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The secular territory of the bishops of Basel in the 16th century

The Buchsgau is a landscape in Switzerland .


The historical Buchsgau emerged from the old Augstgau , which comprised an area between the Rhine and Aare east of the Siggern (near Solothurn) and later split up into the parts Frickgau , Sisgau , Sornegau and Buchsgau. This lay on the left bank of the Aare and extended from the Siggern to the Erzbach (near Erlinsbach ). In the north the Gaug border lay on the watershed in the Jura ; from this later the current cantonal boundaries were partly formed.

The Bipperamt , Balsthal-Thal and Langenbruck , the Solothurnian Gäu , the area of Olten and the main part of the later Gösgen district belonged to the Buchsgau .

In 1080 Burkhard von Fenis , Bishop of Basel , received the enfeoffment with the Buchsgau from Heinrich IV . The bishop enfeoffed the Count of Frohburg with the office of Landgrave in Buchsgau. The prince-bishop of Basel remained lord of the Landgraviate of Buchsgau for more than six hundred years.

For a long time, the Frohburgers exercised their landgrave rights in Buchsgau, where they also had large amounts of property. At the height of their power around 1200 they founded several cities as economic centers in this area, for example Olten , Klus , Aarburg and Fridau, which was destroyed by the Guglers in 1375, in what is now the municipality of Fulenbach . After the Frohburger died out in 1336, the Buchsgau fell to Count Rudolf IV of Nidau , who fell in the fight against the Guglers in 1375. Then the landgraviate came to Count Sigmund II von Thierstein-Farnsburg .

With the decline of the nobility in the 14th century and the growth of the cities, more and more areas of the Buchsgau came under the influence of Bern and Solothurn. With the consent of the prince-bishop, the two cities agreed that Solothurn would exercise the landgraviate alone in the valley and in the Gäu with Bern together. In 1460 Bern demanded a complete division of the common rule in the western part of the Buchsgau. Solothurn became master of the Gäu in 1463, and Bern over the Bipperamt, which is still part of the Canton of Bern today. The rule of Gösgen had already bought Solothurn in 1458 from Thomas von Falkenstein .

Solothurn bought itself out on September 25, 1669 for 20,000 guilders from the landgrave's lordship of the Prince-Bishop of Basel.


The beginnings of the Buchsgau dean's office in the diocese of Basel are not known. In the 19th century there were 37 parishes with 33,000 Catholics, making it the largest deanery in Switzerland. In 1915 the 19 parishes from Hägendorf to Erlinsbach were split off and the Niederamt dean's office was formed from them. Since then, the Buchsgau dean's office has essentially retained the Solothurn (state) districts of Gäu and Thal .

In 2018 the deanery was dissolved and transformed into the (church) district of the same name, which includes the pastoral areas of Dünnernthal, St. Wolfgang im Thal and Gäu.


Individual evidence

  1. Urban Fink-Wagner: Deanery Buchsgau. Search for traces and obituaries. In: Church paper for Roman Catholic parishes in the canton of Solothurn 50/10, 2018.
  2. Pastoral rooms. In: Church journal for Roman Catholic parishes in the canton of Solothurn 52 / 13-14, 2020.