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Locarno coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of TicinoCanton of Ticino Ticino (TI)
District : Locarno districtw
Circle : Locarno district
BFS no. : 5113i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 6600 Locarno
6600 Solduno
Coordinates : 704 765  /  114066 coordinates: 46 ° 10 '12 "  N , 8 ° 47' 43"  O ; CH1903:  704,765  /  114066
Height : 200  m above sea level M.
Height range : 193–1476 m above sea level M.
Area : 18.69  km²
Residents: i15,826 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 847 inhabitants per km²
Website: www.locarno.ch


Location of the municipality
Lago di Mognólia Lago di Tomè Lago Barone Lago Laghetto Bagina di Val Malvaglia Lago di Vogorno Lago Delio Lago d'Orglio Lago Maggiore Italien Italien Kanton Graubünden Bezirk Bellinzona Bezirk Blenio Bezirk Leventina Bezirk Lugano Bezirk Riviera Bezirk Vallemaggia Gambarogno TI Ascona Brissago TI Losone Ronco sopra Ascona Locarno Locarno Muralto Orselina Centovalli TI Terre di Pedemonte Brione sopra Minusio Cugnasco-Gerra Cugnasco-Gerra Gordola Mergoscia Minusio Tenero-Contra Gresso Onsernone Brione (Verzasca) Corippo Frasco Lavertezzo Lavertezzo Sonogno VogornoMap of Locarno
About this picture

Audio file / audio sample Locarno ? / i , in theAlpine-LombarddialectLocarn, Luchèrn [loˈkɑːrn, luˈkɛːrn] and similar, is apolitical municipalityinthe Locarno districtand the capital ofthe Locarno districtin theSwiss canton of Ticino. The former German nameLuggárusstill lives in the Walser dialect of the municipality ofBosco / Gurinin the soundLiggåårasch [lɪˈkɔːraʃ] . The city isthe third largest city in the canton of TicinoafterLuganoandBellinzona.


Bank promenade in Locarno
Aerial photo from 800 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)

The city of Locarno is located on the north bank of Lake Maggiore and on the eastern edge of the Maggia Delta. The Monti della Trinita district nestles on the slope above the city , and the territory of the municipality also includes a large area in the Magadino plain , the Gerre di Sotto , which is not connected to the urban area .

In structural terms, the urban area of ​​Locarno has grown together with the independent municipalities of Muralto (see section Transport), Minusio and Orselina . The Locarno agglomeration has around 40,000 inhabitants.

Together with the rest of southern Ticino and the province of Como, Locarno belongs to the metropolitan region of Ticino defined by the Federal Statistical Office .


Together with Lugano and Grono, Locarno is the warmest place in Switzerland and is considered the northernmost town with a Mediterranean climate on a lake. The Locarno-Monti measuring station in a slightly elevated position recorded an annual mean of 12.4 ° C for the period 1981-2010. Therefore, many southern plants such as palm or lemon trees thrive in Locarno . Not least because of the mild climate, Locarno is heavily influenced by tourism.

Rice is successfully planted in the Magadino plain near Locarno .

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: www.meteoschweiz.admin.ch
Average monthly temperatures and precipitation for Locarno
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 6.8 8.7 13.5 16.5 20.5 24.4 27.1 26.3 21.7 16.4 10.7 7.3 O 16.7
Min. Temperature (° C) 0.8 1.6 4.9 7.8 11.9 15.2 17.5 17.1 13.7 9.7 4.8 1.6 O 8.9
Temperature (° C) 3.4 4.7 8.8 11.8 15.8 19.4 21.9 21.2 17.2 12.6 7.4 4.1 O 12.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 71 59 96 186 221 198 178 210 236 190 162 90 Σ 1,897
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 4.4 5.3 6.3 6.1 6.2 7.6 8.4 7.9 6.5 4.9 3.9 3.8 O 5.9
Rainy days ( d ) 4.9 4.5 5.9 10.1 12.4 10.2 8.5 9.9 8.9 9.2 8.3 6.5 Σ 99.3
Humidity ( % ) 65 61 55 66 60 64 62 66 70 75 70 67 O 65.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Place name

