Circus Knie, located at St. Wendelinstrasse 10, in Rapperswil, Switzerland
, was founded in 1919.
The Knie showbusiness dynasty was founded in the early 19th century by an Austrian, Frederic Knie (1784-1850), whose family became famous as acrobats and tightwire performers in the village squares, working al fresco. It was not until Louis Knie (1842-1909) took his family and settled in Switzerland that his sons Rodolphe, Frederic, Charles and Eugene decided in 1919 to start a circus. Receiving no financial assistance from their widowed mother, they obtained credit from the Swiss tentmakers, Geisers, who gave them a two-poler big top, enabling them to open their travelling show on 1 June 1919 in Berne.