Saturday, 23 March 2019

elf uhr

Via Strange Company, we find ourselves transported to the cantonal capital of Solothurn at the foot of the Jura Mountains to explore its long held affinity with the number eleven (öufi in the local Swiss-German dialect)—though no one quite has the definitive answer for the association that can be found everywhere—the 11th canton to join the confederation, home to 11 guilds, plus 11 churches and chapels, 11 towers of the former town wall, and a cathedral with 11 altars, bells and steps. According to one source it was adopted in deference to a team of work coach elves (Elf in German is both an Elf and the number) who came down from the Weissenstein, the promontory that dominates the city, and helped make the long-toiling inhabitants more prosperous.