At the Unspunnen-Schwinget, one of Switzerland’s most important wrestling festivals, the country’s best wrestlers come together to compete for a coveted wreath in a fair competition.
“Swiss wrestling” or “Schweizer Schwingen” is a traditional Swiss sport that has its roots in folk wrestling. The objective of the sport is for one wrestler to bring his opponent to the ground by using various holds and techniques. The matches take place in a circular area known as the “sawdust,” and the winner is determined by pinning his opponent’s shoulders to the ground. Swiss wrestling is not only a physical contest but also a display of skill, strategy, and strength. The sport holds cultural significance in Switzerland and is often accompanied by traditional music, clothing, and ceremonies.
Unspunnen Wrestling and Alpine Festival – only every 6 years
The Unspunnen-Schwinget is held every six years, always in the year following a Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival. Since 1987, the Unspunnen-Schwinget has had the status of a federal event in its own right. It was first organized in 1805 as part of the Unspunnen Festival, which only takes place every twelve years and had only been held ten times by 2017.
Until 2006, the Schwinget was held near the Unspunnen ruins, but due to increasing public interest, it was moved to the Höhematte in Interlaken in 2011.
In addition to swinging, a stone throwing competition was held at the first Unspunnen Festival in 1805, in which a stone weighing an impressive 184 pounds was thrown. Since 1905, a stone weighing 83.5 kilograms has been used, which is impressively heaved by the participants.
The Unspunnen-Schwinget is a highly esteemed tradition and a celebration of Swiss folk culture that brings together the country’s elite wrestlers and stone throwers and strengthens ties with old customs and traditions. It is a spectacle that captivates both the participants and the numerous spectators and impressively expresses the passion and dedication for the sport of wrestling.
Video Unspunnen Schwinget 2017