1897 Olten

Actual 45 mm size by Huguenin, Le Locle


Verily, behold Helvetia, an allegory of the Confederacy, clad in a delicate gown that doth flow in the gentle breeze, as she doth stride 'cross the alpine meadow with her unshod feet towards a uniformed soldier. Her hair, upbraided, doth lend her a stately air of grace.

In dignified stature, she doth perform the schwurhand, that solemn oath gesture oft seen in traditional depictions of the Rütlischwur. With her left hand pointed skyward, and her right placed with loving grace upon the fore-stock chamber of the soldier’s rifle.

In glad acceptance of this most welcoming gesture, a mirthful grin doth grace the wrinkly bearded visage of the soldier. He strides on with a gratified disposition, having received the blessing from the heavens through her. With renewed vigor, both leather-gloved hands do grasp his most faithful rifle, whilst he doth cast a glance much obliged at her with a smile, and receives in return, a tender knowing look from her.

In the distant, peaceful River Aare, doth lie the townhouses of Olten, with its famed covered bridge. The spire of the Tower of Olten doth rise above all, amidst the mountainous Wisenberg, presiding for centuries o'er the township and along these heavily forested lands.


Herz und Hand Dem Vaterland – Heart and Hand for The Fatherland


Behold! Stylized rays doth brilliantly emanate in all directions from the venerable Cross, an allegory of the Confederacy. It doth depict the everlasting unity and brotherhood of man, alongside the most cherished virtues of independence and free liberties.

Nestled within victorious laurel branches, meant for champions, doth rest above the instruments of contest and the heraldic shields of the venue, a couplet of heraldry blazons. One bearing the three Fir Trees of Olten, whilst the other proudly displays the emblem colors of the canton of Solothurn. They lie upon a X-cross of sharpshooters’ guns, marked by the stock of ages past, the flintlock musket, and of present times, the Perkussionsstutzer rifle.


At the end of the 3rd century, a fortification was built at the bridgeheads. This fortress was abandoned in the 4th century, and later replaced by a larger castle, comparable to late Roman fortresses protecting crossings of the Aar at Solothurn and Brugg.

The medieval settlement was built on the foundations of the Roman castle. It is first mentioned in 1201, as Oltun. It was in possession of the counts of Frohburg in the 13th century, passing to Kyburg in 1377 and to Habsburg in 1384. Olten passed under the administration of Basel in 1407, which invested in infrastructure, which was however destroyed in fires in 1411 and 1422. Basel lost interest in rebuilding the town again after the 1422 fire, and sold the settlement to Solothurn in 1426.

Throughout the medieval period, Olten was little more than a fortified bridgehead with some services (blacksmiths, taverns). Olten lost its city rights in 1653 as punishment for its support of the rebels in the Swiss Peasant War. This resulted in a lasting tradition of resistance against authority in Olten, and the town welcomed as liberators the French troops in the 1798 invasion. In 1814, Solothurn suppressed another rebellion of Olten patriots against the Swiss Restoration.

In celebration of the Schützenfest held in 1897 in the town of Olten in the Canton of Solothurn.







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