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Coat of arms of Liestal
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of Basel-CountryCanton of Basel-Country Basel-Country (BL)
District : Liestal
BFS no. : 2829i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 4410
Coordinates : 622 338  /  259290 coordinates: 47 ° 29 '2 "  N , 7 ° 44' 6"  O ; CH1903:  six hundred and twenty-two thousand three hundred thirty-eight  /  259290
Height : 327  m above sea level M.
Height range : 288–615 m above sea level M.
Area : 18.18  km²
Residents: i14,390 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 795 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
citizenship )
27.7% (December 31, 2,019)
City President : Daniel Spinnler ( FDP )
View of Liestal (Oristal, train station, lower suburb, lower Ergolztal, Frenkendorf)

View of Liestal (Oristal, train station, lower suburb, lower Ergolztal, Frenkendorf)

Location of the municipality
Deutschland Kanton Aargau Kanton Basel-Stadt Kanton Solothurn Kanton Solothurn Bezirk Arlesheim Bezirk Laufen Bezirk Sissach Bezirk Waldenburg Arisdorf Augst Bubendorf BL Frenkendorf Füllinsdorf Giebenach Hersberg Lausen BL Liestal Lupsingen Pratteln Ramlinsburg Seltisberg ZiefenMap of Liestal
About this picture

Liestal ( Swiss German : Lieschdl [ ˈliəʃdl ]), formerly Lihstal , is a Swiss political municipality and capital of the Liestal district and the canton of Basel-Landschaft . The municipality is located about 15 km southeast of Basel and is part of the same agglomeration.


Historic aerial photo by Walter Mittelholzer from 1922

Liestal lies in a Jura valley on the Ergolz , which flows through the urban area from southeast to north. Left tributaries into the Ergolz are the Frenke , Orisbach and Rösernbach on Liestaler Boden .

In the northeast, a contiguous mountain range from the Grammet over the Leisenberg to the Elbisberg closes the valley. In the southwest several mountain ranges between the valleys reach the settlement area of ​​Liestal, in the south the foothills of the Furlen, in the southwest the hill near Seltisberg and in the west the Laubiberg and the Ostenberg. The Bienenberg lies north of the Röserenbach. In the west, the mountain slopes around the narrow Röserental with Bad Schauenburg belong to Liestal.

Of the 1821 hectares of the city ban, 1077 hectares are forest. The highest point in Liestal is 614  m above sea level. M. (Alti Stell, near the Schleifenberg tower ) and the deepest at 287  m above sea level. M. , where the Ergolz in the Niederschönthal leaves the city ban.

The neighboring communities include (clockwise from the north) Füllinsdorf , Arisdorf , Hersberg , Lausen , Bubendorf , Seltisberg , Nuglar-St. Pantaleon ( Canton Solothurn ) and Frenkendorf .

coat of arms

At the time of the episcopal rule (1305) Liestal received the Baselstab , which was led as a regional version of the crook referring to the diocese and in red. The seven Gothic "crabs" (spots) on the pommel and the red edge of the shield were special features. After the two Basels separated, the canton of Basel-Landschaft took over the red bar as the canton's coat of arms . To avoid confusion, in 1921 a city seal, known since 1407, was made into the official city coat of arms in Liestal: the lower half is red, the upper half is silver. On it is a growing red bishop's staff with seven Gothic crabs. Flag: white-red.


The older settlement was called Munzach (from Montiacum ). The Liestal settlement is mentioned for the first time in the 13th century; the often cited first reference Lihstal in a source from 1189 is likely to be a forged document from a later time according to more recent findings. The modern spelling Liestal can be found as early as 1225. In the 14th to 16th centuries, however, forms such as Liechstal and Liechtstall are common. The interpretation of the name that is preferred today goes back to Oettli (1945); Accordingly, the name referred to a "with Metallic ( sedge ) vegetated valley". Alternative hypotheses were also put forward: Liustatio, from statio , Roman guard to protect the street; Lucistabulum, from stabulum "apartment", house of a Roman settler named Lucius; Liubherestal, from an Alemannic personal name Liubirih .


