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Diessenhofen coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of ThurgauCanton of Thurgau Thurgau (TG)
District : Frauenfeldw
BFS no. : 4545i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 8253
Coordinates : 698 464  /  282235 coordinates: 47 ° 41 '0 "  N , 8 ° 45' 0"  O ; CH1903:  698 464  /  282235
Height : 397  m above sea level M.
Height range : 391–588 m above sea level M.
Area : 10.08  km²
Residents: 3999 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 397 inhabitants per km²
City President : Markus Birk (SP)
Website: www.diessenhofen.ch
Stadtkirche, Schifflände and Unterhof

Stadtkirche, Schifflände and Unterhof

Location of the municipality
Mindelsee Bodensee Nussbommersee Raffoltersee Hasensee Hüttwilersee Guemüliweier Deutschland Deutschland Kanton St. Gallen Kanton Schaffhausen Kanton Schaffhausen Kanton Zürich Bezirk Kreuzlingen Bezirk Münchwilen Bezirk Weinfelden Basadingen-Schlattingen Berlingen TG Diessenhofen Eschenz Felben-Wellhausen Frauenfeld Gachnang Herdern TG Homburg TG Hüttlingen TG Hüttwilen Mammern Matzingen Müllheim TG Neunforn Pfyn Schlatt TG Steckborn Stettfurt Thundorf TG Uesslingen-Buch Wagenhausen TG Warth-WeiningenMap of Diessenhofen
About this picture

Diessenhofen is a small town and a municipality in the Frauenfeld district of the canton of Thurgau in Switzerland . The political community , which has existed since 2000, comprises the former municipal community Diessenhofen with their local communities Diessenhofen and Willisdorf . From 1798 to 2010 Diessenhofen was the capital of the then eponymous district .


The small town of Diessenhofen is located on the south bank of the High Rhine on the Schaffhausen – Stein am Rhein road and shows itself in its original, medieval structure, which has been preserved to this day. The Geisslibach flows into the Rhine at the Schifflände . The municipal area with the bridge and border town Diessenhofen extends for around 5 km on the southern bank of the Rhine between Schaffhausen and Stein am Rhein . The Upper Rhine forms the border between Germany and Switzerland .

Diessenhofen has a train station on the Schaffhausen – Kreuzlingen railway line .


The origins of the settlement go back to the Stone and Bronze Ages, as evidenced by individual finds in the shallow depressions of the district and on the banks of the Rhine. A coin treasure from Roman times is dated from 251 to 270. Remains of three watchtowers of the Danube-Iller-Rhein-Limes date from the 4th century .

Secular rule

The confederate camp at the gates of Diessenhofen in 1460. Illustration from the Zurich Chronicle .

The oldest surviving documentary mention as the Alemannic settlement Deozincova comes from the year 757. At that time, the priest Lazarus gave his hamlet Deozincova to the monastery of St. Gallen . In 839 it was called Theozinhovun , which can be translated as "at the courts of Die (o) zzo".

Diessenhofen was by Count Hartmann III. Kyburg was raised to the rank of town in 1178 with 60 courts. The town charter was confirmed and extended in the hand-held festivities awarded in 1260. The name Diessinhovin first appeared in the 13th century, and it was during this time that the Kyburgers in Diessenhofen minted coins: a rectangular Kyburger pfennig with a head and the inscription "DIONI-SIVS" (city saint of the city church St. Dionys).

Compared to Schaffhausen and Stein am Rhein, Diessenhofen remained a modest market town. After rule passed to the Habsburgs in 1264, the city developed into one of its cornerstones in the foothills, with the Truchsessen von Diessenhofen , who sat at Unterhof Castle, temporarily uniting the bailiwick and mayor's office in one hand. From 1320, the citizens elected a small council of 8 to 12 members, and then in the course of the 15th century a 24 to 28-member large council. After the Dukes of Austria had released the Bailiwick from the pledge of the Truchessen in 1349 and given it to other ministerial families, the citizenship became increasingly important. The loss of influence of the Habsburgs and the decline of the Truchsessen let the city become imperial-free from 1415 to 1442 .

The city of Diessenhofen around 1643
Border guard controls border traffic at the Diessenhofen bridge, Company III / 65, 1914–1918

In 1460 Diessenhofen was captured by the Confederates after ten days of siege in the course of the conquest of Thurgau ; However, like Frauenfeld, it retained certain privileges in the common rule of Thurgau. These included the higher and lower jurisdiction and the recently acquired customs, tax and bailiff's rights with the castle, from 1574 also the rule over the holdings of the Paradies monastery on the left bank of the Rhine and from the 16th century on most of the lower courts in the area of ​​the later district of Diessenhofen . Court judgments were not referred to the bailiff in Frauenfeld, but directly to the federal authorities in the nine places ; the city only had to pay homage to the Thurgau Landvogt every two years if he solemnly renewed the fiefdom when he took office . In 1512 the city received from Pope Julius II a valuable « Juliusbanner » for the services rendered in the «Great Pavier Campaign» in 1508–1510 to expel the French.

