"6,137" color:TO bar:1888 from:start till:6616 text:"6,616" color:TO bar:1900 from:start till:7398 text:"7,398" color:TO bar:1910 from:start till:8000 text:"8,000" color:TO bar:1930 from:start till:8256 text:"8,256" color:TO bar:1950 from:start till:10259 text:"10,259" color:TO bar:1970 from:start till:12194 text:"12,194" color:TO bar:1990 from:start till:12872 text:"12,872" color:TO bar:2000 from:start till:13802 text:"13,802" color:TO LineData = points:(244,274)(307,292) color:GE points:(307,292)(369,306) color:GE points:(369,306)(431,315) color:GE points:(431,315)(493,371) color:GE points:(493,371)(556,410) color:GE points:(556,410)(618,419) color:GE points:(618,419)(680,445) color:GE points:(244,93)(307,97) color:IT points:(307,97)(369,100) color:IT points:(369,100)(431,97) color:IT points:(431,97)(493,97) color:IT points:(493,97)(556,111) color:IT points:(556,111)(618,103) color:IT points:(618,103)(680,98) color:IT points:(120,245)(182,265) color:CA points:(182,265)(244,277) color:CA points:(244,277)(307,298) color:CA points:(307,298)(369,313) color:CA points:(369,313)(431,319) color:CA points:(431,319)(493,373) color:CA points:(493,373)(556,422) color:CA points:(556,422)(618,416) color:CA points:(618,416)(680,412) color:CA points:(120,90)(182,91) color:PR points:(182,91)(244,92) color:PR points:(244,92)(307,94) color:PR points:(307,94)(369,95) color:PR points:(369,95)(431,97) color:PR points:(431,97)(493,100) color:PR points:(493,100)(556,104) color:PR points:(556,104)(618,109) color:PR points:(618,109)(680,111) color:PR points:(120,244)(182,261) color:SW points:(182,261)(244,272) color:SW points:(244,272)(307,287) color:SW points:(307,287)(369,301) color:SW points:(369,301)(431,314) color:SW points:(431,314)(493,373) color:SW points:(493,373)(556,407) color:SW points:(556,407)(618,413) color:SW points:(618,413)(680,426) color:SW

Heritage sites of national significance

The ''Bundesbriefmuseum'' (Museum of the Swiss Charters of Confederation), the Dominican Order, Dominican nuns Convent of St. Peter am Bach, the entire medieval and Early Modern Switzerland, early modern settlement, the Hermitage (religious retreat), Hermitage and chapel, the Forum der Schweizer Geschichte (Forum of Swiss History), the ''Ab Yberg im Grund'' House, the ''Bethlehem'' House at Reichsstrasse 9, the ''Ceberg im Feldli'' house at Theodosiusweg 20, the house at Gotthardstrasse 99 in Ibach, the ''Grosshus'' at Strehlgasse 12, the ''Immenfeld'' house, the house at Langfeldweg 14 in Kaltbach, the house at Oberschönenbuch 79 in Ibach, the Herrenhaus Waldegg, the Hettlingerhäuser, the Hofstatt Ital Reding, the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Parish Church of St. Martin, the Maihof, the Palais Büeler, the Seat of local government, Rathaus (Town council house), the Reding House, the State Archives of Schwyz and the ''Köplihaus'' house are listed as a Swiss Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance, heritage site of national significance. The entire old city of Schwyz is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. File: Bundesbriefmuseum.jpg , ''Bundesbriefmuseum'' (Museum of the Swiss Charters of Confederation) File: Frauenkloster www.f64.ch-2.jpg , Dominican Order, Dominican Nuns Convent of St. Peter am Bach File: Einsiedelei Schwyz www.f64.ch-1.jpg , Hermitage (religious retreat), Hermitage with Chapel of the 14 Emergency Helpers and a Brothers' House File: Forum der schweizer geschichte04.jpg , Forum der Schweizer Geschichte (Forum of Swiss History) File: Haus Ab Yberg Schwyz 1-www.f64.ch.jpg , ''Ab Yberg im Grund'' House with St. Sebastian Chapel File: Schwyz Haus Bethlehem und Grosser Mythen.jpg , ''Bethlehem'' House at Reichsstrasse 9 File: Haus Ceberg Schwyz www.f64.ch-3.jpg , ''Ceberg im Feldli'' House at Theodosiusweg 20 File: Gotthardstrasse 99 www.f64.ch-1.jpg , House at Gotthardstrasse 99, Ibach File: Grosshus Schwyz www.f64.ch-2.jpg , ''Grosshus'' House at Strehlgasse 12 File: Haus Immenfeld Schwyz www.f64.ch-9.jpg , ''Immenfeld'' House File: Langfeldweg 14 www.f64.ch-3.jpg , House at Langfeldweg 14, Kaltbach File: Schönenbuch Schwyz www.f64.ch-2.jpg , House at Oberschönenbuch 79, Ibach File: Hettlingerhaeuser Schwyz www.f64.ch-4.jpg , Hettlingerhäuser File: Ital-Reding-Hofstatt Schwyz.jpg , Hofstatt Ital Reding File: Kopp1august 1.JPG , Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Parish Church of St. Martin ith ''Kerchel'' and ''Heiligkreuz'' Chapel File: Maihof Palais Niederoest 2-www.f64.ch.jpg , Maihof File: Palais Bueeler Schwyz www.f64.ch-1.jpg , Palais Büeler (formerly Palais von Weber) File: Schwyz Rathaus.jpg , Seat of local government, Rathaus (Town council house) File: Schwyz_Hofstatt_Ital_Reding.jpg , Reding House File: Staatsarchiv www.f64.ch-2.jpg , State Archives of Schwyz


