Who wears the trousers? Schwingen – the Swiss wrestling tradition

In 68 days

Short facts

  • Hofstetten b. Brienz
  • 16.04. – 29.10.2023More dates
  • 10:00 - 17:00
Which are the strongest shorts in Switzerland? It’s the shorts that make Swiss wrestling stand out compared to other types of wrestling around the world.
The strongest shorts in Switzerland?! Compared to other types of wrestling around the world, the answer to this is Swiss wrestling shorts! They are the principal feature and symbol of Swiss wrestling.

In 2019, the Swiss Open-Air Museum was gifted the estate of Karl Meli and Irene Bodenmann-Meli by the former Wrestling Museum in Winterthur. This large collection of trophies and other memorabilia from the long careers of the two-time Swiss wrestling king, Meli, his wreath-winning daughter and other former Swiss wrestlers is the inspiration behind a special Swiss wrestling exhibition for the 2023 and 2024 season.

Grabbing the back of your opponent’s shorts is what Swiss wrestling is all about. How much can these shorts withstand? Why don’t they rip when they’re yanked upwards? And who are the people involved prior to the shorts being donned at a Swiss wrestling competition?

The shorts and a number of different items from the extensive collection will be used to recount stories of Swiss wrestling, past and present. The shorts create links to historical everyday life in Switzerland, as well as to a wide range of crafts: from jute and leather to sawdust and the prizes on offer, from the craftspeople involved with the trophies, music, festivals and familiar traditions, to various voices from today’s Swiss wrestling scene and international comparisons.

An exhibition for both Swiss wrestling enthusiasts and newcomers who are curious about the cultural significance and traditional roots of Swiss wrestling.

In 2023, this special exhibition will be a key element of an active, animated supporting programme featuring various Swiss sports and games. And Landschaftstheater Ballenberg will also be joining the action, staging a play starring Beat Schlatter.


All dates

April 2023
May 2023
June 2023
July 2023
August 2023
September 2023
October 2023

General information

Target groups
  • Also recommended for children
  • Also recommended for groups / companys
  • Also recommended for school classes (special offers)
  • Open to all
Access for disabled people
  • Not suitable for wheelchairs
  • Infants (up to 5 years) free
  • Reduction for students with ID
  • Reduction for families
  • Reduction for seniors with ID AVS
  • Reduction for locals
  • Reduction for groups
  • Reduced-fare with disability card
  • Reduced-fare with tourism organization card
  • Kulturlegi: Reduction
  • Raiffeisen customers: Free admission
  • RailAway: Reduction
  • Tellpass: reductions
Price info

Exhibition visit included in museum admission

Raiffeisen members plus and holders of the Swiss Museum Pass visit the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum free of charge

Next steps

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