I will protect you

Luke Griffin

Joined November 2010

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Location information update

I had believed this to be a memorial cemetery for servicemen (and perhaps their families).

After some digging around I have discovered it is in fact the cemetery of the Bethlehem Mission near Küssnacht am Rigi, Switzerland. It is where the deceased Padres and Brothers of the organisation are remembered.

The massive tree at the end of the cemetery is a beech tree and must be 100’s of years old. It had a very protective presence to it.

It is situated on a small hill over looking HOHLE GASSE (approximately 16 km east of Lucerne in canton Schwyz), which is the very site where William Tell, hidden in the under wood by the narrow track, has awaited cruel Vogt (governor) Gessler and shot the rider with his crossbow after Gessler had subjected Tell to the famous ordeal of shooting the apple off his son’s head, in 1804AD.

The events of which are said to have sparked the uprising of the Swiss against Austrian rule and ultimately give Switzerland it’s independence.

The picture on the chapel there gives some impressions of the Tell saga. The windows show the crests of the first 8 Cantons (alte Orte) of the Swiss Confederation.

The legend of William Tell – for those interested:
There are several accounts of the Tell legend. The earliest sources give an account of the apple-shot, Tell’s escape and the ensuing rebellion. The assassination of Gessler is not mentioned in the Tellenlied, but is already present in the White Book of Sarnen account.

The legend as told by Tschudi (ca. 1570) goes as follows: William Tell, who originally came from Bürglen, was known as an expert shot with the crossbow. In his time, the Habsburg emperors of Austria were seeking to dominate Uri. Albrecht (or Hermann) Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf, raised a pole in the village’s central square, hung his hat on top of it, and demanded that all the townsfolk bow before the hat. When Tell passed by the hat without bowing to it, he was arrested. As punishment, he was forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter. Otherwise, both would be executed. Tell was promised freedom if he successfully made the shot. On 18 November 1307, Tell split an apple on his son’s head with a bolt from his crossbow.1 Gessler noticed that before the shot Tell had removed two crossbow bolts from his quiver, not one, and after the shot asked him why. Tell replied that if he had killed his son, he would have used the second bolt on Gessler himself. Gessler was angered, and had Tell bound. He was brought to Gessler’s ship to be taken to his castle at Küssnacht. As a storm broke on Lake Lucerne, the soldiers were afraid that their boat would capsize, and unbound Tell, asking him to steer. Tell made use of the opportunity to escape, leaping from the boat at the site now known as the Tellsplatte.
The Hohle Gasse between Immensee and Küssnacht

Tell went by land to Küssnacht, and when Gessler arrived, Tell assassinated him, shooting him with his crossbow as he passed along a narrow stretch of the road from Immensee to Küssnacht, now known as the Hohle Gasse.2 Tell’s defiance sparked a rebellion, in which he played a leading part. The struggle eventually led to the formation of the Swiss Confederation. He fought again against Austria in the 1315 Battle of Morgarten. Tschudi also has an account of Tell’s death in 1354. He was killed trying to save a child from drowning in the Schächenbach river in Uri.3

*Photograph taken with Nikon D7000, 10-20mm Sigma lens @ 10mm, iso800, f/4, handheld. HDR created from 3 bracketed exposures (-2,0,+2), tonemapped in Photomatix. Final processing in PS CS4.

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