Laufenburg (Baden)

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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Laufenburg (Baden)
Laufenburg (Baden)
Map of Germany, position of the city of Laufenburg (Baden) highlighted

Coordinates: 47 ° 34 '  N , 8 ° 4'  E

Basic data
State : Baden-Württemberg
Administrative region : Freiburg
County : Waldshut
Height : 337 m above sea level NHN
Area : 23.58 km 2
Residents: 9029 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 383 inhabitants per km 2
Postal code : 79725
Primaries : 07763, 07753
License plate : WT
Community key : 08 3 37 066
City structure: 8 districts

City administration address :
Hauptstrasse 30
79725 Laufenburg (Baden)
Website :
Mayor : Ulrich Krieger
Location of the city of Laufenburg (Baden) in the Waldshut district
Aare Landkreis Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald Landkreis Lörrach Landkreis Konstanz Landkreis Tuttlingen Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis Albbruck Bad Säckingen Bernau im Schwarzwald Bonndorf im Schwarzwald Dachsberg (Südschwarzwald) Dettighofen Dogern Eggingen Görwihl Grafenhausen Häusern Herrischried Höchenschwand Hohentengen am Hochrhein Ibach (Schwarzwald) Jestetten Klettgau (Gemeinde) Küssaberg Lauchringen Laufenburg (Baden) Lottstetten Murg (Hochrhein) Rickenbach (Hotzenwald) St. Blasien Stühlingen Todtmoos Ühlingen-Birkendorf Waldshut-Tiengen Wehr (Baden) Weilheim (Baden) Wutach (Gemeinde) Wutöschingen Schweiz Rheinmap
About this picture

Laufenburg (Baden) (Alemannic: Laufeburg (bath) ), until 1930 Kleinlaufenburg , is a small town on the Upper Rhine in the Waldshut district in Baden-Württemberg, right on the border between Germany and Switzerland .


The German Laufenburg seen from the Swiss side

Laufenburg is one of the "four forest cities " on the edge of the Hotzenwald and a German border town to Switzerland . On the Swiss side of the Rhine lies the district of Laufenburg AG ( Aargau ), which was separated off by the Peace of Lunéville in 1801 , formerly known as "several cities" or Grosslaufenburg, while the Baden part was now called "minor city" or Kleinlaufenburg. Bridges have connected the two districts since the Middle Ages. In 1911, the modern Laufen Bridge was opened to traffic on the site of the older bridge, followed in 2004 by the Hochrhein Bridge, a little further up the Rhine .

Cities and municipalities in the area

City structure

The formerly independent municipalities of Binzgen (1160 inhabitants), Grunholz (625 inhabitants), Hauenstein (until the incorporation, the smallest town in Germany, today 97 inhabitants), Hochsal (555 inhabitants), Luttingen (1102 inhabitants), Rotzel belong to the city of Laufenburg (Baden) (518 inhabitants) and Stadenhausen.

The village of Binzgen, the Zinken Bühl, Diegeringer Mühle, Gaisbühl, Hammer, Hochrütte (Bürlishäuser) and Loch (Binzger Loch), the Mittlerholz farmstead and the Hinterfeld (Rohr) and Spechtenhof (Rappenstein) houses belong to the former municipality of Binzgen. Only the villages of the same name belong to the former communities of Grunholz, Hauenstein and Luttingen. The city of Laufenburg (Baden) and the districts of Rhina and Stadenhausen belong to the city of Laufenburg (Baden) within the boundaries of before the municipal reform of the 1970s. The former municipality of Rotzel includes the village of Rotzel, the Zinken Hübel and the farms Im Rebland and Winterhof.

At Laufenburg several small bodies of water flow into the Rhine from the right: the Mühlbach on the city limits to Albbruck , the Bleielbach, the Feldgraben, the Andelsbach, the Hänner Wuhr, the Schreiebach and the Seelbach.


Merian : Laufenburg around 1640
Laufenburg (Baden) on the right bank of the Rhine in 1864, Laufenburg (AG) on the left bank of the Rhine, looking upstream

Until the 18th century

Laufenburg was first mentioned in 1173 when the monastery in Säckingen handed the place over to the Habsburgs as a fief . As the place name shows, the castle already existed on the hill next to the rapids in the Rhine, the Kleine Laufen , which later separated the two parts of the city. At this narrow point in the course of the river, a bridge could be built with piers on the rocks rising above the water with relatively little effort.

