Worshipping Tell

This content was published on July 5, 2004 - 17:11

Two generations after his legendary feats, a chapel to Tell’s memory was erected on the banks of Lake Lucerne, between Flüelen and Sisikon. Since the 16th century, there have been no less than three chapels associated with him: one in his native village of Bürglen and one on the “Hohle Gasse” near Küssnacht; as well as the original chapel at Sisikon.

This chapel is dedicated, like the others, to St Sebastian, patron saint of archers, and it eventually became the centre of a cult in honour of the legendary marksman and the men who founded the Swiss Confederation.

It was also said that this chapel marks the spot where Tell escapes from Gessler's boat to shore. In 1590, the church was rebuilt, becoming a Tell shrine. The Swiss still make pilgrimages to this place. In 1879, a new chapel was built with frescoes by the Basel painter, Ernst Stückelberger.

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