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Swiss History Trivia

Swiss History Trivia Quizzes

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Swiss History
5 Swiss History quizzes and 50 Swiss History trivia questions.
  Zeitgeist in Zurich   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The Swiss Reformation
The Swiss Reformation swept through the nation in the sixteenth century. It had its own unique process in which multiple reformers independent of Luther were able to spread their own teachings.
Average, 10 Qns, trident, Dec 09 22
trident editor
Dec 09 22
297 plays
  History of Zurich   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A ten question quiz on the long history of Zurich, Switzerland, stretching from its founding to World War II.
Average, 10 Qns, Joepetz, Dec 12 16
Joepetz gold member
264 plays
  Swisstory   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I must admit, when I randomly chose a category in the history section, I was scared to death of what I might get. It turns out, "European" wasn't as bad as I thought. Since only one quiz was in the "Swiss" category, I wrote a quiz on Swiss history!
Average, 10 Qns, salami_swami, Jan 21 12
salami_swami gold member
341 plays
  The History of Geneva    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Geneva is a world-renowned Swiss city because of its peaceful nature. However, Geneva was once a city dominated by internal struggle. This quiz deals with Geneva history from its early beginnings to the present day.
Average, 10 Qns, Joepetz, Jun 15 15
Joepetz gold member
302 plays
  Swiss History    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Hi! I'm from Switzerland and want to test you guys about my country! Let's see how well you know it.
Tough, 10 Qns, swisspower, Jun 15 09
1240 plays
trivia question Quick Question
The power of Fraunmunster abbey was seriously reduced in 1336 by the establishment of the Zunft zum Kambel, which is what?

From Quiz "History of Zurich"

Related Topics
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Swiss History Trivia Questions

1. In Roman Times, Zurich was called Turicum, which means what in English?

From Quiz
History of Zurich

Answer: Water City

Turicum comes from the Celtic word "dur" which means water. Dur was then corrupted and latinized to Turegus and eventually Turicum. The word Zurich would not be used until the 9th century. It probably got the name from the many lakes and rivers that surround the city, most notable Lake Zurich. When Zurich was founded is unknown and archaeological evidence of pre-Roman societies has been found under Lake Zurich. The earliest known evidence of the Roman Turicum is a stone tablet dating from 200 AD, but it is highly likely the city was founded in some form before then. Ancient coins dating from 100 BC were found in the area but it is unknown if they originated in the area.

2. Which tribe of Celtic people were living in most of Switzerland, at the time of the Roman invasion of Geneva in Gaul 121 BC?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Helvetii

The Helvetii are believed to have settled around Geneva in 300 BC. Geneva itself was not known to be occupied by the Helvetii as it was part of Allobroges in Gaul until the Romans took Geneva and blockaded it against the Helvetii. The Helvetii gave their name to Helvetica, the Latin name for Switzerland and Helvetia a female figure of Swiss culture.

3. Bern became the federal capital of Switzerland in 1848. When was it originally founded?

From Quiz Swisstory

Answer: 1191

Bern was originally founded in 1191 by Berthold V, the Duke of Zähringen. It became the capital when Switzerland acquired a permanent national capital. Bern is the fourth most populous city in Switzerland, though it was a bit larger in comparison to Zurich back then. Zurich is now the most populous city of Switzerland.

4. When was Switzerland 'officially' created?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: 1291

Switzerland was created when the 'original' three Cantons signed a pact.

5. Zurich or Turicum was a relatively small settlement in the Roman Empire but it played an important function within the empire in what capacity? This role would be somewhat ironic nowadays.

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: Tax collection checkpoint

Turicum's location on waterways made it a prime place for ships to harbor and a place for the Romans to collect taxes on the goods being transported. Zurich's location in the center of the continent was also beneficial and contributed to it being a tax collecting stop. Goods from all over Europe passed through Zurich's waterways and then eventually over the Alps to Rome or continued along the rivers. Zurich's position as a tax collection checkpoint seems ironic today because Switzerland has a well known reputation for being a tax haven for foreigners.