In 1315 Laufenburg received the Habsburg town charter. To protect the river crossing, as a supplement to the town fortifications and to protect the houses on the main road, which led up to the country road, a spacious forecourt was built on the north bank of the river with towers and the forest gate (at the site of today's town hall). From this small suburb, which had its own church, today's city of Laufenburg (Baden) developed.

During the Thirty Years War Laufenburg and the Fricktal were temporarily occupied by the Swedes . Duke Federigo Savelli was captured in the battle of Rheinfelden and imprisoned in the town hall of Laufenburg, but was able to escape with the help of a woman. In revenge for his escape across the Rhine (near Hüningen, as the other bridges were destroyed) to Switzerland, the pastor, the chaplain and a Swedish field woman (who was because of leaving his post) were ordered shortly after by Johann von Nassau and Johann Ludwig von Erlach executed. (Blood deed by Laufenburg).

In October 1793, George Samuel Browne and his friend Charles Sedley Burdett drowned in the rapids below the Laufenbrücke while trying to cross it with a Weidling . Emil Strauss wrote the novella Der Laufen in 1956 .

19th century until today

Laufenburg (Baden) seen from the Swiss side
Laufenburg (Baden) seen from the Swiss side

Until 1801 the whole of Laufenburg was under Habsburg rule as part of Upper Austria . In 1801 Laufenburg was divided by Napoleon in the Treaty of Lunéville . A customs post was set up at the Laufenbrücke.

Laufenburg, now in Baden, was henceforth called Kleinlaufenburg; The city bore this name until 1930, when it replaced it with Laufenburg (Baden) , which is still in force today . In this context, there is also the fact that the locals still speak of Laufenburg AG with the old Count Castle of several cities and of Laufenburg (Baden) of the minor city .
See also Laufenburg Castle .

In 1908, during the construction of the Laufenburg power station 1.2 km downstream , the first river power station to cross the Rhine, some of the Laufen rocks were blown away. In addition to the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen , they formed the most impressive rapids on the High Rhine, the Kleiner Laufen . The painter Gustav Schönleber had previously been commissioned by the Baden government to artistically capture this scenic attraction in a painting.

Many citizens of Laufenburg lived from the iron industry in the early modern period. The Dogger ore was obtained from the mines in the Fricktal, especially from Herznach and Frick , and processed into trading iron. So already writes Sebastian Munster in his Cosmographia "the inhabitants feed on for a good part of the ore that you schmeltzt ..." and formed as a vignette in the text to Laufenburg a hammer from. On January 21, 1494, 33 hammer smiths founded the hammer smiths association .

Another important trade was the “Laufenknechte” who, for good money, unloaded ships above the rapids , packed the goods on carts and led the empty boats on ropes through the thundering water. They also tied up rafts, sent the trunks one by one through the “running” and tied them back together at the bottom. The rafting of the Upper Rhine reached its peak in the middle of the 19th century, when shipping had already slowed down significantly. A total of 20,618 rafts were counted from the mouth of the Aare between 1852 and 1859, with an annual average of 2,577 rafts. In 1927, 15 years after the completion of the Laufenburg power station, the last raft went to Basel.

The salmon (Salm) gathered below the rapids on their migration upstream. Salmon fishing was the town's third important trade and is still particularly present in the public consciousness today, as the fishermen's guild continues to live as a fool's guild.

Today, the two sister cities, Laufenburg (Baden) and Laufenburg (Switzerland), place great value on their cross-border relationships, and there are numerous festivals, in particular the Alemannic Carnival , which both cities celebrate together.


In the course of the municipal reform in Baden-Württemberg , the following municipalities were incorporated into Laufenburg (Baden):

  • July 1, 1971: Grunholz
  • January 1, 1972: Hauenstein
  • May 1, 1972: Luttingen and Binzgen
  • July 1, 1972: Rotzel
  • January 1, 1975: high season

