Laufenburg AG

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
AG is the abbreviation for the canton of Aargau in Switzerland and is used to avoid confusion with other entries of the name Laufenburgf .
Coat of arms of Laufenburg
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Kanton AargauKanton Aargau Aargau (AG)
District : Laufenburgw
BFS no. : 4170i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 5080 Laufenburg
5085 Sulz
Coordinates : 646 802  /  268 158 coordinates: 47 ° 33 '45 "  N , 8 ° 3' 38"  O ; CH1903:  six hundred and forty-six thousand eight hundred and two  /  268158
Height : 307  m above sea level M.
Height range : 289–690 m above sea level M.
Area : 14.47  km²
Residents: 3682 (December 31, 2019)
Population density : 254 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
citizenship )
33.1% (December 31, 2019)
View of the old town

View of the old town

Location of the municipality
Deutschland Kanton Basel-Landschaft Kanton Solothurn Bezirk Aarau Bezirk Baden Bezirk Brugg Bezirk Lenzburg Bezirk Rheinfelden Bezirk Zurzach Eiken Frick AG Gansingen Gipf-Oberfrick Herznach Hornussen AG Kaisten AG Laufenburg AG Mettauertal Münchwilen AG Oberhof AG Oeschgen Schwaderloch Sisseln Ueken Wittnau AG Wölflinswil ZeihenMap of Laufenburg
About this picture

Laufenburg ( Swiss German : ˈlɑufəˌbʊrɡ ) is a country town and municipality in the Swiss canton of Aargau . The capital of the Laufenburg district is on the Upper Rhine on the border with Germany , in the northeast of the Fricktal region . Laufenburg (Baden) is the twin city on the opposite bank of the Rhine . On January 1, 2010, the neighboring Sulz was incorporated.


The center of the community is the old town located at a bend in the Rhine , which hugs the Schlossberg hill to the south. This 360 meter high, almost circular gneiss dome separates the peninsula on which the old town stands from the otherwise valley floor. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, the river forced its way through a narrow gorge at the narrowest point between the Table Jura and the Black Forest . When the Laufenburg power plant was built , part of the rock was blasted away and the river dammed ten meters high, causing the rapids known asLaufen ” to disappear. On the level behind the castle hill, which expands to a width of one kilometer in the south-west, are the new districts of Laufenburg.

Separated by the Ebni ( 504  m above sea level ), a foothill of the Table Jura, the Sulztal runs around two kilometers east of the old town in a south-north direction. The villages of Obersulz, Mittelulz, Bütz, Roos, Leidikon and Rheinsulz formerly formed the municipality of Sulz . The consistently narrow valley is bounded in the west by the Schinberg ( 692  m above sea level ), in the east by the Gugeli ( 605  m above sea level ) and Chreisacher ( 685  m above sea level ) and in the south by the March ( 625  m above sea level ).

The area of ​​the municipality is 1447 hectares , of which 678 hectares are forested and 191 hectares are built over. The highest point is on the summit of the Schinberg, the lowest point at 300  m above sea level. M. on the Rhine. The municipality of Laufenburg is part of the Aargau Jura Park, a “regional nature park of national importance”. Neighboring communities are Mettauertal in the northeast, Gansingen in the east, Mönthal in the southeast, Elfingen and Hornussen in the south, Kaisten in the west and Laufenburg (Baden) in the north on the German side of the Rhine .


Postcard around 1900
Photographed from a public photo, Laufenburg around 1900
Laufenburg around 1900

Since the Carolingian era, the aristocratic Säckingen monastery owned large estates along the Rhine. The tithe for the monastery was delivered in the area around Laufenburg. Over time, this developed into an important marketplace. The monastery commissioned the Counts of Lenzburg to protect its lands. After their extinction in 1173, the Habsburgs took on this task. Loufenberc was first mentioned in a document in 1207; the place name means "mountain by the waterfall, by the whirlpool, by the rapids".

