At the ceremony that opened the Suvorov Days in Switzerland in 2019, Russian Ambassador Sergey Garmonin said that such events are the best option for international diplomacy, because "art brings people together." This time the Suvorov Days were opened on September 20 in Lausanne with an evening concert of the Moscow Military Music College Orchestra.
The Moscow Military Music College Orchestra, photo ©ТАСС
Suvorovites have come to Switzerland to participate in the celebration for the 23rd year in a row, and each time their performance attracts more and more grateful spectators. Now young military musicians are expected not only in Lausanne, but also in other Swiss cities, as well as in the places of bloody battles of 1799 and at the international festival of brass bands.
A day later, on September 22, parliamentarians of both countries personally paid tribute to the fallen soldiers of the Suvorov army - a delegation of the Federation Council, ambassadors and diplomats laid flowers in the mountains to the foot of the 12-meter cross, which is carved in a rock near the Devil's Bridge. This majestic monument is a monument to the Suvorov army, whose soldiers died here in battles with the French.
The delegation of the Federation Council, ambassadors and diplomats laid flowers at the foot of the 12-meter cross on September 22, photo © twitter.com/RusEmbSwiss
After that, the delegation visited Suvorov’s house-museum in Andermatt, to which Russian parliamentarians presented a reproduction of the painting “Suvorov’s Crossing the Alps” (V. Surikov) that day. On the occasion of the holiday, the museum has opened an exposition of expressive canvases by the Russian painter Alex Doll, depicting today's views of the places through which the Suvorov army passed.
Photos of the stages of its route from the Suvorov Collection, period of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries, are also exhibited here - books by Baron Engelhardt. For years, he studied the life of Suvorov, walked the path of his army with his own feet and collected hundreds of artifacts in those places.
Глава делегации СФ Ю. Л. Воробьев и посол РФ С. В. Гармонин в доме-музее Суворова в Андерматте, фото © twitter.com/RusEmbSwiss
The days of Suvorov attract many enthusiasts to Switzerland. So, this week the expedition “Swiss campaign”, consisting of three dozen Russians and several Swiss, went on the places of military glory of the Generalissimo. On foot, dressed in a military uniform of the Suvorov period, it will cover more than 200 kilometers in the mountains and gorges, completely repeating the route of the Russian army.
Exact copies of the form for the expedition were created with the assistance of the Suvorov Museum, the surroundings and conditions of the trip correspond to historical ones as much as possible. In total, it took almost three years to prepare.
Expedition “Swiss Campaign”, photo © vk.com/suvorov220
However, the main memorial event this time traditionally took place on September 24 at the cross in the gorge near the Devil's Bridge. The ceremony of laying wreaths at the monument was attended by diplomats from Russia and the CIS countries, representatives of the Swiss authorities, military personnel of the Andermatt garrison, Suvorovites and ordinary residents.
Laying wreaths at the Suvorov cross, photo © luzernerzeitung.ch
Bikers from both countries came to the cross with their own wreaths. An honor guard was put up at the memorial, and the orchestra performed the national anthems of Russia and Switzerland, as well as military marches. After, a memorial service was served. The grand opening of the memorial plaque to Prince Golitsyn took place here, which 121 years ago at his own expense organized the creation of this 12-meter monument. Also, wreaths were laid that day on the St. Gotthard pass at the Chapel of the Fallen.
Opening of the memorial plaque to Prince Golitsyn, photo © luzernerzeitung.ch
Such a long kind memory of Suvorov’s feat, handed down from generation to generation of the Swiss, is easily explainable - in 1799, local residents saw in Russian soldiers liberators from Napoleon’s troops. So, with the help of its own soldiers blood, Russia helped Switzerland regain independence and neutral status.
“History, of course, is a long process, but the main thing is that friendship between countries and memory of past events are alive today,” said the Swiss parliamentarian Lombardi. “Now here, near this monument, we honor the memory of all those who gave their lives for their homeland,” said Sergey Garmonin, in turn.