Views of places and landscapes

The Swiss National Library's collection of prints documents places and landscapes in Switzerland and how they have changed.

Monte Rosa
Le Mont-Rose, woodcut by Félix Vallotton, 1892

Ever since it was established, the Swiss National Library has collected single prints, drawings and watercolours depicting places and landscapes from all of Switzerland's cantons. The collection primarily consists of works from the 18th and 19th centuries, and, to a lesser extent, artistic landscape prints from the 20th century. The subjects mainly come from Swiss regions that are important to tourism. Besides the high-mountain landscapes of the Swiss Alps with their glaciers and mountain ranges, this also includes the lake landscapes from eastern, western, southern, and central Switzerland. It also includes views of towns and villages, and pictures of infrastructure and industrial and leisure architecture. There are also important bundles containing panoramic views of Switzerland and numerous views from beyond Switzerland's borders, particularly from neighbouring countries.  

Content and scope

  • Views of places and landscapes in Switzerland and neighbouring countries
  • Panoramas
  • Views of places and landscapes in other countries, particularly border regions
  • Several thousand prints, including many state proofs and reprints
  • Several dozen watercolours, drawings and gouaches

Collection principles

  • The collection reflects both documentary and artistic criteria
  • Successive acquisitions since the early 20th century
  • The collections on Switzerland's places and landscapes are continuously being added to

Research and access

  • The views of places and landscapes in Switzerland collection is fully catalogued in the HelveticArchives database
  • Freely-licensed digitised images are available on Wikimedia Commons
  • Non-digitised images can be viewed on site (by appointment)

Last modification 21.09.2023

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Swiss National Library
Prints and Drawings Department
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern
Phone +41 58 462 89 71

Print contact

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by appointment