View from the west (1785)

Count Rudolf II of Habsburg had the settlement expanded into a fortified city. A high cliff on the south side of the river provided enough space for a castle to be built . The Rhine was only twelve meters wide here and overcame a height difference of ten meters. A bridge connected the two halves of the city. The rapids, known as “running”, have been a difficult obstacle for river navigation and rafting for centuries to be passed. A special profession, the Laufenknechte, was responsible for the safe passage of the ships and the tying up of the rafts. The ships were unloaded above the rapids and sent down the river empty, while the goods were carried by carts on this short route.

In 1232 the Habsburgs split into two lines. The Counts of Habsburg-Laufenburg (the younger line) resided in the castle. However, in the 14th century they lost their influence significantly and in 1386 had to sell all their possessions to the older line. As a result, Laufenburg became one of the four forest towns in front of Austria and the capital of the Laufenburg rule. The processing of iron ore from the Jura valleys and the Black Forest played an important role among the branches of industry . The required water was brought here from the Black Forest via a widely branched pipe system.

Tower of the ruins of Laufenburg

During the Old Zurich War, Bern , Basel and Solothurn besieged the city unsuccessfully. After the Waldshut War of 1468, the Habsburgs pledged the entire Fricktal to Burgundy . When the Burgundians were defeated by the Confederates during the Burgundian Wars , Laufenburg came under Austrian rule again in 1477. In 1479, a major fire destroyed more than 130 houses. From the 15th century, the city was the administrative seat (but not part of) the Laufenburg camera rule . In the 17th century there were hardly any longer times of peace. The Rappenkrieg , a peasant uprising, lasted from 1612 to 1614. The Thirty Years War , which also hit the Fricktal between 1633 and 1638, threw the town back in its economic development. Even during the War of the Palatinate Succession (1688–1697), foreign troops moved through the region ( Battle of Rheinfelden ).

In 1797 the Fricktal became a French protectorate after the Peace of Campo Formio . During the Second Coalition War , the front line between the armies of France and Austria ran here and the bridge over the Rhine was destroyed. The Treaty of Lunéville , signed on February 9, 1801, divided Laufenburg in two. The part on the right bank of the Rhine, which is smaller in terms of population, came to the Grand Duchy of Baden , but included around two thirds of the municipal ban. On February 20, 1802, the left bank of Laufenburg became the capital of the district of the same name in the canton of Fricktal , which joined the Helvetic Republic in August ; this part of Laufenburg had become Swiss.

Laufenburg 1896, photochromic print (the gorge and the Laufen rapids are clearly visible)

After the deposition of the governor Sebastian Fahrländer at the end of September 1801, the seat of the cantonal government was relocated to Rheinfelden . With the act of mediation , Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the canton of Fricktal. Since March 19, 1803, Laufenburg has been the capital of the district of the same name in the canton of Aargau. In 1810 the Capuchin monastery , founded in 1654, was closed. The town could hardly cope with the forced division economically, as the Rhine increasingly lost its role as a transport route. Although the Baden part had already been connected to the railway network in 1856, a railway line was only opened on the Aargau side on August 1, 1892.

The economic upswing began in 1908 when a large hydropower plant was built, the Laufenburg power plant . During the construction period, the population doubled for a short time. By damming the Rhine by ten meters, the characteristic rapids disappeared. When it opened in 1914, the hydroelectric power station was the largest of its kind in Europe. As a result, numerous industrial companies settled there. By 1957 opened substation of the power company Laufenburg , the community developed into a hub in the European electricity grid.

Historic aerial photo, flown low by Werner Friedli from 1958

On January 1, 2010 the community of Sulz merged with Laufenburg. The corresponding resolution of the community assembly was confirmed at the ballot box on November 30, 2008, even if the decision was rather tight with 53% yes votes.


