Canton of Friborg

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Canton of Friborg
Canton de Friborg
coat of arms
coat of arms
Canton of the Swiss Confederation
Abbreviation / license plate : FR
Official language : French (67%),
German (31%)
Main town : Freiburg (Friborg)
Accession to the federal government : 1481
Area : 1671.42  km²
Height range : 422–2389 m above sea level M.
Residents: 318,714 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 191 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without citizenship )
21.9% (December 31, 2015)
Unemployment rate : 3.5% (December 31, 2015)
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Map of the canton
Map of the canton
Municipalities of the canton
Municipalities of the canton

Coordinates: 46 ° 43 '  N , 7 ° 4'  E ; CH1903:  571130  /  one hundred seventy-four thousand seven hundred and fourteen

Freiburg ( abbreviation FR ; Swiss German Frybùrg , French Friborg , Italian Friburgo , Rhaeto-Romanic Friburg ? / I , Franco-Provencal le Tyinton dè Friboua ? / I ) is a canton in western Switzerland . He belongs to both the Francophone Romandie and the German-speaking Switzerland on. About two thirds of the population speak French and almost one third German , which means that Friborg, along with the cantons of Bern, Valais and Graubünden, is one of the officially multilingual cantons. The main town is the city of the same name Freiburg (Friborg) . Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample


Freiburg Pre-Alps : Dent de Brenleire ( 2358  m , front right) and Vanil Noir ( 2389  m , back)

With 1670.8 square kilometers, the canton of Friborg is the eighth largest canton in Switzerland. Topographically , Freiburg can be divided into two larger areas: the northern and western parts belong to the Swiss Plateau , the southeast to the Swiss Pre-Alps (see the main article Freiburg Pre-Alps ).

The highest point is the Vanil Noir at 2389  m . It is located in the south of the canton in the Gruyère district , on the border with the canton of Vaud . The lowest point is at 430  m , on Lake Neuchâtel (Lac de Neuchâtel) .

The neighboring cantons are the canton of Vaud to the west and south, the canton of Bern to the east and north, and in the north-west Friborg borders the canton of Neuchâtel through Lake Neuchâtel .

coat of arms

The coat of arms of the canton of Friborg shows a shield divided by black and silver. This coat of arms originated from the banner of the city of Freiburg when it was released from the sovereignty of Savoy in 1477. At that time, the Savoy crosses on the city gates were replaced by a representation that showed a double shield, divided in black and white, overlaid by the imperial coat of arms. The banner is shown for the first time in 1410 in the Freiburg hand festival. A second coat of arms was created in the 17th century and was used in parallel. In blue it showed three pinnacle towers, sloping down to the left, crowned by a black eagle. This coat of arms originated from the Freiburg city seal and was combined with the old coat of arms in a four-part shield. When the modern canton of Friborg was established in 1803, the coat of arms was separated. Since then, the canton has had the old shield divided by black and silver, the city the blue coat of arms with the tin towers. The canton colors were initially white and black. From 1500 black and blue came into use. It was not until 1831 that the canton's colors were set back to white and black.


As of December 31, 2018, the population of the canton of Friborg was 318,714. The population density of 191 inhabitants per square kilometer is below the Swiss average (207 inhabitants per square kilometer). The proportion of foreigners (registered residents without Swiss citizenship ) was 21.9 percent on December 31, 2015, while 24.6 percent were registered nationwide. As of December 31, 2015, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level.

Population movement in the canton of Friborg 1999–2010
year Residents
January 1st
Births death
December 31
change Change
in percent
1999 232,086 2934 1888 1046 1156 234,307 2221 1.0
2000 234,307 237,044 2737 1.2
2001 237,044 2850 1846 1004 2154 240,339 3295 1.4
2002 240,339 2684 1883 0801 2896 243,400 3061 1.3
2003 243,400 2812 1934 0878 2602 246,656 3256 1.3
2004 246,656 2782 1918 0864 2974 250,377 3721 1.5
2005 250,377 2745 1873 0872 2785 253,954 3577 1.4
2006 253,954 2803 1856 0947 2810 258,252 4298 1.7
2007 258,252 2792 1810 0982 4333 263,241 4989 1.9
2008 263,241 2895 1762 1133 4415 268,537 5296 2.0
2009 268,537 3029 1906 1123 3814 273,159 4622 1.7
2010 273,159 3087 1893 1194 3751 277,824 4665 1.7


The canton of Friborg is an officially bilingual canton, the official languages are French and German . The majority of the population is French-speaking, German is mainly spoken in the north and northeast of the canton. In the Sense District and in the parish Gurmels is in everyday life Senslerdeutsch , in the lake district  - a former commons domination majority - of Bern and Friborg Bern German , spoken the dialect of Jaun in the Gruyère district resembles that of the Bernese Oberland .