In the 2007 Swiss federal election, 2007 federal election the most popular party was the Swiss People's Party, SVP which received 39.91% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland, CVP (26.12%), the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, SPS (17.05%) and the FDP.The Liberals, FDP (12.72%). In the federal election, a total of 5,554 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 57.8%.


, Schwyz had an unemployment rate of 1.8%. , there were 484 people employed in the Primary sector of the economy, primary economic sector and about 174 businesses involved in this sector. 2,756 people were employed in the Secondary sector of the economy, secondary sector and there were 179 businesses in this sector. 7,099 people were employed in the Tertiary sector of the economy, tertiary sector, with 696 businesses in this sector. the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 8,570. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 303, of which 273 were in agriculture and 30 were in forestry or lumber production. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 2,647 of which 1,589 or (60.0%) were in manufacturing, 8 or (0.3%) were in mining and 928 (35.1%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 5,620. In the tertiary sector; 1,357 or 24.1% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 306 or 5.4% were in the movement and storage of goods, 272 or 4.8% were in a hotel or restaurant, 136 or 2.4% were in the information industry, 733 or 13.0% were the insurance or financial industry, 427 or 7.6% were technical professionals or scientists, 260 or 4.6% were in education and 1,053 or 18.7% were in health care. , there were 4,484 workers who commuted into the municipality and 2,168 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 2.1 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving.Swiss Federal Statistical Office – Statweb
accessed 24 June 2010
Of the working population, 13.6% used public transportation to get to work, and 45.3% used a private car.


From the , 11,269 or 81.6% were Roman Catholic, while 675 or 4.9% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 423 Orthodox Christianity, members of an Orthodox church (or about 3.06% of the population), there were 7 individuals (or about 0.05% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, Christian Catholic Church, and there were 155 individuals (or about 1.12% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 5 individuals (or about 0.04% of the population) who were Judaism, Jewish, and 502 (or about 3.64% of the population) who were Islamic. There were 42 individuals who were Buddhism, Buddhist, 31 individuals who were Hinduism, Hindu and 7 individuals who belonged to another church. 377 (or about 2.73% of the population) belonged to no church, are Agnosticism, agnostic or Atheism, atheist, and 385 individuals (or about 2.79% of the population) did not answer the question.