One of the earliest references to the early Neolithic La Hoguette culture in Switzerland has been found on Liestal-Hurlistrasse . A similar find is only known from the canton of Neuchâtel .

Liestal around 1780.

The area around Liestal was already populated in pre-Roman times. The Roman villa in Munzach and the Roman aqueduct, which can be seen in the Heidenloch and on the upper Burghalde, form important Roman buildings throughout Switzerland. The square of the churchyard most likely dates back to a late Roman fort from the 4th century. Liestal owes its development in the Middle Ages to its convenient and strategically important location at the fork in the road to the two Hauenstein passes.

An extensive fortress from the 10th century, which has only been partially explored, is located on Burghalden. After the opening of the Gotthard Pass and the construction of the first Rhine bridge in nearby Basel , Liestal was made a fortified city by the Counts of Frohburg in the middle of the 13th century and thus a safe stage on the north-south route. Liestal received a wall ring with city gates and towers. The market was moved from the open "Altmarkt" near the confluence of Ergolz and Frenke to the safer city.

In 1305 the Counts of Frohburg sold the city to the Bishop of Basel. Under his rule, the Liestal gained extensive independence. In 1374 the bishop pledged Liestal with Waldenburg and Homburg to Duke Leopold of Austria , who soon afterwards left them to the Count of Thierstein. When they did not want to return the pledge in 1381, Duke Leopold had the city taken and burned. But in the same year the bishop redeemed the pledge and granted Liestal new rights. In 1400, the up-and-coming trading town of Basel bought the property in Liestal from the bishop. The freedoms and privileges that had been achieved were lost again and could only be partially regained over time.

The freedom-loving and defensive spirit of Liestal seduced the inhabitants of the town time and again into warlike adventures. As subjects of the city of Basel , the Liestaler were there with their own banner at St. Jakob an der Birs in 1444, where they lost 23 fellow citizens. In 1476 and 1477 Liestaler fought in the Burgundian Wars. The so-called Burgundy bowl , a silver, partly gold-plated bowl of Charles the Bold , fell into the hands of the Liestal landlord Heinrich Strübin as valuable booty in the Battle of Nancy (1477) . Today it is part of the holdings of the Liestal Poet and City Museum .

Contrary to the strict order of neutrality of the city of Basel, the Liestaler supported the Solothurn and the Confederates in the Swabian War in 1499 . In 1501, the mayor of Liestal took the oath of the Swiss Confederation in the name of his fellow citizens and neighboring villages on the Basel market square. There were repeated skirmishes with the Habsburg Rheinfelden. Liestal rebelled again and again against the tutelage of Basel, which enforced its supremacy with violence if necessary. In 1525, under the influence of the South German Peasants' War, the Basel bidders rose against the city of Basel.

Obelisk peasant war memorial from 1904, in front of the barracks in Liestal, Switzerland.  Inscription: Uli Schad von Oberdorf, Hans Gysin von Liestal, Uli Gysin Läufelfingen, Galli Jenny von Langenbruck, Joggi Mohler von Diegten, Konrad Schuler von Liestal, Heinrich Stutz von Liestal.  Suppressed but not overcome.  Erected by the people of Baselland in 1904. Inscription on the other side: In memory of those who died for the people on July 24, 1653 (executed!) Of the Basel bidder.  Inscription on the other side.
Monument in front of the Liestal barracks

Liestal received a letter of freedom in 1525, which, among other things, revoked serfdom . A little later, like Basel, the city joined the Reformation . In 1653 the Liestaler took part in the Swiss peasant movement and revolted again against the domination of Basel. The uprising failed, Liestal was occupied by Basel troops and three Liestal ringleaders were beheaded in Basel. Just three years later, Liestal obtained the right to rearmament.