Tower with death knell
  • Wall fresco in the Laufenburg city gate
    Wall fresco in the Laufenburg city gate
    The old town with city wall and towers on the north side of the Schlossberg is laid out in terraces.
  • At the top of the hill are the remains of Laufenburg Castle . The former seat of the Counts of Habsburg-Laufenburg fell apart after the Thirty Years' War to a ruin, from 1803 with the castle keep was demolished.
  • Below the castle ruins are the town church , built in 1479, and the parsonage.
  • One step below are the town hall, the courthouse and the mansions. The rows of houses on the riverbank form the end. In the southwest, the suburb of “Wasen”, which was built later, joins the slope up to the valley floor.
  • A bridge leads over the Rhine to the much smaller part of the old town on the German side.
  • Church and chapels in the Sulztal

In 1985 Laufenburg received the Wakker Prize for the good preservation of the old town architecture .

The Museum Sprachpanorama is the only Swiss museum that specifically exhibits topics related to language (s).

coat of arms

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms reads: "Red lion soaring in yellow." The city's first known seal dates from 1461 and shows an upright lion, the symbol of the Habsburgs. The lion has been depicted in the form used today since at least 1532.


The population developed as follows:

year 1803 1850 1900 1930 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Residents 803 699 1136 1476 1603 1850 2128 1865 2002 2096 3207

On December 31, 2019, 3,682 people lived in Laufenburg, the proportion of foreigners was 33.1%. In the 2015 census, 53.3% described themselves as Roman Catholic and 12.8% as Reformed ; 33.9% were non-denominational or of other faiths. In the 2000 census, 83.0% stated German as their main language, 6.8% Italian , 3.3% Albanian , 1.1% Turkish , 0.9% French , 0.8% each of Serbo-Croatian and Portuguese and 0, 7% Spanish .

Politics and law

The assembly of those entitled to vote, the municipal assembly , exercises legislative power. The executing authority is the five-member municipal council . He is elected by the people in the majority procedure, his term of office is four years. The parish council leads and represents the parish. To this end, it implements the resolutions of the municipal assembly and the tasks assigned to it by the canton. The District Court of Laufenburg is the first instance responsible for legal disputes . Laufenburg belongs to the Friedensrichterkreis X (Mettau).

Municipal council Official title Political party
Herbert Weiss Mayor CVP
Meinrad Schraner Vice-Captain SVP
Christian Rüede Municipal council SVP
André Maier Municipal council FDP
Regina Erhard Councilor CVP


According to the corporate structure statistics (STATENT) collected in 2015, Laufenburg has over 2,800 jobs, 4% of them in agriculture, 46% in industry and 50% in the service sector. The community is thus the economic center of the north-eastern Fricktal.

The most important employer is the electricity company Laufenburg , which is active in energy trading across Europe and also operates the hydropower plant. It plays an important role in the international electricity network. In the area of ​​the neighboring municipality of Kaisten, Swissgrid operates a substation in which no fewer than ten high-voltage lines meet (“Star of Laufenburg”). Swissgrid's headquarters were relocated from Laufenburg to Aarau in 2017 . Energiedienst Holding and the construction company Erne Holding are also based in Laufenburg . Viticulture is very important in the Sulz district .


Laufenbrücke with statue of St. John Nepomuk

Laufenburg is very well developed in terms of traffic. Hauptstrasse 7 runs through the community between Basel and Winterthur . Kantonsstrasse 462 leads to Frick . The Eiken and Frick connections to the A3 motorway are around seven and eight kilometers away, respectively . The Laufenburg station is next to Frick one of the terminal stations on the S1 line of the S-Bahn Basel to Basel SBB . The eastern section of the Koblenz – Stein-Säckingen railway has been closed to passenger traffic since May 28, 1994. Post bus lines lead to Aarau , Brugg , Döttingen , Ittenthal , Stein-Säckingen and Sulz . On weekends there is a night bus from Frick via Laufenburg to Eiken .

