Appenzell, Switzerland

Appenzell is a region in region in northeastern Switzerland. It comprises two half-cantons, Appenzell Ausserrhoden (Outer Rhoden) to the west and Appenzell Innerrhoden (Inner Rhoden) to the east.

More on Appenzell

Established in the 10th century, Appenzell was originally owned by the Abbey of St Gallen until 1403, when the people of Appenzell rebelled against the abbot of St Gallen. They joined the Old Swiss Confederacy in 1411 and the modern Swiss Confederation in 1513.

In 1522, the Protestant Reformation ignited by the teachings of Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli split Appenzell into two halves. Outer Rhoden converted to the Reformation in 1529 (except for Herisau, which was convinced to remain Catholic). Inner Rhoden remained Catholic, except for Gais.

The people of Appenzell town itself remained Catholic. In the initial stage, there was animosity between the two sides, with attempts to turn one to the other. Eventually peace was achieved between the two denominations.

Today Appenzell Ausserrhoden is largely Protestant and industrialized. Appenzell Innerrhoden, on the other hand, remains Catholic and rural. It however has developed itself as a rustic tourist destination, where visitors get to observe farm life. Appenzell Innerrhozen is particularly renowned for its cheeses.

Appenzell continues to practice the antiquated institution of

Landsgemeinden, where every male and female citizen must attend democratic assemblies. Citizens of Inner Rhoden have their assembly in Appenzell town while those of Outer Rhoden do it in Hundwil on odd years and in Trogen in even years. These assemblies are always held on the last Sunday of April, though Outer Rhoden eventually abolished their Landsgemeinden in 1997.

Towns and villages in Appenzell

  1. Appenzell town
    Main town in Appenzell Innerrhoden.

  2. Gais
    Market town with quaint wooden houses.

  3. Herisau
    Main town in Appenzell Ausserrhoden, with lovely wooden houses.

  4. Säntis
    Highest mountain in Appenzell, reaching 2,504 m (8,218 ft).

  5. Stein
    Quiet village with an interesting folk museum and dairy show.

  6. Trogen
    Small hilltop village with a Baroque church and traditional wooden houses.

  7. Urnäsch
    Picturesque village in Ausserrhoden with a museum of folk traditions.

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