William Tell

William Tell is one of the best-known and most important figures in Swiss history and folklore. This legendary figure symbolizes the fight for freedom and independence and has a firm place in the collective consciousness of the Swiss people. Here are ten interesting facts about William Tell.

William Tell

Facts about William Tell

  1. Legendary statusWilliam Tell is a legendary figure and is often regarded as Switzerland's national hero. His story became famous above all through Friedrich Schiller's drama "William Tell".

  2. Historical contextThe story of William Tell takes place in the 14th century during the Habsburg rule over central Switzerland, which was then part of the Holy Roman Empire.

  3. Apple shot: The most famous event in the Tell saga is the apple shot. William Tell was forced to shoot an apple from the head of his son Walter with a crossbow because he had refused to salute the hat of the bailiff Gessler.

  4. Bailiff GesslerThe tyrannical bailiff Hermann Gessler is the antagonist in the Tell story. Tell's resistance to Gessler's arbitrary rule is seen as a symbol of the struggle for freedom.

  5. Escape and revengeWilliam Tell was arrested after successfully shooting the apple, but managed to escape and later shot Gessler in Hohle Gasse near Küssnacht, which is seen as an act of revenge and liberation.

  6. Friedrich SchillerThe German poet Friedrich Schiller wrote the drama "William Tell" in 1804, which made the legend known worldwide and poetically portrayed Tell's heroism.

  7. Symbol of freedomWilliam Tell is a symbol of the struggle for freedom and resistance against tyranny and oppression. His story inspired not only the Swiss, but also other freedom movements.

  8. Tell's ChapelOn the shores of Lake Lucerne stands the Tell Chapel, a small chapel dedicated to the memory of William Tell. It is said to stand on the spot where Tell went ashore after his escape.

  9. Monuments and memorialsThere are numerous monuments and memorials in honor of William Tell in Switzerland, including the famous Tell monument in Altdorf, the capital of the canton of Uri.

  10. Cultural influencesThe figure of William Tell has inspired many artistic works, including operas, films and plays. He remains a central figure in Swiss culture and history.


William Tell is not only a legendary figure, but also a symbol of the fight against oppression and the longing for freedom. His story, immortalized by Friedrich Schiller's drama, has deeply shaped Swiss identity and remains an important part of national culture and collective memory. Tell's heroic deeds and his courage continue to serve as an inspiration and a reminder of the historical struggles for freedom and independence in Switzerland.

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