The city was first mentioned in 751–760 (copy of the 17th century) as ad Lucarne and 807 as locus Leocarni . The interpretation of the name is uncertain. A derivation of Celtic leucos, leuca «white, bright, luminous», as it has been proposed on various occasions , fails for reasons of sound, since intervocal Celtic and Latin / k / in the later northern Italian varieties became / g / (cf. the place name Lugano ) or dwindled. Barbara Meroni therefore suggests in the Lexicon of Swiss Community Names (2005) to start from a geminated Celtic * leuccos, leuccā «bright, shining». A * leukkarni on which the current form of the name is based would mean "the residents of the river * leukkarā (" the sparkling, shining one ")".


Early days

The place where Locarno is today was already settled in the younger Bronze Age (around 14th century BC), as we know thanks to a necropolis discovered in 1934 . Later settlements can be proven due to necropolises from the Latène and Roman times . In 866 a royal court is mentioned in documents. Friedrich I. (HRR) granted Locarno a new market right in 1164 and imperial immediacy in 1186 . In 1342 the Visconti conquered the city, who gave it to the Rusca as a fief from 1439 to 1503.

middle Ages

The confederates conquered the city in 1503, but did not receive the castle until 1513 from the hands of the French King Louis XII. A bailiff of the twelve places from then on exercised civil and criminal jurisdiction. The city was ruled by the three corporations of the nobility (Capitanei dei Nobili), the bourgeoisie (Borghesi) and now also the country people (Terrieri), who met in the Landscape Council (Magnifico Consiglio) .

Reformation and Counter Reformation

The Reformation also took hold in Locarno around 1530; the Carmelite Balthasar Fontana studied the Bible and Reformation writings together with other brothers. From 1539 the priest and teacher of the Latin school in the monastery of San Francesco Giovanni Beccaria , the doctor Taddeo Duno and the lawyer Martino Muralto were the leading figures of the growing Reformation movement. From 1542 to 1544 the Protestant bailiff of Glarus, Joachim Bäldi, supported the Reformation forces. It was not until 1547 that there was a break with the Catholic Church, and an independent Protestant congregation emerged, which met in private houses. A religious talk in 1549, chaired by the Catholic bailiff Nikolaus Wirz, did not lead to an agreement, but to the termination of the conversation, to the brief arrest and expulsion of Beccaria, who fled to Roveredo and Mesocco in Misox in Graubünden. In 1555 the Reformed had to give up their new evangelical faith or leave Locarno. 170 people, about half of the Protestant population, decided to leave the country and moved through the Bündnerland to Zurich , where they were finally accepted. After initial difficulties with integration, they subsequently worked in textile trade and production and contributed to the economic boom through their knowledge and relationships.

Locarno remained torn, smaller and poorer through the expulsion of the evangelicals, suspicions and resentments. In 1584, the plague struck the city and decimated its population so severely that only 700 of the original 4,800 people remained.

Modern times

After the collapse of the «Ancien Régime», Locarno became part of the newly created Helvetian canton of Lugano in 1798 . It has belonged to the newly created canton of Ticino since 1803 , the capital of which it was regularly from 1821–1827, 1839–1845, 1857–1863 and 1875–1881. In the 1870s, when transport connections to both the north and the south improved, the hotel and tourism industry began to develop in the Locarno region, and these still form the economic backbone of the city today. The Locarno Film Festival first took place in 1946.

On October 16, 1925, the Locarno Treaties were signed between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Poland and Czechoslovakia, which re-regulated Germany's status under international law after the First World War .

