Description: Circus Knie (French Cirque Knie) is the main circus of Switzerland. It is often called the National Circus though it receives no State funding. The circus is based in Rapperswil.
The circus was founded in 1803 by the Knie family and has existed in its present form since 1919 when it changed for an open arena to a covered tent. The circus has been long famous for its animals and now operates a zoo as well as a museum in Rapperswil. in 1999 Franco Knie was named Best Animal Tamer at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo.
Today the circus is an enterprise with about 200 employees, operated by Frédy and Franco Knie in partnership with insurance company Swiss Life.
David Dimitri tightrope acrobat has been associated with the circus and a co-production with Le Cirque du Soleil was mounted in 1992.
Princess Stéphanie of Monaco traveled with the circus for some months in 2001 and 2002 whilst in a relationship with Franco Knie.
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