is the sole municipality
in the canton
, sitting on the shores of Lake Lucerne
The estates of Gersau gradually came into the hands of the Habsburgs
, but in 1333, under dukes Albert II
and Otto IV the Merry
of Austria, the jurisdiction and rights over Gersau fell into the hands of Lucerne nobility. On 1359, Gersau allied with the Old Swiss Confederacy
as a protectorate
of the Confederacy, for its protection and to gain arms from the confederates. On July 9 1386
, the citizens of Gersau fought with the Swiss for the first time, on the battlefield of Sempach
, where the banner of Count Rudolf of Hohenzollern was captured.
Gersau purchased its liberty from the counts of Habsburg in 1390 for the sum of 690 pfennigs. The fate of the Vogtei and whether or not the municipality pledged to the Confederacy was then in the hands of Lucerners John, Peter and Agnes von Moos; as a result, the jurisdiction, Vogtei and tax rights went to the courtiers of Gersau, allowing a free municipality without being mortgaged to some other power. In Basel, in 1433, Gersau received original confirmation of the ancient freedoms, rights and privileges from Emperor Sigismund, thus becoming a Reichsunmittelbar municipality under the direct protection of the Holy Roman Emperor, with its own courts, covering an area of .
During the French Revolutionary Wars Gersau was annexed into the Helvetic Republic, becoming a district of the canton of Waldstätten. After the Act of Mediation and the collapse of the Helvetic Republic, Gersau became a district of the canton of Schwyz until 1814, when it regained its independence, with Schwyzer approval, centred around the 1745 Rathaus, containing council chambers and a courtroom (now a museum).
In 1817, the Tagsatzung decided, on the basis of the Congress of Vienna and the first article of the 1815 Bundesvertrag that Gersau should be united with the canton of Schwyz, which took effect the following year, against its wishes, becoming the sixth and last district of the canton Schwyz.
Gersau is in a self-contained location, nestled in a sunny recess in the lee of the south face of Rigi
. Gersau is protected from cool winds by the Rigi-Hochfluh
and Gersauerstock peaks to the north, and the winds are further moderated by Lake Lucerne to the south. This produces a mild climate in which Sweet Chestnut
trees thrive, and as a result of which Gersau is known in the region as the Riviera of Lake Lucerne
Historically, silk weaving
were the predominant industries. Today, however, tourism
has become the main economic sector. Gersau has been a well-known health
and vacation resort
since 1860, with a significant number of hotels
and guest houses
Culinary specialties of Gersau include salty cheesecake
and a dessert called Rahmschinken
Born in Gersau