1928 merged the hitherto independent community Solduno with the city of Locarno. In 2011 a referendum failed to merge the municipalities of Locarno, Muralto , Minusio , Orselina , Brione sopra Minusio , Mergoscia and Tenero-Contra . Only in Locarno itself and in Mergoscia, which is not spatially adjacent to Locarno, was there an approving majority.

In 2017, Locarno was awarded the honorary title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe .


Population development
year 1591 1597 1719 1769 1795 1801 1850 1900 1950 1970 2000 2010 2017
Residents 3725 3029 2515 1751 1471 1308 2944 3981 7767 14143 14561 15483 16012

In 2000, 11,153 people spoke Italian, 1,528 German and in 1880 another language. 10,179 were Roman Catholic ( Diocese of Lugano ), 1072 Protestant ( Chiesa evangelica riformata nel Ticino ), and 3310 belonged to a different or no religion. 9,430 people were Swiss, 5131 foreigners, which corresponds to a proportion of foreigners of 32.5%.


8th 8th 15th 7th 
A total of 40 seats

The legislature of the city of Locarno is the consiglio comunale ( local council ), which has 40 seats. The graphic on the right shows its composition in October 2016.

The executive is made up of the seven-member municipio ( local council ). In October 2016 it was composed as follows: 3 FDP , 2 CVP , 1 SP , 1 Lega . Alain Scherrer (* 1965) (FDP) has been Sindaco (City President) since 2015 .

In the Swiss parliamentary elections 2019, the voter share in Locarno was: FDP 19.3%, Greens 19.0%, CVP 15.9%, SP 14.7%, Lega 14.6%, SVP 9.8%, PdA 1, 4%, Montagna Viva 1.2%, EDU 1.1%, glp 1.0%.


Locarno train station
Ship landing stage

Locarno is the end of two railway lines. These do not end in Locarno, however, but in the neighboring municipality of Muralto, where the Locarno train station is located. The standard gauge SBB - distance from Bellinzona reached the aboveground head station from the east and not affected Locarno. The narrow-gauge Centovalli Railway ( FART / SSIF ) from Domodossola reaches its end point from the west. It has not passed through Locarno since 1990, but is led via a tunnel to the underground terminus. This is located within the SBB area in Muralto north of the SBB facilities, where the FART facilities were located until 1990.

At the western end of the track and platform of the Locarno terminus, still in Muralto, is also the starting point for the FART bus lines and the PostBus, which serve the side valleys. On the opposite side of the street from Via della Stazione, cross the municipal boundary between Muralto and Locarno, which is separated by the Ramogna stream, on the left at the end of the colonnade. The valley station of the Funicolare to Madonna del Sasso is right behind the stream in Locarno, where Via della Stazione becomes Viale F. Balli .

In the early 1990s, the 5.5 kilometer long Mappo-Morettina road tunnel was built under Locarno to ban through traffic from the city center .

The Italian shipping company Navigazione Laghi , responsible for the four northern Italian lakes, operates shipping in the Swiss part of Lake Maggiore and connects Locarno with the other cities on the lake.

Air traffic

Six kilometers east of Locarno is the Aeroporto cantonale di Locarno and the Locarno airfield command of the Swiss Air Force .


The townscape is classified in the inventory of protected sites in Switzerland (ISOS) as a site of national importance in Switzerland.

Madonna del Sasso
Piazza Grande
Madonna del Sasso, Cardada and Cimetta

The Sanctuary Madonna del Sasso in Orselina above the city is the main attraction of Locarno and at the same time the most popular pilgrimage site in Italian-speaking Switzerland. The foundation goes back to an apparition of Our Lady, which the Franciscan brother Bartolomeo d'Ivrea had on the night of August 14th to 15th, 1480. The pilgrimage church is known for its significant furnishings. There is also a viewing platform here.

From Orselina a cable car leads to the Cardada ( 1340  m above sea level ), and from its mountain station another chair lift leads to the Cimetta ( 1670  m above sea level ).

