Thursday, September 14, 2006

Grueling Memories


Ah, the decennial millet gruel transport between Strasbourg and Zurich, which commemorates the friendship between cities on the Upper and High Rhine plateaus. (Via Getty Images)

Actually, it is another case of fond medieval reveries awakened in the nineteenth century. The Swiss cantons, alarmed by the relentless shelling of Strasbourg during the Franco-Prussian War, sent envoys to negotiate aid for the citizens. Their generosity was remembered in the context of older Trans-Rhenish relations, especially relevant to the independence of free cities in the Holy Roman Empire, but in their short-term represented resistance to German nationalism. Bartholdi took this theme for one of his panels on La suisse secourant les douleurs de Strasbourg pendant la si├Ęge de 1870.

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