During the time of the Helvetic Republic , the Diessenhofen district was incorporated into the canton of Schaffhausen in 1798. The district was definitely part of the canton of Thurgau as early as 1800.

As a border town, the town of Diessenhofen was repeatedly affected by fighting, especially during the Second Coalition War (1799-1801) and World War II , when the wooden bridge over the Rhine, first mentioned in 1292, was severely damaged. After 1900, the small-town settlement continued to develop along new road axes while preserving the mediaeval structure, especially towards the south to the train station opened in 1894. Today, Diessenhofen, as the largest town in the former district as the seat of high school and as the center of the regional consumer goods supply, is its focus and is in turn geared towards the nearby Schaffhausen in terms of transport and economy.

In 2000 the local community of Willisdorf merged with the local and municipal community of Diessenhofen as part of the Thurgau community reorganization .


Diessenhofen with St. Dionys Church

The patronage of the Church of St. Dionysius is mentioned in 1468; In the 12th century, patronage rights, including the court, were owned by the Thurgaugrave , passed to the Kyburgs in 1230 at the latest , to the Habsburgs with the city rule in 1264, and from 1383 onwards it was actually exercised by the citizens, which was confirmed in 1415.

In 1524 numerous citizens converted to the Reformation . In 1529 the mass was abolished, a reformed pastor appointed and the church property confiscated. The city of Diessenhofen supported Zurich in the Second Kappel War in 1531. After the defeat of the Reformed, the Catholic ruling places restored mass in 1532. The simultaneous relationship that has existed since then only ended with the construction of the Catholic Church in 1966/67. Between Diessenhofen and Schaffhausen are the St. Katharinental and Paradies monasteries , which were founded in the 13th century and were occupied by women's convents until they were closed in the 19th century.

In 1349 the Jewish community of Diessenhofen was wiped out. The 1401 carried out against a Jew ritual murder process moved further persecution in Winterthur and Schaffhausen to be.


Since the early Middle Ages , agriculture has shaped agriculture in the former district , known as the Thurgau granary. Viticulture, which is widespread in the Upper Rhine region, is mentioned as early as the 9th century. Until the 19th century, the city was mainly inhabited by arable citizens, was largely self-sufficient and functioned as a place of exchange between the countryside and the surrounding cities, especially Schaffhausen and the Zurich area. In the 12th century there was a weekly market, from 1387 there were two and up to the 19th century there were eight.

Diessenhofen, aerial photo from 1935 by Walter Mittelholzer

The trade covered the most basic needs of the city and its limited market area and was too weak for the formation of trade-oriented guilds . In Diessenhofen, a single branch of the economy or a special craft never dominated. Neither did the place noticeably participate in the linen trade, which had grown into an international export industry in the entire Lake Constance region. The location on the Rhine favored fishing. Diessenhofen also benefited from the salt trade; Bridge and transit tariffs were the city's most important source of income until the abolition of internal tariffs in 1848.

Industrialization started around 1830 with the first fabric dyeing and printing works, which reached its peak after 1900 with the settlement of numerous textile companies. From the 17th century tanneries and bleaching plants existed. Mills and sawmills have been documented since the early 19th century. The wood industry (carpentry, joinery and furniture construction) still plays an important role in Diessenhofen today. The brickworks at Schupfen and Paradies , which had been exploiting the rich clay deposits since the late Middle Ages , developed into larger industrial companies at the turn of the 20th century. The one in Paradise was still in operation in 2000. There are also two large industrial companies (tool and mold making, candle manufacturing), but mostly medium-sized and smaller workshops.

The third economic sector had the largest share of employment in 2000 with around half of the workforce. 50% of the working population were commuters, mainly to Schaffhausen.


The Etzwilen – Schaffhausen railway line, opened in 1894, and the establishment of a cantonal road network in the first third of the 19th century increasingly displaced the transport ships - which had been powered by steam since 1825 - so that shipping on the Rhine now serves almost exclusively for tourism. Since 1983 Diessenhofen has been relieved of through traffic by a bypass road along the Rhine.

See also

History section in the article Willisdorf

coat of arms


Blazon : In red a yellow sloping bar accompanied by two yellow, crowned lions .

The coat of arms of Diessenhofen is the old city coat of arms, which corresponds to the Kyburg coat of arms in the Habsburg colors. The crowning of the lions distinguishes it from the old Thurgau coat of arms. When the Political Community of Diessenhofen was formed in 2000, the coat of arms of the local community of Diessenhofen was adopted for it.