When the call for freedom and equality rang out from France in 1789, Liestal was the only municipality in Basel to demand the restoration of the old rights in 1790. Liestal enthusiastically celebrated Napoleon passing through in 1797 . "Liestal bien patriote" is what he called the town that became the center of the Baselbiet liberation movement. Here stood the first tree of freedom in German-speaking Switzerland. On January 16, 1798, rebellious Liestalers tore up the official flag and hoisted the tricolor . Under the leadership of Liestal, the Basel area became the first subject of the Confederation to achieve the long-awaited freedom. After Napoleon's fall, Liestal felt the dominance of Basel again.

In 1830 the spark of the French July Revolution jumped into the Basel area. After a cantonal referendum, the canton of Basel-Landschaft was founded in 1832 and Liestal was given the function of its capital . The final separation from Basel took place de facto after the battle of August 3, 1833 at the Hülftenschanz between Pratteln and Liestal. For a long time the revolutionary outlook shaped the politics of Liestal, which took in many political refugees in the 19th century .

In 1854 Liestal was connected to the international railway network with the Hauenstein line ; that was the basis for the industrialization of the place. The Liestal barracks was inaugurated in 1862 and expanded in 1877.

Today Liestal is a small town with regional center functions on the outer edge of the Basel metropolitan region . The communities Frenkendorf , Füllinsdorf , Lausen , Bubendorf and Seltisberg belong to the small, regional agglomeration of Liestal .

Local, regional and cantonal schools as well as the training center of the Federal Customs Administration FCV, the "Campus FCV", are located in the municipality of Liestal. Baselland Psychiatry is located on Bienentalstrasse . The Mennonite training and conference center Bienenberg is located on the Bienenberg .


On September 30, 2017, Liestal had a total of 14,306 inhabitants with the following proportions:

  • Swiss: 10,407
  • Foreigners: 3'899

This results in a proportion of foreigners of 27.3 percent.

Resident population

The population of Liestal has developed as follows:

1900 1950 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
5,403 8'449 12,158 12,853 12,930 13,600 13,712 13,753 13,820 14,002 14,042


Stadtkirche Liestal Source: City of Liestal Information Service

Table of denomination (as of June 30, 2015):

evangelical reformed 4,924
Roman Catholic 3,351
christ catholic 50
rest 5'717

Future development

The development of the city of Liestal is characterized by an incredible dynamic. In the period from 2015 to 2019, over 500 new apartments were created as part of the implemented district plans. This dynamic will be maintained or even strengthened in the foreseeable future due to further neighborhood plans that already exist, as the more than 20 existing neighborhood plans prove. Because of this, the city of Liestal expects around 2000 additional residents in the next 5 years. The transformation of the station area / goods area including the high-rise building, the Lüdin area as well as the initiated master plan Rheinstrasse (including Kreuzboden, Pfrund and Silberbrunnen), which in some cases has huge fallow areas along one of the main traffic axes, will provide a further boost to economic development in the coming years City will develop. In addition, there are already ideas about the further densification / conversion of areas in the immediate vicinity of the center, such as the Siebe Dupf cellar or the works yard area on Rosenstrasse including rose pavilions. Furthermore, there is more than enough well-developed land available in the Gräern and Fraumatt areas, which can be zoned if necessary.


City council

The executive branch of the city of Liestal is the city ​​council . It consists of a city president and four members. These head the following areas (departments):

  • Establishments
  • Education / sport
  • Finances / Resident Services
  • Security / social
  • City Building Office

Every four years the city council and the city president are elected by the people. All Swiss citizens of legal age are entitled to vote.

A total of 40 seats
  • GPS : 9
  • SP : 9
  • glp : 3
  • CVP / EVP : 3
  • FDP : 9
  • SVP : 7

City Council

In Liestal, the residents' council replaces the community assembly as the parliament of the community . This is also re-elected every four years by the electorate and consists of 40 members. The graphic on the right shows the composition of the residents' council after the election on February 9, 2020.

His tasks include:

  • Resolutions on community ordinance and community regulations
  • Location planning
  • budget
  • Financial plan and invoice
  • Expenditure decisions from a certain amount
  • Supervision of the city council

With parliamentary proposals ( motions , postulates , interpellations and minor questions), the members, parliamentary groups and commissions of the residents' council can raise their own concerns.

