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Coat of arms of Bischofszell
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of ThurgauCanton of Thurgau Thurgau (TG)
District : Weinfelden
BFS no. : 4471i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 9220
Coordinates : 735 216  /  262573 coordinates: 47 ° 30 '0 "  N , 9 ° 14' 0"  O ; CH1903:  seven hundred and thirty-five thousand two hundred sixteen  /  262573
Height : 506  m above sea level M.
Height range : 455–619 m above sea level M.
Area : 11.58  km²
Residents: 6017 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 520 inhabitants per km²
Bischofszell, in the background Alpstein

Bischofszell, in the background Alpstein

Location of the municipality
Untersee (Bodensee) Bommer Weier Emerzer Weier Biessenhofer Weier Hauptwiler Weier Hoorbacher Weier Rüütiweier Horberweier Bodensee Kanton St. Gallen Kanton St. Gallen Bezirk Arbon Bezirk Frauenfeld Bezirk Kreuzlingen Bezirk Münchwilen Affeltrangen Amlikon-Bissegg Berg TG Birwinken Bischofszell Bürglen TG Bussnang Erlen TG Hauptwil-Gottshaus Hohentannen Kradolf-Schönenberg Märstetten Schönholzerswilen Sulgen TG Weinfelden Wigoltingen Wuppenau Zihlschlacht-SitterdorfMap of Bischofszell
About this picture

Bischofszell is a political municipality and a city in the district of Weinfelden in the Swiss canton of Thurgau . At Bischofszell the Sitter flows into the Thur . As an industrial location, Bischofszell has a regional center function.

Bischofszell was a unified municipality until 2002 and until 2010 the main town of the then Bischofszell district .


Bischofszell is located at the confluence of the Sitter in the Thur and comprises the town south of the Sitter on a terrace, Bischofszell-Nord and, since 1996, the former local community Halden and parts of the former local communities Schweizersholz and Gottshaus (Stocken).


Bischoffescella was first mentioned in a document in 1155. The former episcopal city ​​of Constance was important because of its location on the border with the area of ​​the Prince Abbey of St. Gallen and its river crossings. Since the 19th century it has served as an industrial location as a regional center, but is located away from the major traffic routes.

Antiquity, Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

Development of the city

City fire on May 17, 1743
town hall

A Bronze Age burial mound , Roman and Alemannic litter finds as well as early medieval documents testify to early settlement.

Presumably, the Bishop of Constance Solomon I founded the Canons ' Monastery of St. Pelagius in the 9th century next to an already existing Fronhof . Fronhof, pen, church and castle, the so-called. Farm were in the High Middle Ages by free courtyards rounded and walled. Around 1250, Bischofszell gained importance as an episcopal-Constance outpost opposite the prince-abbot-Sankt-Gallic area and as a market place (1269 Bischofszeller Mass). In 1273 the lords of Montfort conquered the city ​​and burned it down.

The market settlement adjoining the courtyard to the east, the forerunner of the actual «city», was protected by a curtain wall in the 13th century . The town hall, built by Johann Caspar Bagnato in 1747–1750 and renovated from 1977–1980, stands in its center today . This replaced the building from 1626-1629, which had fallen victim to a city fire in 1743 with 70 other houses. The suburb has been occupied as the second eastward expansion since 1360, in which the noise and smell annoying and flammable businesses were operated. Around 1405 it was demolished for military reasons and only rebuilt in 1437, now also walled. It absorbed the entire population growth until the 18th century, only the cemetery was moved in front of the city walls in 1544/45.

Secular rule

Bischofszell Castle

The city was independent of the monastery and was subordinate to the Hochstift Konstanz . The episcopal superior bailiff , who was recorded from 1276, resided in the castle. After the city fire in 1419, the building, now known as Schloss Bischofszell , was heavily modified in the 17th and 18th centuries. The newly founded Canton of Thurgau took it over in 1798, but sold it again in 1811. Around 1838 the western parts collapsed, 1843 was keep aborted. The castle has been owned by the municipality since 1930.