→ for a historical overview see article Flag and coat of arms of the canton of Thurgau


Population development in the municipal and political community of Diessenhofen
Population development of the individual communities
1527 1850 1870 1900 1950 1990 2000 2010 2018
Political community 3227 3395 3985
Municipal parish about 1000 1616 1595 1876 2608 3292
Local parish 1444 1401 2080 2949

Of the total of 3,985 inhabitants in Diessenhofen in 2018, 1,405 or 35.3% were foreign nationals. 1310 (32.9%) were Roman Catholic and 1249 (31.3%) were Protestant Reformed. The village of Diessenhofen had 3849 residents at that time.

Culture and sights

The landmark of Diessenhofen in the center is the seal tower , in which seals and documents have been kept since the Middle Ages. The moon clock and the dial with the astronomical symbols for the twelve signs of the zodiac are remarkable. The main street of the village leads under the archway of the sealing tower.

Diessenhofen with Henketurm and covered Rhine bridge
Wooden bridge over the Rhine to Diessenhofen

The covered wooden bridge over the Rhine was opened in 1816 and is the lifeline between the villages of Gailingen am Hochrhein and Diessenhofen. The superstructure of the bridge was renovated in 1996 and 1997, and the restoration of the yoke piles was completed in 2002.

The town of Diessenhofen and the St. Katharinental monastery are listed in the inventory of places worth protecting in Switzerland .

Museum art + knowledge

In addition to a permanent exhibition with works by the well-known Thurgau artist Carl Roesch , contemporary artists, historical and cross-border topics are regularly presented in temporary exhibitions in the Museum kunst + Wissen , which runs until 2013, in the Upper Office .

Unterhof Castle

The castle Unterhof is the pier of the shipping company URh . It was used as a training center and seminar hotel at least until the end of 2014. It is a restored building in the western corner of the city, directly on the Rhine. In the 13th century the Unterhof was a ministerial seat of the Lords of Hettlingen , the Zurich ministerial nobility of Kyburg followers. - Building history: Founded in 1186 in the western corner of the city, equipped with a tower and curtain wall; 1276-1278 East Wing built 1315-1318 the Palas (House), 1328 expansion of the cellar. In the baroque period in 1680 a hall in the palas was painted. Reconstruction of parts of the building from 1989–1992, with the remains of Gothic wall paintings uncovered. During renovations in the south wing in 1904, workers found a paper song sheet from around 1396 in a wooden double floor, folded the size of a matchbox, containing two Middle High German Minnelieder , which have not been passed on otherwise, named "Diessenhofener Liederblatt" (see below).

St. Katharinental Monastery

Just under a quarter of an hour's walk in the direction of Paradies Abbey , the former St. Katharinental Abbey is located directly on the Rhine in the area of ​​the Willisdorf community, which was independent until 2000 . A sister book from the 14th century, which has been handed down in several manuscripts, reports on the gifted lives of more than 50 members of the convent. The gradual of St. Katharinental (around 1312), which was bought back in a sensational campaign in 1958, with its miniatures is one of the most important Gothic works of art in Switzerland. The interior of the monastery church is considered to be one of the most beautiful room creations of the late Baroque in Switzerland. The monastery complex now serves as a cantonal rehabilitation clinic and as a nursing home for the elderly.

"House of the Golden Leuen"

The "Haus zum Goldenen Leuen" houses a pharmacy-historical collection and other rarities. After the death of three generations of pharmacists, the collection was transferred to a foundation that maintains this collection and makes it accessible to the public. The house is not a museum with regular opening times, but tours can be arranged.

Diessenhofener Liederblatt

The Diessenhofener Liederblatt is the oldest single sheet tradition of a medieval song. The song sheet (two love songs with text and melody) was written around 1400. It was found during renovation work in the Unterhof in 1904. Since then, it has been privately owned by the family of the finder and then owner of the Unterhof. The sheet lay folded to the size of a matchbox between wooden floors in the south wing. Based on the watermarks, the paper can be dated to around 1396. The sheet of approx. 16 × 21 cm contains the text of two three-verse love songs with melodies. The two songs are on both sides of the landscape-format sheet, prepared to be turned across the horizontal axis, for use in the performance as a reminder for the singer and musician. The audience will have been a society of listeners from the nobility and the church, lovers of courtly singing ( minnesong ). The discovery of 1904 was then and is still sensational because German research has always been looking for such documents of the immediate lieder performance since collective manuscripts such as the Manesse Codex , the Weingartner Liederhandschrift and others were known. No other similar document has yet been found.


