Johanna Spyri is, without doubt, the best-known Swiss author ever. She grew up in the countryside, lived in the city, and then fled into the mountains. Her life story reminds some people of her most successful fictional character, "Heidi". In this book, she is firmly on the side of the children - at that time, a pioneering achievement in children's literature.
On the side of the children It is now hard to know exactly how much of the story is really autobiographical and took place in Johanna Spyri’s life because shortly before her death the author burnt all her diaries and most of her letters. Putting herself first was far from her mind. But it is still apparent that in her texts Spyri often showed her empathy with the fate of young women, and especially with the fate of children. Hence most of her books bore the subtitle, "A story for children and also for those who love children". She was looking for the anchor for yourself that she gave "Heidi" back then and that she still gives to many others. Perhaps that is the key to the success of Heidi and at the same time a key to the personality of Johanna Spyri.
Heidi's conquest of the world It only took a few years from the time the Heidi books were first published for them to become an international success. To date they have been translated into over 50 languages and filmed several times. After the copyright expired, increasing numbers of Heidi books and stories have been produced but for the main part they do not have very much in common with Spyri's Heidi.
Following in the footsteps of Heidi It was with her grandfather up on the Alp above Maienfeld that this child of nature felt safe and secure, and where she felt the pure joy of being. In what is today known as the Heidiland holiday region, Heidi became healthy and happy, made some friends, and found herself. The hamlet of Maienfeld is a must-see for Heidi fans: It is home to the "Original Heidi House" - a house with furnishings as they were in Heidi’s time, the "Johanna Spyri Museum Heididorf", a village and gift shop full of Heidi souvenirs and Switzerland’s smallest post office with its special Heididorf postmark. Heidi fans also come from around the world to explore the different Heidi trails and paths, the Heidi Alp and the Johanna Spyri Museum in Hirzel.