In 2011, the residents of the canton were asked about their main language, after which they were able to specify several main languages. Up to three main languages ​​per person were taken into account.

Main languages ​​of the population as of December 31, 2011
language Share
in percent
French 66.7
German 30.7
other languages 05.8
English 02.5
Italian 02.3

What is striking about the above result is that English (no official or national language of a canton or Switzerland) has a higher proportion than Italian.


Denominations in the 19th century

Friborg is a Roman Catholic canton, although it is surrounded by the majority Protestant cantons of Vaud and Bern. Only in the north-west of the canton, in the lake district, is the majority of the population traditionally Protestant, as the area was a common rule of Bern and Friborg until 1798. Today around 70 percent of the canton's population is Roman Catholic and 15 percent Protestant. The Catholics belong to the Catholic Ecclesiastical Body of the Canton of Friborg ( French Corporation ecclésiastique catholique du canton de Friborg ) and religiously to the diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Friborg . The Reformed are united in the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Friborg . 3 percent belong to a different Christian denomination, the rest have a different religion, are not denominational or did not provide any information in the census .

Constitution and Politics

A new cantonal constitution was adopted in 2004, replacing the Basic Law dating from 1856 and revised forty times since then.

Direct democratic people's rights

Necessarily a referendum ( mandatory referendum ) the partial or total revision subject to the cantonal constitution and decrees of the Great Council, which will have a new net output result that exceeds 1% of the total expenditure of the last approved by the Grand Council of State Accounts.

6000 citizens who are entitled to vote and vote can apply for a partial or total revision of the canton's constitution and for the enactment, amendment or repeal of a law by means of a popular initiative . Popular initiatives are to be submitted to the referendum after deliberation in the Grand Council.

6000 citizens who are entitled to vote and vote can demand that the following resolutions of the Grand Council be submitted to the referendum ( optional referendum ): firstly, a law passed by the Grand Council, secondly a decree of the Grand Council, which results in a new net expenditure, the ¼ % of total expenditure exceeds the last state accounts approved by the Grand Council, and thirdly, a decree by the Grand Council that affects student loans of regional or cantonal importance.

300 voters can submit a motion to the Grand Council ( Volksmotion ), which is to be treated like a motion by one of its members.

legislative branch

The cantonal parliament , the Grand Council or Grand Conseil, has had 110 seats since the new constitution came into force. A legislative term lasts five years. The elections are carried out on a proportional basis.

The last Grand Council elections took place on November 6, 2016.

Political party Seats
Distribution of seats in 2016 Share of voters in percent
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SP) 29 28
6th 28 4th 27 21st 21st 
A total of 110 seats
Elections to the Grand Council of Freiburg on November 6, 2016
Turnout: 39.28%
Gains and losses
compared to 2011
 % p
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) 31 27
FDP.The Liberals (FDP) 17th 21st
Swiss People's Party (SVP) 21st 21st
Green Party of Switzerland (GPS) 03 06th
Christian Social Party (CSP) 04th 04th
Green Liberal Party (glp) 02 01
La Broye, c'est vous - 01
Free voter scythe - 01
Bourgeois Democratic Party (BDP) 02 00
Free voters 01 -


The cantonal government , the Council of State or Conseil d'Etat, consists of seven members. These are appointed every five years by the people in a majority vote.

Members of the State Council of Friborg (term of office 2016–2020)
State Council Political party Management (with French-speaking equivalent)
Anne-Claude Demierre , President of the Council of State (2020) SP Directorate for Health and Social Affairs GSD
Direction de la santé et des affaires sociales DSAS
Jean-François Steiert , Vice-President (2020) SP Spatial Planning, Environment and Building Directorate RUBD
Direction de l'aménagement, de l'environnement et des constructions DAEC
Georges Godel CVP Finance Directorate FIND
Direction des finances DFIN
Maurice Ropraz FDP Security and Justice Directorate SJD
Direction de la sécurité et de la justice DSJ
Jean-Pierre Siggen CVP Directorate for Education, Culture and Sport EKSD
Direction de l'instruction publique, de la culture et du sport DICS
Olivier Curty CVP Economics Directorate VWD
Direction de l'économie et de l'emploi DEE
Didier Castella FDP Directorate of Institutions and Agriculture and Forestry ILFD
Direction des institutions, de l'agriculture et des forêts DIAF

The State Council is supported by the State Chancellery SK (Chancellerie d'Etat CHA), which is headed by State Chancellor Danielle Gagnaux-Morel . Vice-Chancellor Sophie Perrier and Vice-Chancellor Marc Valloton are deputies.


The first judicial instance are the civil courts on the one hand and the criminal courts, the commercial criminal court and the juvenile criminal chamber on the other. The second judicial instance is the cantonal court .

The courts of justice precede the first instance as the arbitration authority in civil matters .