Coats of arms of the former municipalities

Culture, religion and sights


One of the oldest carnivals in southern Germany has been preserved in Laufenburg to this day. The main sponsor of the Carnival is the Narro Altfischerzunft 1386. Its origins go back to the year 1386 and is rooted in the Austrian past of the city of Laufenburg. In the year mentioned, under Count Hans IV of Habsburg-Laufenburg, the castle, town and rule of Laufenburg were sold to his cousin, the Austrian Duke Leopold III. On July 4, 1386, Duke Leopold III. the homage of his new subjects to and from this time the legend of the Laufenburg carnival dress comes from. When the Duke asked about a concern, the Laufenburg councilors seized the opportunity and asked their master for a special garment, by which one could recognize the loyal Laufenburgers from all over the world. They were given a robe made of innumerable colorful rags that lay on top of one another like scales made from noble salmon. The councilors did not like this dress. The fishermen's guild, however, which celebrated the carnival as their main festival at that time, gladly accepted the robe and wore it from then on at the carnival. The crowning glory of the shed dress is a wooden mask carved from one piece by an artist. Napoleon was able to separate the previously united city politically in 1801 through his claim to power, but not its folly: the cities on both sides of the Rhine still have a common guild that is administered separately.

Every year on the first Thursday in Faißen, the traditional main bar takes place alternately on the Baden and the Swiss side. All guild brothers with "Wiibli", guild friends, guests and patrons as well as delegations from both city councils are invited to the main bot. At this gathering, the highlights of the past year will be addressed again. The guests also have their say. The main event, however, is the admission of new guild brothers.

Applicants for admission to the guild must have lived in Laufenburg for a few years and be male. A written application with a reason for joining the fool's guild must be submitted to the guild council. A two-thirds majority is required to join the guild. This vote is carried out in a secret ballot by the guild brothers present at a bottle beforehand.

Narronen at Narronlauf 2009

In addition to Tschättermusik, narro running is one of the main customs. On the three Faissen Thursdays before Carnival, young and old in various costumes and armed with all kinds of noise instruments gather at the Wasentor or Waldtor, first and foremost the Narronen. It begins powerfully and with deafening blows, the Tschättermusik. With slow steps the train squeezes through the narrow streets of the city. Städtle goes up and down with measured pace with drums, timpani, trumpets, old pan lids, pieces of iron, saw blades, iron pipes and old pots, everything that makes noise. Of all the traditional carnival customs on the Upper Rhine, this Tschättermusik can claim that it can be documented earliest from sources.

The second custom is the running on Carnival Tuesday, the great day of the fools. The Narrollauf is the final highlight of the Laufenburg Carnival. The jesters move backwards through the old streets, their sacks filled with oranges, rolls and sausages. The noisy crowd of children crowd behind them and the old verses, some of which are historical, can be heard in the choir. After the successful recitation, the children are rewarded with the food. The most likely interpretation for Narrolaufen is the continuation of the medieval custom of giving gifts to widows and orphans. Fishing and rafting claimed their victims at all times, so that there were more and more needy orphans and widows in the city. According to the fishing and rafting regulations, they had to be supported from the guild's common treasury.

Panorama Laufenburg (Baden) from the Swiss side


The Protestant parish of Laufenburg has around 1,340 members and around 9,000 inhabitants and, with the exception of Hauenstein, which belongs to the Albbruck parish, is identical to the city area.


  • Stadtkirche Heilig Geist: mentioned in 1324, construction of the neo-Gothic church from 1883–1884
  • In the district of Hauenstein - the smallest town in Germany before it was incorporated - is the Hauenstein castle ruins .
  • In the district of Hochsal:
    • Catholic parish church of St. Pelagius: three-aisled Gothic basilica from the Middle Ages, modified in Baroque style around 1770. The late Gothic sacraments niche (around 1515) in the choir should be emphasized among the furnishings. In the Romanesque crypt is the coffin of St. Mechthild (1088?).
    • Mount of Olives Chapel with a monumental Mount of Olives (around 1500) and altar with a stone relief of St. Anna herself the third.
    • Rectory (1778).
  • In the district of Rhina are the partially excavated and preserved wall remains of a villa rustica , a Roman estate.

It is advisable to see both parts of the historic city in context when visiting the city and also to pay attention to the buildings on the left bank of the Rhine , which has been part of Switzerland since 1801.


Municipal council

The city council in Laufenburg has 18 members. It consists of the elected honorary councilors and the mayor as chairman. The mayor is entitled to vote in the municipal council. The local elections on May 26, 2019 led to the following final result. The turnout was 50.7% (2014: 43.3%).

