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.
26 December 1900 immigrated Ludwig Knie
(1842–1909) and his wife Marie Heim
(1858–1936) and their five children in Gemeinde Gerlikon-Gachnang in Kanton Thurgau, and became Swiss citizens, and 1907, they settled in Rapperswil, by the Lake Zurich, where his sons Louis Knie
(1880 - 1949), Friedrich Knie
(1884 - 1941), Rudolf Knie (1885 - 1933), Karl Knie
(1888 - 1940) and Eugen Knie (1890 - 1955) 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.