General information

A Musical History of Zug

Zug is a very international city with the atmosphere of a small village. Situated on the Lake of Zug with stunning views of the Alps, it is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. But what is the history of Zug?

History & Music

The earliest recorded mentions of Zug were written in the year 1240. One of the most historical buildings in Zug is the Chapel of Our Dear Lady (Liebfrauenkapelle) which was constructed around that time. It is in this chapel that American organist and musicologist Christopher Holman will begin his narration of Zug's history on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 14:00 in the Chapel of Our Dear Lady (Führung auf Deutsch um 11:00 Uhr). What makes this narration so special is the accompanying music which spans five centuries. 


Zug was bought in 1273 by Rudolf of Habsburg, who is known as one of the most successful figures in Swiss history. He later became the king of the Roman Empire.
Rudolf died one month before the Swiss Confederation was born in 1291. Zug was the fifth Canton to join the Confederation in 1352.
In 1696, the Chapel of Our Dear Lady recieved her first organ. A few years later, the walls of the chapel were painted. Following the French Revolution and subsequent invasion by France in 1798, Switzerland went through many significant changes. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the growth of Zug as well as the entire country. In 1866, the American industrialist George Ham Page founded the first condensed milk factory in Europe, which later merged with Nestlé.

Musical Timeline

Music in the Chapel of Our Dear Lady also has a history. The organ builder dynasty Bossart built a new organ in 1739 which lasted until a replacement was built in 1910. Today's organ is a reconstruction of the original Bossart on which Christopher Holman will play works from:

Heinrich Scheideman (1595-1663); Hans Kotter (1480-1541);
Robertsbridge Codex (ca. 1360); Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531);
Bonifacius Amerbach (1495-1562); Clemens Hör (1515-1572);
Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707); Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750);
Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782); Claude Balbastre (1724-1799);
Oliver Shaw (1799-1848); Hugo Distler (1908-1942).

This musical and historical highlight is open and free to everyone. Donations will be gladly accepted.