Party / list Share of votes Seats 2014 result
Free voters 38.7% 7th 40.0%, 7 seats
CDU 25.9% 5 32.6%, 6 seats
Alliance 90 / The Greens 16.6% 3 9.5%, 2 seats
SPD 14.2% 2 17.9%, 3 seats
AfD 4.7% 1 0%, 0 seats


Ulrich Krieger (born January 16, 1983 in Titisee-Neustadt) was elected the youngest mayor of Baden-Württemberg at the age of 26 in 2009. In the first ballot he received 66 percent of the valid votes.

coat of arms

The blazon of the coat of arms, which is identical to that of the Swiss sister city, reads: "In gold, a rising red lion."

Town twinning

Laufenburg has had a partnership with the French Le Croisic in the Loire-Atlantique département in south-east Brittany since 1973 .

Economy and Infrastructure

Energy generation

View of the Laufenburg hydropower plant from the Swiss side of the Rhine

Construction of the Laufenburg hydropower plant (current owner: Energiedienst Holding AG ) began on February 10, 1908. In 2008, the Laufenburg hydropower plant produced around 700 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

Laufenburg is the first hydropower plant to be built across the Rhine. Laufenburg is still a classic model for modern run-of-river power plants . With an output of 40 megawatts (MW), the Laufenburg power plant was the most powerful in Europe in the first few years of operation. Ten Francis machine groups initially ensured an annual electricity production of around 310 million kilowatt hours.

The Laufenburg power plant supplies around 750,000 people with electricity and energy-related services in an area of ​​just under 4,000 square kilometers. Regional customers include almost 300,000 private and commercial customers, over 2,500 business customers and 19 further distributing municipal customers.


Road traffic

Two bridges cross the Rhine within the urban area of ​​Laufenburg. These are (in the direction of the Rhine) the Hochrheinbrücke outside the urban settlement upstream and the Laufenbrücke in the old city center.

Rail transport

Laufenburg has two stops on the Hochrheinbahn (KBS 730): These are Laufenburg (Baden) and Laufenburg (Baden) Ost . The Rappenstein Tunnel is located between the two stops , the portals of which are cultural monuments according to the Monument Protection Act of Baden-Württemberg .


At the confluence of the Andelsbach into the Rhine, there is a pier for passenger shipping.


  • Hans-Thoma-Schule, elementary, secondary, technical and secondary school
  • Lever school, elementary school in the districts of Rhina and Luttingen
  • Laufenschule - School for the mentally handicapped.


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities who have worked on site

  • Johann Caspar Albrecht (* 1639 in Waldshut; † 1711 in Luttingen) was pastor in Luttingen and commandant of the Hauensteiner Landfahn
  • Ernst Friedrich Löhndorff (* 1899 in Frankfurt, † 1976 in Waldshut) was an adventure writer in the style of Jack London, he wrote over 30 novels. He lived in the Mariagrün house.


  • Rüdiger Rothkegel: The Roman estate of Laufenburg, Baden . Theiss, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8062-1097-7 .

Web links

Commons : Laufenburg  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Laufenbrücke  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Construction of the Laufenbrücke  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. State Statistical Office Baden-Württemberg - Population by nationality and gender on December 31, 2018 (CSV file) ( help on this ).
  3. ^ The state of Baden-Württemberg. Official description by district and municipality. Volume VI: Freiburg region Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-17-007174-2 . Pp. 994-999
  4. ^ Emil Jegge: The history of the Fricktal until 1803 , p. 158
  5. ^ Rudolf Metz: Geological regional studies of the Hotzenwald ; P. 474
  6. Rudolf Metz. Geological studies of the Hotzenwald. Moritz Schauenburg Publishing House. Lahr / Schwarzwald 1980. S. 600f
  7. a b c d Federal Statistical Office (Hrsg.): Historical municipality register for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 501 .
  8. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 524 .
  9. [1]
  10. Heilig Geist Laufenburg , on Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  11. Dagmar Zimdars u. a. (Editor): Baden-Württemberg II. The administrative districts of Freiburg and Tübingen (=  Georg Dehio [founder], Dehio-Vereinigung [Hrsg.]: Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler ). Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-422-03030-1 , p. 308 .
  12. St. Pelagius Hochsal , on Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  13. Baden-Württemberg State Statistical Office, results of the 2019 municipal council elections
  14. ^ Website Laufenburg - twin town Le Croisic , accessed on May 25, 2017