The town seal from 1338 (gloved arm with a bishop's staff) and the town charter from 1350 bear witness to the beginning of town self-government. The bishop's lack of money favored the citizens' striving for autonomy, which bought various rights on the occasion of the frequent town pledges in the 14th century. The Obervogt was chairman of the twelve-member city council and formed the high court with the two leading city councilors , which belonged to the city from 1485 to 1798. High and low court districts were not identical. The city court also exercised the lower jurisdiction in the area, while after the conquest of Thurgau by the Confederates in 1460, their governor in parts of the city lower court and in the court of the Heiliggeistspital, founded by the citizens in 1369, gained high jurisdiction.

After the Reformation , Zurich advanced to become the protective power of the Protestant majority of the population and countered the claims of the bishop. Multi-layered political coalitions now became characteristic of Bischofszell and led, among other things, to the fact that the chief bailiff came from the Confederation from 1587 , even if the prince-bishop remained lord of the city until 1798.


Thur bridge from the 15th century on a painting from 1826

The wooden bridges over Thur (around 1300) and Sitter (documented from 1428) were replaced by stone ones around 1500. Not least thanks to these bridges, which were duty-free until 1796, Bischofszell became a transshipment point for textiles. Century quite successful in competition with St. Gallen and the canvas cities of the Lake Constance area . In the 17th and 18th centuries the long-distance trade of the Rietmann, Bridler, Daller and Zwinger families reached its peak. Local textile production, on the other hand, was probably of less importance. Crafts and trades protected their interests with restrictive decrees (trade regulations 1699, no guilds ) and, with the exception of pottery, only produced for the immediate vicinity, to which other market operations were also limited.

Religion and school

St. Pelagius Church

Ecclesiastically, Bischofszell originally belonged to the parish of Sulgen , the collator was St. Pelagiusstift . In 1269 Bischofszell became an independent parish. The St. Pelagius Church, newly built in the 14th century (oldest foundations 9th century) was a collegiate and parish church.

Under the influence of Zurich, the majority of Bischofszell converted to the Reformation in 1529, but allowed the reintroduction of the mass as early as 1535. In 1536 and 1563 the parish benefice was divided. From 1728, all municipal offices were filled equally . The two parishes included Hauptwil , Gottshaus and Halden as well as parts of Hohentannen and Schweizersholz. Evangelisch-Hauptwil became a branch in 1861 . Since 1908 a part of Gottshaus has been the Catholic parish of St. Pelagiberg . The church, which was redesigned in the baroque style, was used simultaneously until the Protestant Johanniskirche was built in 1968 .

The collegiate school could not maintain its high level after the Reformation. In 1530 the Protestant school was established. The Catholic city school, which was decided in 1536, was only opened in 1660 and determined by the monastery, and increasingly by the city since the late 18th century. The secondary school started teaching in 1834, and in 1870 the denominational Swiss school communities were united .

Recent history

Bischofszell in 1958

As in the Ancien Régime , Bischofszell was one of the richest communities in the canton of Thurgau even after the upheaval of the Helvetic Republic - the fact that the Prince-Bishop of Constance initially adhered to his rulership rights intensified the conflicts. In 1812, the Engishalden farm and the hamlets of Winklen, Moosburg, Muggensturm, Klausenhäusli, Katzensteig and Im Stich were assigned to Bischofszell.

1834 went to 1799 and 1803 existing Munizipalgemeinde and the old civic community , the local church . Since the areas of these three corporations coincided, local and municipal parishes were united in 1870. The civil community, which continued to exist as a public corporation, ceded its buildings (including town hall, secondary school) and around a third of its assets for local purposes and the construction of the Sulgen – Bischofszell – Gossau railway line . Its opening in 1876, along with hydropower, was likely to have been decisive for the industrial boom.

Bischofszell food

From the jacquard weaving mill Niederer, which existed from 1856–1911 , the paper mill Laager (“Papieri Bischofszell”), which was producing until 1984, emerged. The foundation stone was laid on August 29, 1887. Around 1910, two ship embroidery shops offered over 200 factory jobs. Also worth mentioning are the first Thurgau printing company founded by Andreas Wehrli in 1792, the Bischofszeller Zeitung , which appeared from 1860 and 1872, and the Munz tailor-made shop founded in 1870. The preferred industrial location in the 19th century was the area around the bridges (Brüel, Bleiche). The industrial area Bischofszell-Nord was established in the 20th century with the Obi cider cooperative (1906) and the Tobler canning factory founded in 1909, which has been owned by Migros since 1945 ( Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel ) and contributed to Bischofszell's positive commuter balance in the 1990s with around 700 employees. Immigration changed the denominational (61% Reformed population in 1870; 55% in 1910; 40% in 1990) and political conditions, so that in the proportional representation of the 20th century the CVP or its predecessors and the FDP were roughly equally strong, followed by the SP .

