1902 Küssnacht

Actual 45 mm size by Hans Frei, Basel


Within the verdant depths of the evergreen forest, there doth crouch the alpine huntsman, clad in his traditional tunic of yore. His outstretched arm doth mark a point of ambush, whilst his tense, broad shoulders betray a hint of cautious apprehension, his visage adorned with a grim determination, his bristly beard framing his resolute countenance.

Upon the riser barrel of his trusty companion, the iron and oaken crossbow, doth he rest, surveying with keen eyes the surrounding expanse. In fervent concentration, he doth prepare for the legendary assassination, aiming to vanquish the most reviled bailiff who hath cruelly oppressed the gentle folk of the land.

He is Wilhelm Tell, the most revered and legendary folk hero of the Confederacy, whose name doth echo through the annals of time with tales of valor and defiance.


"Amidst the verdant depths of yonder forest green, There lurks the alpine huntsman, rarely seen. In tunic of old, he crouches low, His arm outstretched, his purpose to show.

His shoulders broad, with tension fraught, Betraying hints of cautious thought. Upon his face, a grim resolve, His bearded visage, steadfast, does evolve.

Upon the barrel of his trusty bow, Forged of iron and oaken bough, He rests, surveying with watchful eye, The land around, where dangers lie.

In fervent concentration, he does prepare, For legendary deeds of valor rare. Aiming to rid the land of woe, And strike down tyranny's cruel blow.

Wilhelm Tell, his name resounds, Throughout the land, where freedom bounds. A hero true, in every sense, Whose deeds doth make the tyrant wince."



Frei Sind Die Hütten Sicher Ist Die Unschuld – Free are the huts, secure is the innocence before thee.


Behold, upon yon rocky perch, where the intertwining emblems of Küssnacht, wrought in intricate detail, doth rest in harmonious union with the heraldry of Schwyz, a testament to unity and lineage. This scene, set against the backdrop of a wooded expanse, where verdant boughs interlace with the earth's embrace, bespeaks a tranquil majesty.

And lo, upon the western horizon, there stands the cherished Tellskapelle, a sanctuary devout, nestled amidst the Hohle Gasse. In its sacred precincts, a serene aura reigns, echoing the tender echoes of ancient lore. For within its hallowed confines, memory pays homage to the valorous feats of yore, stirring the hearts of successive generations of Swiss patriots, who, like Tell of old, found courage in defiance and strength in unity.


"William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. According to the legend, Tell was an expert marksman with the crossbow who assassinated Albrecht Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of the Austrian dukes of the House of Habsburg positioned in Altdorf, in the canton of Uri. Tell's defiance and encouragement of the population to open rebellion and a pact against the foreign rulers with neighboring Schwyz and Unterwalden, marked the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy.

Albrecht Gessler was the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf, Switzerland. He raised a pole under the village lindentree, hung his hat on top of it, and demanded that all the townsfolk bow before it.

In 18 November 1307, Tell visited Altdorf with his young son. He passed by the hat, but publicly refused to bow to it, and was consequently arrested. Gessler was intrigued by Tell's famed marksmanship, but resentful of his defiance, so he devised a cruel punishment. Tell and his son were both to be executed; however, he could redeem his life by shooting an apple off the head of his son Walter in a single attempt. Tell split the apple with a bolt from his crossbow. Gessler then noticed that Tell had removed two crossbow bolts from his quiver, so he asked why. Tell was reluctant to answer, but Gessler promised that he would not kill him; he replied that, had he killed his son, he would have killed Gessler with the second bolt. Gessler was furious and ordered Tell to be bound, saying that he had promised to spare his life, but would imprison him for the remainder of his life.

Tell was being carried in Gessler's boat to the dungeon in the castle at Küssnacht when a storm broke on Lake Lucerne, and the guards were afraid that their boat would sink. They begged Gessler to remove Tell's shackles so that he could take the helm and save them. Gessler gave in, but Tell steered the boat to a rocky place and leaped out. The site is known as the "Tellsplatte" ("Tell's slab") and marked by Tellskapelle, aCatholic memorial chapel since the 16th century. Tell ran cross-country to Küssnacht with Gessler in pursuit.

“Here through this deep defile he needs must pass; there leads no other road to Küssnacht.”

- Wilhelm Tell

Tell assassinated him using the second crossbow bolt, along a stretch of the road cut through the rock between Immensee and Küssnacht, which is known as the Hohle Gasse.

“Free are the huts, secure is the innocence before thee, thou wilt to the land no more do wrong.”- Wilhelm Tell"

Tell's act sparked a rebellion, which led to the formation of the Old Swiss Confederacy 

In celebration of the legendary deeds of folk hero Wilhelm Tell, leading to open rebellion against tyranny and oppression, and the liberation of the lands of the Old Suisse Confederacy.







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