The Laufenbrücke connects the parts of the old town on both sides of the border. About one kilometer east of it is the Hochrheinbrücke , which opened in December 2004 and was built to relieve the old town from through traffic. When it was built, the use of different levels resulted in a difference of 27 centimeters, which was 54 centimeters due to an incorrect correction. The curious incident caused a lot of ridicule internationally in 2003.


The community has four kindergartens and two schoolhouses in which the primary school is taught (one kindergarten and one schoolhouse each in Sulz). The Realschule , the Secondary School and the District School are housed in the Laufenburg School Center Blauen. The closest grammar schools are in Aarau ( old canton school and new canton school ); Due to an intercantonal agreement, young people from parts of the Fricktal can also complete the grammar school in Muttenz ( Canton Basel-Landschaft ) or in Basel .

Cross-border festivals

«Alphorn group Magden» / Switzerland

The Swiss national holiday , August 1st, has been celebrated in the divided city of Laufenburg for many years on the border between Switzerland and Germany. At the Old Rhine Bridge , which connects the two parts of the city, the music and dance groups from both countries perform around the border line. Thousands of visitors are drawn to the cross-border “City Carnival” every year. It has been handed down since the 14th century and is organized by four carnival organizations from the two Laufenburgs.


In volleyball , the city was represented with the Volley Smash05 Laufenburg-Kaisten club in the men's national league B from 2007 to 2018. The local football club is FC Laufenburg-Kaisten in the 4th division . There is also a handball club , the SC Laufenburg.



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. Cantonal population statistics 2019. Department of Finance and Resources, Statistics Aargau, March 30, 2020, accessed on April 2, 2019 .
  2. Cantonal population statistics 2019. Department of Finance and Resources, Statistics Aargau, March 30, 2020, accessed on April 2, 2019 .
  3. a b Beat Zehnder: The community names of the canton of Aargau . In: Historical Society of the Canton of Aargau (Ed.): Argovia . tape 100 . Verlag Sauerländer, Aarau 1991, ISBN 3-7941-3122-3 , p. 239-241 .
  4. a b Swiss Idiotikon , Band III, column 1141 f., Articles over n .
  5. a b National map of Switzerland, sheets 1049 and 1069, Swisstopo.
  6. Standard area statistics - municipalities according to 4 main areas. Federal Statistical Office , November 26, 2018, accessed on May 11, 2019 .
  7. Laufenburg and Sulz walk to the altar. Badische Zeitung , November 30, 2008, accessed on September 22, 2012 .
  8. Edith Hunziker, Isabel Haupt: Church and chapels in Sulztal / Laufenburg (= Swiss Art Guide. No. 902, series 91). Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 2011, ISBN 978-3-03797-032-4 .
  10. ^ Joseph Galliker, Marcel Giger: Municipal coat of arms of the canton of Aargau . Lehrmittelverlag des Kantons Aargau, book 2004, ISBN 3-906738-07-8 , p. 197 .
  11. Population development in the municipalities of the Canton of Aargau since 1850. (Excel) In: Eidg. Volkszählung 2000. Statistics Aargau, 2001, archived from the original on October 8, 2018 ; accessed on May 8, 2019 .
  12. Resident population by religious affiliation, 2015. (Excel) In: Population and Households, Community Tables 2015. Statistics Aargau, accessed on May 11, 2019 .
  13. Swiss Federal Census 2000: Economic resident population by main language as well as by districts and municipalities. (Excel) Statistics Aargau, archived from the original on August 10, 2018 ; accessed on May 9, 2019 .
  14. ↑ circles of justice of the peace. Canton of Aargau, accessed on June 19, 2019 .
  15. Statistics of the corporate structure (STATENT). (Excel, 157 kB) Statistics Aargau, 2016, accessed on May 9, 2019 .
  16. Star of Laufenburg. Swissgrid , 2018, accessed on May 9, 2019 .
  17. ↑ Sea level is not the same as sea level. swissinfo , December 18, 2004, accessed December 31, 2009 .
  18. Smash 05 withdraws its men's NLB team. Swiss Volley , May 17, 2018, accessed on May 9, 2019 .