1895 Winterthur


1895 Winterthur Shooting Medal1895 Winterthur Shooting Medal
Actual 45 mm size by Georges Hantz, Genf / H. Wildermuth, Winterthur.

Obverse.

The beauteous Maiden, the metaphorical representation of Winterthur city, is seated gracefully atop the veranda of the Semper Stadthaus (Great Town Hall) overlooking the grand spectacle of the shooting arena of the Federal Grand Schützenfest in Mattenbach of Winterthur.

Her gaze turns eastward, her outreached hand clutches an olive branch, betraying her yearning for peace.

The Confederate Cross resonating stylized rays brilliantly diverging in all directions speaks of the everlasting protection, freedom and independence conferred by the Confederation.

Far distant yonder, the majestic Mount Hörnli watches over the historic cities of Winterthur and Zürich, its mountainous form a protector and defender of its people.

Reverse.

The champions’ garland encircles the historical monuments of Grossmünster (Great Minster), the Romanesque-style Protestant church, and the revered Fraumünster (Women's Minster) towers over the cityscape rooftops of Old Zürich.

A traditional crossbow reminiscent of Wilhelm Tell’s legacy, takes pride of place above the champions’ garland of glory.

On the left, an intricately sculptured bust of Venus, depicts lush and fertile lands, declaring the city’s eternal growth. On the right, an immaculately sculptured bust of Mercury, portrays industrious commerce, declaring the city’s abundant wealth.

Background.

On 1 May 1351, the citizens of Zürich had to swear allegiance before representatives of the cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden, the other members of the Swiss Confederacy. Thus, Zürich became the fifth member of the Confederacy, which was at that time a loose confederation of de facto independent states. Zürich was the presiding canton of the Diet from 1468 to 1519. This authority was the executive council and lawmaking body of the confederacy, from the Middle Ages until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848. Zürich was temporarily expelled from the confederacy in 1440 due to a war with the other member states over the territory of Toggenburg (the Old Zürich War). Neither side had attained significant victory when peace was agreed upon in 1446, and Zürich was readmitted to the confederation in 1450.

Zürich was the Federal capital for 1839–40, and consequently, the victory of the Conservative party there in 1839 caused a great stir throughout Switzerland. But when in 1845 the Radicals regained power at Zürich, which was again the Federal capital for 1845–46, Zürich took the lead in opposing the Sonderbund cantons. Following the Sonderbund war and the formation of the Swiss Federal State, Zürich voted in favour of the Federal constitutions of 1848 and of 1874.

In 1893, the twelve outlying districts were incorporated into Zürich, including Aussersihl, the workman's quarter on the left bank of the Sihl, and additional land was reclaimed from Lake Zürich.

Winterthur

Hartmann III of Dillingen founded Winterthur city, in 1180, shortly before his death in the same year. From 1180 to 1263, the cadet line of the House of Kyburg ruled Winterthur. When the counts of Kyburg became extinct in the male line in 1263, Winterthur passed to the House of Habsburg, who established a comital line of Neu-Kyburg in 1264 and granted city rights to Winterthur in the same year. From 1415 until 1442 Winterthur was reichsfrei (subject only to the Holy Roman Emperor). However, in the Old Zürich War they lost this freedom and came back under the control of the Austrian Habsburgs. Needing money, in 1467, the Habsburgs sold Winterthur to the city of Zürich.

Semper Stadthaus (Winterthur)

In 1863 Winterthur, governed by the democrats, decided to build a representative townhouse. The project of architect Semper was built from 1865 to 1869. On October 30, 1870, the first town hall meeting took place in today's concert hall. City architect Karl Wilhelm Bareiss built the forecourt with the classicist town house, in 1871.

In celebration of the Grand Schützenfest held in 1895 in the illustrious city of Winterthur in the Canton of Zurich.


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