6. Geneva was Christianized in the 4th century by Dionysius Areopagita and Paracodus, setting the city to play an important role in religious matters throughout Europe. Who was the first Bishop of Geneva?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: St. Isaac

Throughout Geneva's history, there was much confusion about just who was the city's first bishop. Originally, it was believed to be St. Lazarus according to a translated letter. However, it was later discovered that the letter originally said St. Lazarus was Bishop of Genoa, then spelled Genua, not Geneva. It was determined that St. Isaac was the city's first bishop as is mentioned by St. Eucherius to his son who was also a Bishop of Geneva.

7. In 1506, a special group of military men were appointed to protect the Pope. Even 500 years later, this group of men still served to protect (well, not the exact same men ... They're dead). What is the group called?

From Quiz Swisstory

Answer: Swiss Guard

The Schweizergarde, or the Swiss Guard, are bodyguards that were first employed by Pope Julius II in 1506. The Swiss Guard at that time became the primary protection for the Pope, and for hundreds of years, they continued to guard the Pope.

8. What are the three 'original' Cantons (states) that signed the pact?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden

They signed a pact to protect themselves against Austria.

9. Though not built until the 10th century, the Wasserkirche Church in Zurich was the 286 AD execution spot for Felix and Regula, Zurich's patron saints. What contribution did Felix and Regula make to Zurich history?

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: They introduced Christianity to Zurich

According to legend, Felix and Regula were brother and sister who converted to Christianity as members of the Theban Legion. When the Legion was being persecuted by Emperor Maximian, they fled to what is now Zurich, Switzerland. There, they introduced Christianity to the city but were executed in 286. They are usually associated with their servant Exuperantius, who is also a martyr saint. They were beheaded and, according to legend, carried their heads up a hill before dying. Their burial site was covered by the Grossmunster Church, a protestant church. Their tomb was raided during the Protestant Reformation and a result their bodies were lost and have not been recovered.

10. What is believed to have caused a tsunami in Lake Geneva in AD 521 that destroyed Geneva?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Collapse of a lake bed

At the time, Gregory of Tours reported that the tsunami was caused by a landslide. But a University of Geneva study conducted in 2012 concluded that a turbidite fan, a large wave deposit of sediment, had caused a lake bed to collapse, which set in motion the tsunami. The exact amount of casualties and damage done is unknown. The tsunami is referred to as the Tauredunum event because Tauredunum is the location the tsunami swept through where Lake Geneva meets the Rhone River.

11. What is considered to be the event that sparked the official Reformation in Switzerland involved a disagreement over Lenten fasting and is fittingly Swiss. What is the name of this event which happened in 1522?

From Quiz Zeitgeist in Zurich

Answer: Affair of the Sausages

Ulrich Zwingli had increasingly preached that the Bible ought to be the only source of religious law, and that rules conceived outside its mandate were irrelevant. He believed that fasting from meat during Lent ought to be voluntary since there was no biblical explanation for the rule. The Affair of the Sausages took place in Zurich at the house of Christoph Froschauer, a printer who printed Zwingli's translation of the Bible. While Zwingli didn't consume any sausage himself, he vociferously defended those who had consumed the meat. Strangely, it was this event that forever shattered any ties between Zurich and the Catholic Church.

12. The Reformation in Switzerland took place in the 16th century. Who led the Reformation?

From Quiz Swisstory

Answer: Huldrych Zwingli

The Reformation in Switzerland was originally led by the priest of the Great Minister church of Zurich in 1523. The man was named Huldrych Zwingli (aka Ulrich Zwingli), and he had been the priest of the church since 1518. The Reformation lasted until the middle of the 17th century).

13. Who is the Swiss national (legendary) hero?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: William Tell

He had to shoot an apple off his own son's head using a crossbow to gain his freedom from the Habsburgs.

14. Which grandson of Charlemagne founded the Fraumunster Abbey in 852 for his daughter? The Fraumunster would have an increasingly important influence over Zurich in future centuries.

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: Louis the German

Fraumunster Abbey was founded by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard. The abbey was founded mainly for women of noble rank who either did not marry or were widowed. Over time, the various leader of Zurich and Switzerland gradually granted Fraumunster Abbey more rights. They abbey was granted the right to mint its own coins and collect tolls in 1045. This made the abbess of the convent the de facto leader of Zurich. By 1218, the abbess earned the right to appoint the Zurich mayor and also served as a judge-like figure.

