In the canton of Uri German is spoken as the official language. The canton belongs to the Swiss Confederation and is located in what is known as Central Switzerland. The capital of Uri is Altdorf. The Lucerne is located in the north of Canton and the Gotthard in the south.
Uri is known as one of the original cantons. That means it was one of the founding members of the Swiss Confederation.
The canton’s neighbors are Graubünden, Ticino, Valais, Bern, Obwalden, Nidwalden, and Schwyz Glarus. In total, Uri is made up of 20 independent municipalities.
Uri and tourism
Tourism is rather weak in the canton of Uri. Nevertheless, there are some attractions to be found here. For example, the world and Olympic champion Bernhard Russi comes from Andermatt.
There are only about 100 hotels in Uri. Compared to other, much more tourist-oriented cantons, this is very little.
But you will find a real jungle of cable cars here. Around 48 mountain railways transport tourists, visitors, ski enthusiasts and locals to the top.
However, something in the canton’s tourist location could soon change because the Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris would like tocreate a large tourist resort near Andermatt. Among other things, he is planning many hotels and an 18-hole golf course.
Perhaps Uri will soon become a luxury resort. According to Samih Sawiris, the location of the canton is ideal for this. Because between Zurich and Milan, Uri would be so easily accessible for mass tourism.
Uri is already considered a skiing paradise today. In summer, bikers and hikers alike cavort here. The classicistic Tell Playhouse is located in Altdorf. The Tell Games take place here every four years. The Tell Monument is one of the landmarks. The oldest Capuchin monastery in Switzerland, Allerheiligen Monastery is also in Altdorf. It dates from 1581.
Uri also plays a role in the James Bond Hollywood film “Golden Eye” as the setting.
The history of the canton of Uri
Ludwig the German donated Uri in 853 to the Fraumünsterabeit he donated to Zurich. So Uri fell under the rule of Zurich. Later, when the Zähringer became extinct, the Habsburgs were granted power over Uri. As early as 1231, Heinrich VII gave the Uri residents imperial immediacy. Rudolf von Habsburg even confirmed this to them in 1274.
The people of Uri, however, did not feel safe enough and faced the threat Austria always on the neck. Uri formed the Eternal Alliance with the cantons of Schwyz and Unterwalden (on August 1, 1291). The imperial freedom was confirmed to Uri in 1309 by Henry VIII. In 1315 Frederick the Fair declared Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden to be outlawed. Thereupon Uri supported the Confederates and helped to fight for the victory over the Habsburgs at Morgarten.
The legend about William Tell also happened at any time. Uri and Milan repeatedly had disputes with each other and so there were a number of campaigns in 1403. This finally resulted in the acquisition of the Leventina Valley in 1440.
Uri reluctantly bowed to the Swiss constitution in 1798. At that time, the constitution merged the cantons of Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug and Waldstätte with Uri into one canton.
In 1799 Marshal Nicolas-Jean de Dieu Soult caused the most severe devastation, he was followed by the French and Austrians and then the Russians.
Finally, the mediation act followed in 1803 and Uri became an independent canton again. However, it lost the Livinental in the process.