New Year's Matinee 2014

The New Year's Matinee commemorated the visit of the Russian Tsar Alexander I to Johann Conrad Fischer in 1814.

200th anniversary of the visit of Tsar Alexander I to Schaffhausen and the steelworks of Johann Conrad Fischer in January 1814
19 January 2014, Klostergut Paradies

On this Sunday the Iron Library hosted a festive New Year's Matinee followed by an aperitif in the presence of some 140 guests from Switzerland and Germany. The occasion for the event was the Russian Tsar Alexander I's stay in Schaffhausen in January 1814, when he and his sister Katharina visited the steelworks of Johann Conrad Fischer, the founder of today's Georg Fischer Corporation.

The guests were welcomed by the Secretary General of Georg Fischer Ltd., Dr. Roland Gröbli. In two pointed presentations, Dr. Roland Hofer, State Archivist of the Canton of Schaffhausen, and Franziska Eggimann, Head of the Iron Library and Corporate Archivist of Georg Fischer Ltd., explained the historical background and context in Europe and in Schaffhausen.

Afterwards, pianist Valentina Pfister-Modestova and violinist Iryna Gintova skilfully whisked the audience away into the world of the Tsar's court with a selection of pieces by the Russian composers Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. Heini Stamm, President of the Musik-Collegium Schaffhausen, was responsible for putting together the musical programme. There was also a rare opportunity to take a look at the ring set with diamonds and an amethyst, which the Tsar had presented to Johann Conrad Fischer as a gift in 1814.

Historical context

Tsar Alexander I in Schaffhausen

The visit to the steelworks

During his four-day stay in Schaffhausen, the Tsar also visited Johann Conrad Fischer in his steelworks in the Mühlental. Fischer wrote about this later in his diary:


This visit was a great honor for young entrepreneur Fischer and was seen as one of the highlights of his career throughout his life.