The administrative jurisdiction is exercised by the cantonal court, unless the law says no other authority has jurisdiction.

Administrative and disciplinary supervision of the judiciary is exercised by the Judicial Council . One representative each of the State Council, the Grand Council, the courts of first and second instance, the Bar Association, the University and the Public Prosecutor's Office, as well as two other persons, have a seat on this body.

Administrative division

The city of Freiburg

Political communities

The canton comprises a total of 136 political municipalities (as of January 2017).

The most populous political communities with more than 5,000 inhabitants as of December 31, 2018 are listed below:

Political community Residents
Freiburg (Friborg) , capital 38,365
Cop 23'439
Villars-sur-Glâne 12,094
Estavayer 09716
Murten (Morat) 08279
Marly 08193
Düdingen 07964
Gibloux 07448
Châtel-Saint-Denis 06971
Wünnewil-Flamatt 05579
Belmont-Broye 05521
Courtepin 05454
Romont 05280


Districts of the canton of Friborg

The canton is divided into seven districts:

(German / French)
(December 31, 2018)
in km²
Administrative headquarters Number of
Broye 032,894 0173.87 Estavayer 019th French
Glane (French Glâne ) 024,337 0168.73 Romont 019th French
Gruyere (fr. Gruyère ) 055,726 0489.20 Cop 025th French 1
Saane (French Sarine ) 106,136 0216.50 Freiburg (Friborg) 030th French German
Lake (French Lac ) 036,800 0145.87 Murten 017th German French
Sense (fr. Singine ) 043,990 0265.23 Tafers 017th German
Vivisbach (French: Veveyse ) 018,831 0134.23 Châtel-Saint-Denis 09 French
Canton of Friborg (total, 7) 318,714 1593.63 Freiburg (Friborg) 136 French German
1(French-speaking with the only German-speaking municipality Jaun )

The administration of a district is called Oberamt, the head of which is Oberamtmann . Following the French model, each district bears the name of a body of water ("lake" stands for Lake Murten ).

Freiburg choir singing

The people of Freiburg seem to be so enthusiastic about singing that there is one “organized” singer for every 35 residents in the canton. Church choirs and secular choirs , mixed or not; Choirs with young and less young members, with or without professional ambitions: The Freiburg Choir Association comprises around 7,200 singers in 234 groups; In addition, there are short-lived formations for certain projects and informal ensembles outside any club structure.

This unusual density can be explained by an age-old tradition that is firmly anchored in regional history. Although the choir movement developed in all Catholic cantons, it found particularly fertile soil in Friborg - in a rural society that was firmly led by the clergy. The choir also developed outside of the religious environment, sometimes as a reaction to it. However, Abbé Joseph Bovet (1879–1951) managed to unite all voices, and his charisma determined the choral life of the entire region for a long time. In the 20th century, the repertoire and the catchment areas expanded, so that the tradition typical of a parish culture, especially in and with the village, in the shadow of the church tower and in the rhythm of local life, faded a little.



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Individual evidence

  1. a b Freiburg in numbers. State Council of the Canton of Friborg, accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  2. a b Annuaire statistique du canton de Friborg - Statistical yearbook of the canton of Friborg - 2014. (PDF; 8.95  MB ) Statistical Office of the canton of Friborg, p. 350 , accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  3. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  4. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  5. ^ The situation on the job market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  6. ^ Louis Mühlemann: Coats of arms and flags of Switzerland. Zurich 1980, pp. 76-80.
  7. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  8. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  9. ^ The situation on the job market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  10. Statistical Yearbook of the Canton of Friborg. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Office for Statistics of the Canton of Friborg, formerly in the original ; Retrieved August 4, 2014 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  11. Press release on the permanent resident population in Switzerland. (PDF) Federal Statistical Office FSO, August 28, 2008, accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  12. Statistical Yearbook of the Canton of Friborg - 2010. (PDF) Statistical Office of the Canton of Friborg, p. 14 , accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  13. Statistical Yearbook of the Canton of Friborg - 2011 (PDF) Statistical Office of the Canton of Friborg, p. 14 , accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  14. tatistisches Yearbook of the Canton of Friborg - 2012. (PDF) Statistical Office of the Canton of Friborg, archived from the original on 17 June 2012 ; accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  15. ^ Constitution of the Canton of Friborg. In: . Swiss Federal Chancellery , accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  16. Welcome to the Grand Council of the Canton of Friborg. Secretariat of the Grand Council of the Canton of Friborg, accessed on August 5, 2014 .
  17. ^ The members of the Council of State. State Council of the Canton of Friborg, July 1, 2017, accessed on December 17, 2019 .
  18. ^ Official register of Swiss municipalities. In: Federal Statistical Office (FSO), accessed on June 5, 2017 .
  19. 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 .