In Schwyz about 4,873 or (35.3%) of the population have completed non-mandatory Education in Switzerland#Secondary, upper secondary education, and 1,473 or (10.7%) have completed additional higher education (either List of universities in Switzerland, university or a ''Fachhochschule''). Of the 1,473 who completed tertiary schooling, 71.1% were Swiss men, 19.4% were Swiss women, 5.3% were non-Swiss men and 4.1% were non-Swiss women. , there were 419 students in Schwyz who came from another municipality, while 186 residents attended schools outside the municipality. Schwyz is home to the ''Kantonsbibliothek Schwyz'' library. The library has () 108,142 books or other media, and loaned out 136,064 items in the same year. It was open a total of 276 days with average of 29 hours per week during that year. A major school in Schwyz is the ''Kantonsschule Kollegium Schwyz'' (KKS), an upper Secondary school that is a Gymnasium (school), Gymnasium and a Vocational education#Switzerland, vocational or technical college. The KKS has operated for over 150 years, though it builds on several older schools. The first Latin school in Schwyz opened in 1627 in the former Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Capuchin monastery of St. Josef im Loo. This school remained open until the French invasion of Switzerland#Collapse, 1798 French invasion. On 25 July 1841, the Jesuits laid the cornerstone of what would become the Jesuit College on the site of the modern ''Kollegium''. The school opened in 1844 but only remained under Jesuit control for three years. In 1847, Federal troops marched into Schwyz to suppress the Catholic Sonderbund War, Sonderbund and forced the Jesuits to flee. It was reopened in 1855 under the Capuchin priest, Father Theodosius Florentini and in the following year began teaching students. The school continued to teach students using both religious and secular teachers until the 1970s. In 1972, the lower Secondary students moved to Pfäffikon, Schwyz, Pfäffikon and the school became an upper Secondary ''Kantonsschule''.


Schwyz has an average of 149.2 days of rain per year and on average receives of Precipitation (meteorology), precipitation. The wettest month is August during which time Schwyz receives an average of of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 13.9 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is June, with an average of 14.8, but with only of precipitation. The driest month of the year is February with an average of of precipitation over 13.9 days., the weather station elevation is 480 meters above sea level.


The A4 motorway (Switzerland), A4 motorway, between Zürich and the Brunnen passes through the west of the municipality, and the town is linked to it by main roads and motorway junctions. Other main roads connect the town to Lucerne (along both banks of Lake Lucerne), to the Gotthard Pass and southern Switzerland, and to Pfäffikon, Schwyz, Pfaffikon and Einsiedeln in the north of the canton of Schwyz. A minor road crosses the Ibergeregg Pass to Oberiberg, providing an alternative route to Einsiedeln. Other minor roads reach to near the summits of both the Haggenegg Pass and Holzegg Pass, but only hiking trails actually cross these passes and continue to Alpthal. Schwyz railway station, on the Gotthardbahn, Gotthard railway, is located about outside the town, in the parish of Seewen. The station is served by InterRegio and S-Bahn trains. Early plans for the Schweizerische Südostbahn included a proposal for what is now the Pfäffikon SZ–Arth-Goldau railway line, Pfäffikon SZ–Arth-Goldau railway to terminate at Brunnen railway station instead of Arth-Goldau railway station. If that proposal had come to fruition, the Schwyz town centre would have had a railway station – initially on the Kollegi football field, and later in Steisteg. From 6 October 1900 to 14 December 1963, the Schwyzer Strassenbahnen linked the Schwyz railway station with the town centre. On 8 May 1915, the additional section between Schwyz and Brunnen SZ, Brunnen See was opened – and on the same day, the Schwyz SBB–Schwyz line was shut down. The trams were eventually replaced by the Auto AG Schwyz, which today operates 12 bus lines in the cantons of Lucerne and Schwyz. The ''Rotenfluebahn'', a gondola lift, links Rickenbach, Schwyz, Rickenbach with the summit of the Rotenfluh mountain, which is, in summer, a popular vantage point over the Lake Lucerne region, and, in winter, a ski area.

Notable people

* Theodor von Reding (1755 in Schwyz – 1809) a Spanish general, led Swiss and Spanish troops against Napoleon * Alois von Reding (1765 in Schwyz – 1818) a Swiss patriot, military officer and politician * Carl Elsener Sr. (1922 – 2013 in Schwyz) a Swiss entrepreneur with the Swiss Army knife * Xavier Koller (born 1944 in Schwyz) a Swiss film director and screenwriter * Gertrud Leutenegger (born 1948 in Schwyz) a Swiss poet, novelist, playwright and theatre director * Monika Kaelin (born 1954 in Schwyz) a model and actress IMDb Database
retrieved 28 January 2019
; Sport * Oscar Camenzind (born 1971 in Schwyz) a former professional road racing cyclist * Luca Schuler (skier), Luca Schuler (born 1998 in Schwyz) a Swiss freestyle skier, competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics


External links

Municipality of Schwyz

Canton of Schwyz
{{Authority control Schwyz, Canton of Schwyz, Schwyz (capital) Cantonal capitals of Switzerland Cities in Switzerland Municipalities of the canton of Schwyz Cultural property of national significance in the canton of Schwyz