Helvetia auf Reisen - Basel, Switzerland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
N 47° 33.651 E 007° 35.429
32T E 393967 N 5268455
Quick Description: Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, here she is tired.
Location: Basel Stadt, Switzerland
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 12:50:45 AM
Waymark Code: WMA88R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 12

Long Description:
"Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the "Helvetic Confederation".

The allegory is typically pictured in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag, and commonly with braided hair, commonly with a wreath as a symbol of confederation. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest.

The Helvetia figure first appears in 1672, in a play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach, as a symbol of unity of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the face of the denominational disputes initiated by the Swiss Reformation. Identification of the Swiss as "Helvetians" (Hélvetiens) becomes common in the 18th century, particularly in the French language, as in François-Joseph-Nicolas d'Alt de Tieffenthal's very patriotic Histoire des Hélvetiens (1749–53) followed by Alexander Ludwig von Wattenwyl's Histoire de la Confédération hélvetique (1754). Helvetia appears in patriotic and political artwork in the context of the construction of a national history and identity in the early 19th century, after the disintegration of the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, and she appears on official federal coins and stamps from the foundation of Switzerland as a federal state in 1848.

The Swiss Confederation continues to use the name in its Latin form when it is inappropriate or inconvenient to use any or all of its four official languages. Thus, the name appears on postage stamps, coins and other uses; the full name, Confœderatio Helvetica, is abbreviated for uses such as the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and vehicle registration code CH, and the ccTLD, .ch." (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

This statue has exactly the look of the Helvetia on the coins - except for the suitcase. The tired Helvetia looking at the Rhine by artist Bettina Eichin was erected in 1980 at the Northern end of the central bridge. It has become the most popular representation of Helvetia since then, also the Wikipedia article about Helvetia has a picture of this statue. In Summer 2010 there was even an official 30 years anniversary party which is quite uncommon for statues.
Time Period: Ancient

Approximate Date of Epic Period: Pre-Roman, before the 1st century B.C.

Epic Type: Mythical

Exhibit Type: Figure, Statue, 3D Art

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