Swiss Watching trivia, No 27: Le Corbusier

August 27, 2010, 3 Comments


On 27 August 1965 an architect known as Le Corbusier died while swimming in the south of France. He was 77 and famous for concrete buildings and square chairs. And he was Swiss. He was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a town in Canton Neuchâtel best known as a centre of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Two early buildings designed by Le C are still standing in the town (and well worth a visit) but most of his better-known structures are not in Switzerland. He can, however, be found on a daily basis all over his home country – on the ten-franc note, the smallest of the colourful Swiss banknotes. Le C wasn’t the only famous local boy: Louis Chevrolet (nine years older) also came from La Chaux-de-Fonds before going to America to make cars. Notice how Chevrolet and the town have the same initials; perhaps that’s the real reason why Le C changed his name. He remained Swiss at heart and just wanted to fit in.

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3 Comments on "Swiss Watching trivia, No 27: Le Corbusier"

  1. Michael Friday August 27th, 2010 at 11:11 AM · Reply

    I wonder, did you get that pic of the ten franc banknote off an official website or something? Or why has it “specimen” written all over the bill?

    • swisswatching Friday August 27th, 2010 at 01:15 PM · Reply

      Yes. I thought about scanning (or photographing) a real one and using that, but really wasn’t sure if that sort of thing is allowed. So went for the safe option.

  2. Tim Shuman Monday September 6th, 2010 at 05:29 AM · Reply

    You should do a post about Leonhard Euler some day. His picture is found on an older ten franc bill? He was a brilliant mathematician and as the plaque in his birthplace in Riehen, CH says, “He was a good man”.

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