The residents' council currently comprises five commissions and the office. These serve for the preliminary consultation of the business as well as for the exercise of the supervision of the city council. The five commissions are:

  • Building and Planning Commission (BPK)
  • Finance Commission (FIKO)
  • Business Audit Committee (GPK)
  • Commission for Municipal Code and Regulations (GOR)
  • Social, Education and Culture Commission (SBK)

The residents' council meets in public around ten times a year in the district council chamber.

National Council elections

In the 2019 Swiss parliamentary elections, the voter share in Liestal was: SP 23.9%, Greens 22.6%, SVP 20.4%, FDP 15.5%, glp 6.1%, CVP 5.3%, EPP 5, 1%, BDP 1.0%.

Town twinning


Futuro Liestal, miners

The economic life of Liestal is characterized on the one hand by the cantonal administration and on the other hand by numerous small and medium-sized commercial enterprises and companies that either serve local demand or act as specialized suppliers for large companies in the economic region of northwestern Switzerland. As a production location for classic industrial goods, especially heavy and textile industry , Liestal played a significant role in earlier times (including Hanro and Schildfabrik Schild). The Ziegelhof brewery, located in the center of Liestal, closed in 2006 after 156 years. More recently, some high-tech companies have settled, such as the Nanosurf AG, the Mars program Phoenix of NASA is involved. Other companies are Santhera Pharmaceuticals and Fontarocca AG, which specialize in natural stones.


Facade paintings on the upper town gate (1912/13 and 1949/50) in Liestal by Otto Plattner (1886–1951)
Facade paintings at the upper city gate by Otto Plattner
Information on the upper city gate in Liestal
Information about the upper city gate

Roman times

Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

  • Parts of the fortifications that have been preserved: The upper gate ( Törli landmark), Thomasturm, remains of the city wall on Büchelistrasse. Old town mill (1422).
  • Castle ruins on Burghalden
  • Former granary and armory (built around 1530) since 1981 canton museum with exhibitions on natural history, archeology and folklore as well as silk ribbon weaving.
  • Town Hall (1568): council chamber with cabinet windows (16th – 17th centuries);
  • Reformed town church (today's shape from the 16th / 17th century) with early Gothic door, stand panes and choir stalls with flat carvings from 1506.
  • Ergolzhof Feldmühle
  • Olsbergerhof (1571)
  • Frohburger Fronhof, today the seat of government
  • Bad Schauenburg , opened in 1644
Uno Liestal office building
Palazzo cultural center

18th to 21st century

  • Gräuern estate (1750)
  • Cantonal government building (late baroque 1770–1779 and 1850) with district council and council chamber.
  • Façade paintings of the new town hall building from 1937 and wall paintings in the atrium by Otto Plattner ;
  • Cantonal courthouse, formerly the community schoolhouse
  • Palazzo near the train station, neo-Renaissance style , built in 1891/1892 by the architect of the Federal Palace, Hans Wilhelm Auer, as a post office; In 1979 bought by Kulturhaus Palazzo AG and converted into a cultural center.
  • Methodist Chapel (1863)
  • Schleifenberg Tower (1900)
  • Roman Catholic Church Brother Klaus, by Fritz Metzger (1961).
  • Cantonal library at Emma-Herwegh-Platz 4 (renovated and rebuilt in 2005)
  • Baselland State Archives

Museums and monuments

Panorama of Liestal (photographed on the Schleifenberg)


With the train station on the Hauenstein line, Liestal has direct train connections to Basel, Zurich , Bern and Lucerne and is directly connected to the A2 and A3 motorways via the A22 . The main roads H2 and H12 connect Liestal with Basel as well as Solothurn and Olten.

The airport of Basel (EuroAirport) can be reached in around 35 minutes / 25 minutes (public transport / car) and that of Zurich in around 75 minutes / 60 minutes (public transport / car).

