In 2011, Neuchâtel celebrates its first millennium of existence.
Over the past ten centuries the town which gave the canton its name, will have grown from a small village, nestling close to a “new castle” to that of the capital of one of the twenty-three cantons of the Swiss Confederation.
With its seat of power held within the castle that dominates it, the town has passed through all modes of government, from the time of the lords, the earls and princes to the establishment of the Republic in 1848. Nevertheless it has always jealously guarded its autonomy that it was granted in the Chartre de franchises in April 1214.
As for other matters, like all historical towns, it has experienced unknown quantities: it has not been spared the ravages of fire, water, nor great epidemics but it has always known how to rise up again so as to grow and thrive in the limited space of its idyllic position which it cherishes between the forest and lake and on which it has consistently mastered land so that it may breathe.
The turbulent history of its dynasties, which came from all four corners of Europe, often threw it into the heart of passionate events.