The domestic water supply from 1893, the company's own gas production from 1903 / 08-1959, the power supply started in 1908 and the wastewater treatment plant built in 1973 improved the urban infrastructure. The city first expanded east along the site terrace. With the Obi-Dörfli housing estate built in 1945/46 and the single-family houses on the Lättehang and the roads to Sitterdorf and Sulgen, new residential areas were created to the north of the Sitter. After emigrating in the 1970s, Bischofszell recorded significant population growth again around 1990.


In 1996 the local communities Halden and Schweizersholz (excluding the hamlets and farms Last , Schluuch , Rohren , Störenhaus and Alt Weingarten ) were separated from the municipal community Neukirch an der Thur and merged with the unified community of Bischofszell . Also in 1996, the Stocken / Breite district of the former community of Gottshaus was allocated to the unified community of Bischofszell .

coat of arms


Blazon : In red, a yellow bishop's staff held by a yellow arm .

The coat of arms of Bischoffszell is the old city coat of arms, which essentially looks like a coat of arms disk from 1517. In 1926, after years of controversy, it was decided that the Bischofszell city coat of arms shows a hand-held bishop's staff. In 1994 the coat of arms was redrawn.


Population development in the community of Bischofszell
Population development in the community of Bischofszell
year 1634 1773 1831 1850 1880 1900 1910
Residents about 550 approx. 950 923 1303 2114 2618 3192
year 1950 1980 1990 2000 2010 2018
Residents 3567 3990 4563 5421 5462 5985

Of the total of 5,985 inhabitants in the municipality of Bischofszell in 2018, 1,573 or 26.3% were foreign nationals.

The village of Bischofszell had 5695 inhabitants in the same year. Of these, 145 (e.g. Blidegg , Leutswil) belonged to the municipality of Zihlschlacht-Sitterdorf and 97 (including Eberswil) to the municipality of Hauptwil-Gottshaus .


In 2016, Bischofszell offered work for 2,718 people (converted to full-time positions). 2.4% of them worked in agriculture and forestry, 56.0% in industry, trade and construction and 41.6% in the service sector.


Arch tower (also clock tower)
  • The Catholic parish church of St. Pelagius was originally built as a collegiate church for the Canons of Constance . The choir, the three-aisled basilica and the All Saints Chapel date from the 14th century. The tower and the newly built nave date from the 15th century. The sacristy was added to the eastern front of the choir between 1708 and 1709. The choir was redesigned in baroque style around 1770. Inside there are fragments of late Gothic paintings. The early baroque high altar was built between 1639 and 1640.
  • The Michaelskapelle stands free north of the Catholic Church. It was built at the beginning of the 15th century. The interior is painted in late Gothic style; the picture of Michael dates from 1731.
  • The Protestant Johanneskirche was only built in 1968/69, according to the plans of Benedikt Huber .
  • The town hall was built between 1747 and 1750 by Johann Caspar Bagnato (Marktgasse 11).
  • The Bischofszell Castle was originally the Episcopal castle. The substructure of the house dates from the 13th century, the superstructure was built after the city fire of 1419. The eastern extension dates from 1813.
  • The Bürklersche Freihof is located in Kirchgasse (number 35).
  • The Helmsdorfische Freihof is located on Hofplatz (number 27).
  • The Blarerhof is located on Schottengasse (number 12).
  • The Grüne or von Anwilische Hof is located on Kirchgasse (number 25).
  • The semi-detached house for the rose and vine is located on the market square (numbers 7 and 9). Inside it is decorated with Wessobrunn stucco .
  • The arched tower was once the eastern outer structure, which was built after the suburb was fortified in 1437.
  • The eight- bay Thur Bridge from 1487 leads in a crooked line over the river because of the natural rock foundations (hence the name "Krumme Brücke") and is one of the most important late medieval bridges in Switzerland.

