Many cultures have a long tradition of Stone Lifting. Another great example of this is the Unspunnen Stone of Switzerland. The stone is so named for the Unspunnenfest, a cultural festival held near the ruins of the old Unspunnen Castle near Interlaken, Switzerland. This festival, which began officially in 1805, features a celebration of Swiss culture with competitions in yodeling, wrestling, and, of course, stone throwing. Unspunnenfest takes place roughly every 10 years or so, with the most recent event occurring in 2006. As for the the Unspunnen Stone itself, it weighs 184 lbs., and the object of the Steinstossen event is to hurl it as far as possible. Pictured above is Markus Maire, a 35-year old Swiss carpenter who won the 2006 event with an overhead throw of 3.89 meters (12.76 feet).
In Fribourg, Switzerland, during the annual Alpine Games, they conduct a traditional event: tossing the famous Unspunnen Stone, The stone, which weighs 176 pounds, is shown here being heaved by Ernest Hulman, who won the 1959 edition of the stone tossing contest with a throw of 8½ feet.
Competitive stone throwing has been a part of athletic festivals for a long time, including this poster for a Swiss Turnfest, circa July 9th, 1905. Stone throwing has actually been recorded in the Basel-Stadt area of Switzerland as far back as the 13th century.