15. In the late Middle Ages, Geneva belonged to which state of the Holy Roman Empire, whose counts fought with Geneva bishops for control of the city?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Savoy

Savoy consisted of mostly Swiss territory that was the successor to the Kingdom of Arles, of which Switzerland and Geneva had previously belonged to. The city's bishops had control of the city, but on paper only as the Savoy counts constantly battled the bishops for power. In 1457, the Grand Council was formed and was elected to represent the people. At first, the Grand Council was made up of mostly family and friends of the counts, but as time went on, the people began electing their own representatives who were not related to the Counts of Savoy.

16. In 1712, the second battle of Villmergen took place. By what other name was it known?

From Quiz Swisstory

Answer: Toggenburg War

The first Battle of Villmergen took place in 1656. The second, known as the Toggenburg War, took place in 1712. Collectively, however, they are known as the Battles of Villmergen. The battles were between Reformed and Catholic cantons of Switzerland.

17. Who wrote an opera about the Swiss National hero?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: G. Rossini

The Swiss hero is William Tell. Rossini wrote this opera in 1829.

18. The power of Fraunmunster abbey was seriously reduced in 1336 by the establishment of the Zunft zum Kambel, which is what?

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: A merchant guild

The Zunft zum Kambel was guild of small merchants established in Zurich in 1336. The guild passed the Zunftordnung laws, which stripped the abbey of most of its power, especially the ability of the abbess to pick the mayor. The guild and the laws' passage were spearheaded by Rudolf Brun who also became the city's first mayor not picked by the abbess. The establishment of the guild is sometimes called the Merchants' Revolution or Brun's Revolution. The Fraumunster abbess was not totally removed from power until the monastery was suppressed in the 1520s.

19. Things really heated up in Geneva in 1513 between the Grand Council and the dukes when which duke appointed his cousin John as Bishop of Geneva?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Charles III

Charles III allegedly had the support of Pope Symmachus in his act to appoint John of Savoy as bishop. The move angered the Grand Council, not only because of the clear nepotism and power grab but also because John of Savoy lived in Italy and rarely made appearances in Geneva. John of Savoy died soon after his appointment and the Grand Council successfully appealed to the pope and got him to appoint his own bishop to Geneva. When it became apparent to Charles III that he was losing power, he struck a deal with the Grand Council on power sharing. However, Charles III soon reneged and the pro-independence movement in Geneva formed the Swiss Federation on February 20, 1526 with Bern and several Swiss cantons.

20. Switzerland is a Confederation. However, it was a Republic for a short time. Who was responsible for this?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: Napoleon

Napleon invaded Switzerland and set up the 'Helvetic Republic.'

21. The mid-15th century conflict known as the Old Zurich War was fought between Zurich and which other entity?

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: The rest of the Old Swiss Confederacy

Zurich canton had become part of the Old Swiss Confederacy in 1351. However, it was expelled in 1440 when Zurich occupied lands claimed by Glarus and Schwyz cantons. The area in question belonged to Count Friedrich VII of Toggenberg who died intestate and without an heir to claim the lands. The rest of the Swiss cantons sided strongly with Glarus and Schwyz, and Zurich was expelled for occupying the lands and stealing the grain crop. Zurich attempted to align with the Holy Roman Empire but that failed when Zurich was defeated at the Battle of St. Jakob an der Sihl in 1443. Zurich was eventually readmitted into the Old Swiss Confederacy in 1451.

22. What role did Geneva play in the Reformation that swept through Europe in the 16th century?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Geneva was a popular center for Protestantism

Many French reformers went to Geneva to spread Protestantism because of the city's close ties with France (Geneva is the largest city in Switzerland where French is spoken primarily.) John Calvin, the found of Calvinism, was a major player in spreading Protestantism in Geneva, where he moved to at a young age and used as a headquarters of sorts. Geneva was open to the idea of new religions and theological doctrines, as was Bern. However, other Swiss cities and cantons were not and Fribourg, a predominately Catholic city, ended its alliance with Geneva.