The Liestal train station is the starting point for various bus lines and the Waldenburgerbahn to the agglomeration and the central Upper Basel area.

Several signposted hiking routes and supraregional bike paths meet at Liestal. Long-distance hiking trail 7 Via Gottardo reaches from Muttenz via Schauenburg and the Binenenberg and at the foot of the Munzachberg past the train station of Liestal and from there continues up the Frenketal. Regional hiking trails lead to the hills surrounding the city. The marked north-south route lies right in the valley and crosses the old town of Liestal, where the Belchen Panorama route begins.

regional customs

Chienbäse 2009, fire truck in front of the passage through the Obertor


The Liestaler Fasnacht is strongly influenced by the Basel carnival , albeit with a lot of local color . Apart from some pre-Carnival events - following the old date of the «Burefasnacht» - it begins on the Sunday before the Morgestraich of the Basel Carnival with a large street parade. After the Cortège of the Basel Carnival, this is the largest in north-western Switzerland. A concert of the various Guggenmusiken the evening before shortens the waiting time until the Chienbäse . The Schnitzelbank singing takes place on the following Monday and Tuesday , during which the Wednesday afternoon is Children's Day, again with a parade and a masked ball. The carnival will end on the following Saturday six days after the start of the carnival with a Guggen concert, the so-called Cheruus (Kehraus).


On the evening of Shrove Sunday, “brooms” made from pine logs weighing 20 to 100 kg are carried burning through the darkened old town. In between, there are some sparkling, meter-high flames throwing up fire trucks. Afterwards, the drummers and pipe cliques walk through the old town with their illuminated carnival lanterns. The event attracts viewers from all over Switzerland as well as from abroad.


A winter noise custom is the “Santichlaus-Ylüte” on December 6th. When sleeping, the Liestal children gather in the avenue with large cowbells and small bells and then roam the streets of the "Stedtlis" with a lot of noise.

Ban day

As in many municipalities in Basel, Banntag is an integral part of the year in Liestal . On the Monday before the ascent , the men and children from Liestal move out in four teams to pace the boundaries of the community. As one of the last communities, the procession is traditionally accompanied by the sounds of drums and whistles as well as the cracking of muzzle-loading and guiding pistols. The men wear hats decorated with flowers and a walking stick. In the last few years there has been a violent controversy, including legal skirmishes, about this bang. In protest against the all-male festival, a fifth gang has been going four days later, on Ascension Day, for the alternative family ban day.