  • The Evangelical Church of St. Dionysius goes back to a church that was first mentioned in 757. In the 13th century, a Romanesque building was built on the current floor plan of the church, which was converted into a three-aisled basilica around 1500. Between 1543 and 1967 the church served both denominations. After extensive renovation, the church was reopened in November 2016.
  • The Catholic Church of Brother Klaus was built between 1966 and 1967 according to plans by the architect Karl Zöllig. It is named after the Holy Brother Klaus , who in 1460 saved the Church of St. Dionysius and the Monastery of St. Katharinental from being pillaged by the people of Zurich and Unterwald. The catholic church with its striking brick facade is a total work of art by the artist Willy Buck from Wil SG.


At the beginning of 2013, SWIFT opened its third own operations center for its banking telecommunications network in Diessenhofen. In 2016 Diessenhofen offered work for 1,367 people (converted to full-time positions). 3.0% of these were employed in agriculture and forestry, 44.9% in industry, trade and construction and 52.1% in the service sector.



  • Armand Baeriswyl, Marina Junge: The Unterhof in Diessenhofen. From the noble castle to the training center (= archeology in Thurgau. 3). Frauenfeld 1995, ISBN 3-905405-02-4 .
  • Heinrich Waldvogel: Diessenhofen (= Swiss homeland books. No. 84). With photographs by Hans Baumgartner . Paul Haupt, Bern 1958.
  • Alfons Raimann: The Art Monuments of the Canton of Thurgau, Volume V: The District of Diessenhofen (= Art Monuments of Switzerland, Volume 85). Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1992, ISBN 3-909158-73-0 , pp. 33–228.
  • Alfons Raimann: Diessenhofen TG (=  Swiss Art Guide , No. 380). Ed. Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1985.
  • Christine Kolitzus-Hanhart, Fritz Franz Vogel: Red color and stuff printing in Diessenhofen. edition ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ, Diessenhofen 2016, ISBN 978-3-03858-701-9 .
  • Peter Niederhäuser (ed.): The Counts of Kyburg, a nobility story with breaks. Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-0340-1271-3 ( Announcements of the Antiquarian Society in Zurich , Volume 82 = Neujahrsblatt 179).


Web links

Commons : Diessenhofen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Diessenhofen  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. admin.ch . 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. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Simon Netzle: Diessenhofen. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
    These sections are largely based on the entry in the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland (HLS), which, according to the HLS's usage information, is under the Creative Commons license
    - Attribution - Share under the same conditions 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).
  5. ^ Ernst Theodor Gaupp : German city rights of the Middle Ages, with legal historical explanations. Second volume, Breslau 1852, p. 274. online.
  6. ^ Heinrich Gottfried Philipp Gengler : Regesta and documents on the constitutional and legal history of German cities in the Middle Ages. Erlangen 1863. pp. 760-771. .
  7. ^ Benedikt Zäch: The Kyburg coinage in the coin landscape of the 12th and 13th centuries . In: Peter Niderhäuser (ed.): The Counts of Kyburg, a nobility story with breaks (=  communications from the Antiquarian Society in Zurich , Volume 82 = New Year's Gazette 179). Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-0340-1271-3 , pp. 82–93, with illus.
  8. Winfried Hecht: The Julius banner of the town facing Rottweil. In: Der Geschichtsfreund: Messages from the Central Switzerland Historical Association. 126/7 (1973/4). doi : 10.5169 / seals-118647
  9. Mutation No. 47 of the Official Register of Swiss Municipalities, 1986.
  10. a b municipal coat of arms . On the website of the State Archives of the Canton of Thurgau, accessed on December 8, 2019
  11. a b c 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Axa sells the Unterhof. St. Galler Tagblatt , April 16, 2014.
  14. Armand Baeriswyl: The castle Unterhof. In: Alfons Raimann: The Art Monuments of the Canton of Thurgau , Volume 5: The District of Diessenhofen (=  The Art Monuments of Switzerland ; 85). Basel 1992, pp. 86-103.
  15. See Wikisource: St. Catherine's Book of Sisters
  16. See Das Graduale von St. Katharinental ( Memento of May 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) on the website of the Facsimile Verlag , accessed on October 9, 2011.
  17. ^ Foundation for the Golden Leuen
  18. ^ Eckart Conrad Lutz , René Pfammatter: The Diessenhofener Liederblatt. A testimony to late court culture (=  literature and history on the Upper Rhine. Volume 3). With a recording of the songs by the Salzburg ensemble Dulamans Vröudenton . Schillinger, Freiburg 1993.
  19. ^ Eckart Conrad Lutz, René Pfammatter: The Dießenhofener Liederblatt. A testimony to late court culture (=  literature and history on the Upper Rhine ; Volume 3). With a recording of the songs by the Salzburg ensemble Dulamans Vröudenton . Schillinger, Freiburg 1994, ISBN 3-89155-150-9 , pp. 13-15.