23. During which war did the Battle of Marignano take place?

From Quiz Swisstory

Answer: Italian Wars

The Italian Wars were fought between France and the Old Swiss Confederacy and took place from 1494-1559. The Battle of Marignano occurred in 1515, and resulted in a victory for France, and a loss for Switzerland.

24. What year was the most important year for the Swiss Constitution in the 1800s?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: 1848

Switzerland adopted a Constitution that established a permanent federal administration for the Confederation. The Cantons thus ceded some of their powers to a central government.

25. Beginning in the 1520s, the Protestant Reformation spread quickly through Zurich and eventually all of Switzerland mainly due to the work of which man?

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: Ulrich Zwingli

Zwingli had long been a critic of the Catholic Church, particularly its influence on the people and allegedly widespread corruption in church management. Zwingli first became known in Zurich in 1522 when he campaigned against the Lenten fast. As Zwingli's influence grew and his views became more popular, he became acquainted with Katharina von Zimmern, who was the abbess of Fraumunster Abbey. As the town officials, influenced themselves by Zwingli, began disestablishing the monasteries, von Zimmern handed the Catholic Fraumunster Abbey to Zwingli, apparently supportive of the Reformation. It is not entirely well documented what von Zimmern's position on the Reformation was. It has been speculated that she handed the abbey over to avoid a bloody war. However, historical evidence suggests otherwise. The abbess had, for years, allowed Zwingli to preach in the cathedral and in the monastery and in the years afterwards, married a friend of Zwingli's and continued to push the Reformation's ideas in Zurich.

26. March 25th, 1529 is known as the "Day of the Ladders" in Geneva for what reason?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Charles III supporters stormed Geneva city walls on ladders

The Grand Council voted to make Geneva a Lutheran city, much to the dismay of the Catholic Charles III. The Pope excommunicated the entire city of Geneva and the bishop and Charles III fled. Charles III vowed to return with his supporters, who were called the Order of the Spoon. They attempted to invade Geneva by climbing ladders over the city walls. Ultimately, tension between Protestants and Catholics escalated further until Protestants gained dominance in the 1530s.

27. In 1648, Switzerland gained internationally recognized independence from the Holy Roman Empire. Under which treaty were they given independence?

From Quiz Swisstory

Answer: Treaty of Westphalia

The Treaty of Westphalia, also known as the Peace of Westphalia, was a series of treaties, signed in 1648. The treaty stated that those who signed it would recognize the Treaty of Augsburg (1555). Both Switzerland and the Netherlands gained full independence from the Holy Roman Empire because of the Peace of Westphalia.

28. How many Cantons did Switzerland have after the Congress of Vienna of 1815?

From Quiz Swiss History

Answer: 22

29. The First and Second Battles of Zurich (in June and September 1799) were part of the French Revolutionary Wars. France lost the city of Zurich in the first battle to which nation only to regain it after the Second Battle?

From Quiz History of Zurich

Answer: Austria

The French Revolution inspired a similar (though significantly less violent and bloody) revolution in Switzerland, which replaced the Swiss Confederacy with the Helvetic Republic once the French took control. France was growing more and more chaotic by the day and thus was seen as a weaker power. Austria decided to take advantage of that and marched toward France. France, meanwhile, marched toward Austria. The two forces met in Zurich with the Austrians defeating French General Andre Massena to lay claim to Zurich. The French took it back after the second battle. Switzerland thus found itself under the control of the French, a reign that lasted until the Congress of Vienna granted Switzerland full sovereignty again in 1815.

30. Which "Confessions" philosopher, born in Geneva but normally associated with France, sided with the Geneva radicals over the French-speaking elite in the 18th century, when the two groups were fighting for power in the city?

From Quiz The History of Geneva

Answer: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau saw the radicals as good for Geneva, as he believed the radicals fought for and could achieve a democracy in Geneva free from elite French influence. The radicals were able to gain control of the Great Council (formerly the Grand Council) but the French and their allies were able to regain power and many radicals fled and later participated in the French Revolution.

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Last Updated May 25 2024 5:45 AM
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