It’s a very old photo of somewhere in Switzerland, but where exactly? Last week I was in England doing some final detailed research for my new book and came across this photo in the archives I was trawling through. I couldn’t place where it is so took a photo of the photo (the wonders of smart phones) and now I’m asking you.
Does anyone recognise this village? The only information I have is that the picture dates from the latter half of the 19th century and is somewhere in Switzerland. Not a lot to go on, but someone out there might recognise the castle or the church, even if the houses in between have changed beyond all recognition.
Most likely it’s from the time before the railways had spread all across Switzerland, given the handsome diligence (or carriage) in the foreground. Trains arrived late in Switzerland (and have been punctual ever since) thanks to the difficulties of the Swiss political and geographic landscape, and so until the 1880s much of the country was only accessible by boat, donkey or diligence – a multi-purpose carriage that was the fore-runner of the Postbus.
As for the new book, that’s less of a mystery. It’s called Slow Train to Switzerland and will be published this autumn. But more on that another time.
For now, I’d just love to know where this picture is. Can anyone help?