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#swisshistorypics A century of Circus Knie

One hundred years ago, Circus Knie gave its first performance in the Swiss capital, Bern.⠀⠀

It all began when young medical student Friedrich Knie fell in love with artistic horse-rider Wilma at the beginning of the 19th century in Innsbruck. He was so fascinated by the artists’ life that he abandoned his studies and travelled the country with the troupe. Friedrich founded his own acrobatic troupe in 1806, which attracted praise and recognition and also performed in Switzerland. A branch of the Knie family later settled in Switzerland and acquired Swiss citizenship.⠀⠀

A century later, the Knie brothers bought a big tent and on June 14. 1919. put on their show for the first time in the tent. Thus the "Swiss National Circus" was born.⠀⠀

Even today, the family business employs over 230 people during the tour and travels with 80 animals.

(All images: Photopress-Archiv/Keystone)

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