Culture and football – the final whistle blows for the House of Switzerland in Paris
The 44th and final match broadcast at the House of Switzerland – in Paris from 10 June to 10 July as part of Euro 2016 – has been just like the others during this last month. A large audience gathered in a festive atmosphere to watch the final, bringing to a close a month of Switzerland's presence in this trendy Parisian location focusing on the vibrancy of the Swiss cultural scene and the country's diversity.
The France – Portugal final was the House of Switzerland's last event, where fans of 'Les Bleus' (the French team) congregated in their thousands at the evening's start to share the final hours of Euro 2016. Although our national team left the championship in the last 16, Switzerland stayed until the end – in its Parisian club hosting a mix of family days out and festive evenings.
The House of Switzerland was opened by Switzerland's former football team captain Alexander Frei and has received a number of visits, most notably by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, the head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, and the President of the Council of States Raphaël Comte. It has been showcasing a cultural programme rich in music, film, the performing arts, literature and contemporary art, not to mention such living traditions as woodcutting and Swiss wrestling.
Switzerland's cultural presence in Paris symbolised by Genevan visual artist Sylvie Fleury's 'Miracle' – a 10-metre high neon pink sign on the banks of the Seine – has left an indelible impression on both the French public and its media. Some one hundred articles have widely covered the event highlighting the Swiss presence for Euro 2016 as one of the best, such as the magazine Les Inrockuptibles which headlined one of its articles "The House of Switzerland: the ideal spot to enjoy Euro 2016".
"We gambled on surprising Paris with something original – marrying football and Swiss culture. The number of times I heard "wow, the House of Switzerland rocks" during Euro 2016 makes me think that we were successful", says Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland. "To be able to present the official Euro watch and showcase wine from the Valais, Gruyère AOP cheese and today's best Swiss artists and designers in one location reflects the very nature of our country and makes us proud."
Facts and figures:
- Number of visitors to the House of Switzerland: more than 1 million
- Number of visitors who took part in one of the activities organised by the House of Switzerland: approx. 40,000
- Number of people involved in House of Switzerland activities on social media: 900,000
- The three most enjoyed dishes:
Hamburger with Gruyère AOP cheese
Zurich-style minced veal reinterpreted by Swiss chef Pierre Jancou
Meringues with cream
- Number of chocolate workshops during the weekends: 10
- Number of Swiss living tradition workshops during the weekends: 8