sons and daughters of the town

Connected to the city

  • Hermann Anselment (1905–1981), German painter, lived in Liestal from 1954
  • Martin Birmann (1828–1890), Swiss politician
  • Paul Degen (1941–2007), Swiss illustrator, caricaturist, painter and sculptor
  • Ernst Erny (1884–1956), President of the Supreme Court, politician
  • Karl Gauss (1867–1938), pastor and local historian
  • Carl Albert Handschin -Freivogel (1849–1933), company founder (1884) of the Handschin textile factory and later Ronus for short Hanro. Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Carl Handschin -Küderli (1889–1932), director of Hanro
  • Carl Handschin (Hanro) -Kriesemer (1913–1983), Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hanro.
  • Emma Herwegh (1817–1904), German revolutionary and wife of the revolutionary poet Georg Herwegh, is buried at her husband's side in Liestal
  • Georg Herwegh (1817–1875), socialist-revolutionary German poet from Vormärz, is buried in Liestal, “in free republican soil”
  • Urs Hölzle (* 1964), computer scientist, grew up in Liestal
  • Franz Leuthardt (1861–1934), paleontologist and geologist, rector of the district school, conservator at the canton museum
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959), Czech composer, died in Liestal
  • Verena Mühlethaler (1913–1987), poet and poet, died in Liestal
  • Rolf Georg Otto (1924–2003), Swiss architect, created numerous modern buildings in and around Liestal
  • Jakob Probst (1880–1966), Swiss sculptor (Wehrmannsdenkmal, sculptures)
  • Gustav Rebmann (1845–1920), member of the government in Liestal, died.
  • Ernst Saladin (1901–1987) , Klara Saladin-Mohler (1896–1972), donor couple
  • Gustav Johann Schneider (1868–1932), politician, board member of Elektra Baselland
  • Jörg Shimon Schuldhess (1941–1992), Swiss painter, lived in Liestal from 1983–1988
  • Karl Schuppli (1857–1919), teacher and rector in Liestal. Historian and librarian
  • Gustav Adolf Seiler (1875–1949), lawyer, government and national councilor, honorary citizen of Liestal
  • Arnold Spahr (1860–1937), singing teacher and composer, worked in Liestal. Author of Sonnenblick, a song book for school
  • Heinrich Strübin (before 1450–1517), landlord, politician, bearer of the Burgundy bowl
  • Carl Tanner (educator) (1864–1927), Lina Tanner-Lüdin (1861–1948). House parents of the boys' educational institution Augst and Schillingsrain (1897–1921)
  • Carl Tanner (1888–1962), Dr. sc. techn. ETH. Politician, Colonel in the General Staff.
  • Joseph Victor Widmann (1842–1911), Swiss writer and journalist, spent his youth in the rectory in Liestal
  • Joseph Otto Widmann (1816–1873), born in Vienna. Conductor, music sponsor, reformed pastor of Liestal
  • Charlotte Wimmer (1814–1867), Austrian pianist. She was the wife of J. Otto Widmann.
  • Hans Jakob Zörnlin (1588–1659), commander of the authorities 'troops in Basel in the Peasants' War and mayor in Liestal
  • Johann Rudolf Zwinger (1660–1708), theologian and university professor, pastor in Liestal


  • Johann Jakob Brodbeck : History of the city of Liestal presented in chronicle form. 2 parts, Liestal 1864-1865.
  • Hans-Rudolf Heyer: The art monuments of the canton of Basel-Country, Volume II: The district of Liestal. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1974 (= Art Monuments of Switzerland , Volume 62). ISBN 3-7643-0727-7 , pp. 181-318.
  • Jürg Ewald, Lukas Ott (Red.): Liestal - a new local history. Publishing house of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft, Liestal 2004.
  • Dorothee Rippmann : Liestal. Historical city atlas of Switzerland - Atlas Historique des Villes suisses - Atlante storico delle città svizzere. Zurich 2009.
  • Hanroareal GmbH (Ed.): Hanroareal Liestal. A textile factory in transition. With texts by Barbara Buser, Kerstin Müller a. Tilo Richter, photographs v. Simone Berger u. Martin Zeller, editions denkstatt, Basel 2015, ISBN 978-3-9524556-2-3 .

Web links

Commons : Liestal  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 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 .
  3. ^ FDP city councilor Daniel Spinnler becomes the new city president , article from January 18, 2018 on the SRF website
  4. ^ Paul Oettli, German-Swiss place names. Erlenbach-Zurich 1945, p. 86.
  6. PDF at
  7. Figures and facts of the community of Liestal ( Memento from September 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  8. Statistics Baselland. In: Retrieved March 22, 2016 .
  9. City of Liestal: Development and Finance Plan 2019-2023. (PDF) City of Liestal, 2018, accessed on May 5, 2020 .
  10. Protocol. (PDF) City of Liestal, February 9, 2020, accessed on February 9, 2020 .
  11. ^ Federal Statistical Office : NR - Results parties (municipalities) (INT1). In: Federal Elections 2019 | August 8, 2019, accessed August 1, 2020 .
  13. ^ Ruedi Brassel-Moser : From the open book to the helmet: Power of interpretation and memory using the example of the Basel military monument in Liestal. In: Swiss Journal for History , Volume 51, 2001 ( full text ).
  14. For the history of Chienbäse see; accessed on March 5, 2014
  15. ; Dominik Wunderlin (ed.): Man and ban. Liestaler Grenzzüge - the book about the Liestaler Banntag. Commission publisher Lüdin, Liestal 2005.