Neuchâtel Revolution commemorative march


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

As its names suggests, this walk commemorating the Neuchâtel Revolution takes places on 1 March every year. An official holiday exclusively in the canton of Neuchâtel, local residents gather in Le Locle in the early hours of the morning, from where they make their way to La Chaux-de-Fonds, then on to La Vue-des-Alpes. They stop briefly at Malvilliers and Valangin before reaching their final destination, the Château de Neuchâtel. Participants who are suitably dressed for the cold weather walk most of the 30-kilometre route by footpath, following the route taken by the revolutionaries in when they overthrew the Prussians in 1848, some 30 years before Neuchâtel officially joined the Swiss Confederation. Walkers will not move until they hear the cannons of the “13th Battery”, who prepare their salvo by crying out at each step: "Post! First round loaded! Fire! Second round loaded! [etc.]". The walk always begins at 9 a.m. sharp. At the end of each stage, a cup of tea, a slice of taillaule – brioche from Neuchâtel – or a bowl of soup awaits the walkers. When the custom began in in 1985, at the initiative of a radio DJ Rémy Gogniat, only 64 people took part. In 2011 there were almost 800 walkers and an estimated 6,000 followed in the footsteps of their illustrious forefathers during the 150th anniversary of the Neuchâtel republic in 1998.

Image gallery

  • Walkers at various points along the route, arriving at the Château de Neuchâtel, 2005 © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, arriving at the Château de Neuchâtel, 2005 © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, arriving at the Château de Neuchâtel, 2005 © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, 1990s © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, 1990s © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, 1990s © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, arriving at the Château de Neuchâtel, 2005 © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, arriving at the Château de Neuchâtel, 2005 © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, arriving at the Château de Neuchâtel, 2005 © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, 1990s © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, 1990s © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Walkers at various points along the route, 1990s © Fonds L’Express/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds

Video

References and documentation

Publications
  • Commémoration du 1er mars par RTN. Pas de quoi faire la Révolution. In : L’Impartial. La Chaux-de-Fonds, 2 mars 1985

  • La marche du siècle. Quand un canton se met en mouvement. In : L’Impartial. La Chaux-de-Fonds, 2 mars 1998

  • Marche du 1er mars. Modernes, les républicains prennent les tunnels. In : L’Impartial. La Chaux-de-Fonds, 2 mars 2000

  • Les Neuchâtelois courent. In : L’Express. Neuchâtel, 2 mars 2005

  • Près de 200 marcheurs ont rallié le Château depuis le Val-de-Travers. In : L’Impartial. La Chaux-de-Fonds, 2 mars 2008

  • Révolution actuelle. In : L’Express. Neuchâtel, 2 mars 1990

Documentation
  • Marche du 1er mars

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