The town of Bischofszell is listed in the inventory of places worth protecting in Switzerland .


The Rose Week has been held annually in Bischofszell since 2002 as a festival, which is why the city calls itself the Rose City . Around 60,000 visitors are counted every year. In 2012 the Känzeli rose garden was reopened.

The Bischofszell table fair has been held once a year in autumn in the Bitzihalle since 2008. Exhibitors from near and far show the goods and services on a single table. The Bischofszell table fair is the replacement for the Bigwa, which is no longer held for the time being.


With Bischofszell Stadt and Bischofszell Nord, the city has two stations on the Sulgen – Gossau railway line .



  • Gregor Spuhler : Bischofszell (community). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
    The history section is largely based on the entry in the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland (HLS), which, according to the HLS's usage instructions, is under the Creative Commons license
    - Attribution - Share under the same conditions 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).
  • Margrit Früh: The odyssey of two silver cups from Bischofszell. In: Writings of the Association for the History of Lake Constance and its Surroundings. , 101st year 1983, pp. 83-90 ( digitized version )
  • Arthur Geiger: The Canon Monastery of St. Pelagius zu Bischofszell in the Age of Catholic Reform, 1500–1700. Hallwag Verlag, Bern 1958.
  • Markus Mattle: Episcopaliscella: from monastery to city: Bischofszell anniversaries: 750 years of market and walls 1248-1998: 850 years of city and culture 1150–2000. Weinfelden 2000, ISBN 3-9522022-0-7
  • K. Ro .: Half a century of carton and paper mill in Bischofszell. In: Thurgauer Jahrbuch , Vol. 14, 1938, pp. 67–72 ( e-periodica )
  • Albert Scheiwiler: History of the canons of St. Pelagius in Bischofszell in the Middle Ages. In: Writings of the Association for the History of Lake Constance and its Surroundings. 45th year 1916, pp. 193–294 ( digitized version )
  • Albert Knoepfli , Beatrice Sendner-Rieger: Bischofszell. Art, culture, history. (Swiss Art Guide, No. 541). Ed. Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1994, ISBN 978-3-85782-541-5 .
  • Who sanct Pelayen zue belongs ... Contributions to the history of the monastery and town of Bischofszell and the surrounding area in the Middle Ages and early modern times , ed. by Hannes Steiner (Thurgau Contributions to History, Vol. 154), Frauenfeld 2016, ISBN 978-3-9524186-3-5 .

Web links

Commons : Bischofszell  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  2. a b Thurgau in figures 2019 . On the website of the Statistical Office of the Canton of Thurgau (PDF file; 1.8 MB), accessed on April 28, 2020.
  3. Swiss land use statistics. Completed on July 1, 1912. Published by the Federal Statistical Bureau. ( Memento from April 12, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Gregor Spuhler: Bischofszell (community). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  5. Thomas Bridler: The linen trade, a formerly flourishing industry in Bischofszell. Thurgauer Jahrbuch, 1930, accessed on March 5, 2020 .
  6. Mutation No. 32i of the Official Register of Swiss Municipalities , 1986
  7. Mutation No. 32f of the Official Register of Swiss Municipalities, 1986
  8. a b municipal coat of arms . On the website of the State Archives of the Canton of Thurgau, accessed on December 8, 2019
  9. a b Population development of the municipalities. Canton Thurgau, 1850–2000 and resident population of the municipalities and change from the previous year. Canton of Thurgau, 1990–2018. On the website of the Statistical Office of the Canton of Thurgau (Excel tables; 0.1 MB each), accessed on April 28, 2020.
  10. a b Localities and their resident population. Edition 2019 . On the website of the Statistical Office of the Canton of Thurgau (Excel table; 0.1 MB), accessed on April 28, 2020.
  11. a b Vroni Krucker: Friendship across borders - 11th Rose Week. (No longer available online.) Infowilplus, 2012, archived from the original on April 22, 2016 ; Retrieved August 15, 2012 .


  1. from 1996 with Halden, Schweizersholz, Stocken und Breite