"Piazza Grande"
Visconteo Castle
Altstadtgasse via Panigari
Panoramic view of Locarno
Cactus garden near the lake shore

The center of the city is the long, cobbled Piazza Grande . Numerous open air concerts take place here: since 2004 the Moon and Stars music festival in July and the Locarno Festival in August , one of the most important film festivals in the world. There are many restaurants, cafes and shops in the Piazza Grande . All of the alleys in the old town are heading towards the car-free square since June 2007.

"Castello Visconteo"

The Castello Visconteo on the edge of the old town was built in the 12th century, probably as the residence of the loyal Capitanei Orelli; In 1260 it fell into the hands of the Ghibellines . In 1342 the Visconti of Milan took the castle; In 1439 it passed to the Rusca. It came into federal possession for the first time in 1503, and finally in 1516. Today only about a fifth of the original castle is preserved. The majority of the structures that have been preserved go back to the building activities of the Visconti and Rusca and thus date from the 14th and 15th centuries, although the current appearance is due to a reconstruction between 1921 and 1928.

The remains of the Rivellino defense bastion next to the castle may have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci .

In the Castello Visconteo is municipal museum with its archaeological collection housed.


The parish church of San Antonio Abate is a large, single-nave building; the current one is from 1664. The church Maria Assunta or Chiesa Nuova from 1636 contains one of the most important stucco decorations of the baroque in Ticino. The church of San Francesco , attached to the former Franciscan monastery, is a three-aisled basilica and is an impressive example of mendicant order architecture. The church of Santa Caterina was almost completely rebuilt in the 17th century and has elaborate stucco work from the 18th century. Santi Rocco e Sebastiano used to be the seat of the Capuchins and was consecrated in 1604.


Numerous large houses are reminiscent of the aristocratic families of Locarno. The Casa Rusca (today the communal picture gallery) is a palazzo from the 18th century with an inner courtyard with a loggia. The Palazzo Rusca-Bellerio in its current form dates from the 16th to 18th centuries and has ornamental decorative paintings on the upper floor. The Casa dei Canonici from the 16th and 17th centuries has a street facade with stucco. The Casorella is an imposing manorial building from the late 16th century, in which the medieval wall parts of the Castello Visconteo are included. The Palazzo Franzoni presents itself as an elegant baroque building from the 17th century. The Casa dei Negromanti is a large building area of ​​medieval origin and takes its name from Giovan Battista Orelli, known as il Negromante ("the magician"), who lived here in the 18th century. The Swiss cross in the entrance area, painted in the middle of the 16th century, is one of the oldest representations of the Swiss coat of arms.

Culture, museums and art galleries

  • Museo civico e archeologico in the Castello Visconteo
  • Teatro di Locarno
  • Pinacoteca Comunale in Casa Rusca (Associazione Amici di Casa Rusca)
  • Ghisla Art Collection
  • Fondazione Marguerite Arp
  • Fondazione Remo Rossi
  • Archivio Ivan Bianchi
  • Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno (IRSOL)
  • Ticino Film Commission at Palazzo Marcacci (Municipal House)


  • Locarno Festival : The festival has been held every year in August since 1946. The best feature film in the official competition will be awarded the Golden Leopard ( Italian Pardo d'Oro ). It is the smallest of the major film art festivals of global importance (A-category festival).
  • Moon and Stars : A music festival in the Piazza Grande. It includes performances by performers of international pop and rock music
  • Locarno Folk
  • Locarno on Ice


  • Football Club Locarno
  • Aramaici-Syriac FC
  • Associazione Sportiva Lusitanos
  • Football Club Makedonija Locarno
  • Associazione Sportiva Portoghesi Locarno
  • Triathlon Locarno
  • Ascona-Locarno Run


  • Camping Delta

Town twinning

Locarno has partnerships with the following cities:

  • Czech RepublicCzech Republic Karlovy Vary , Czech Republic, since 1965
  • United StatesUnited States Lompoc , California, USA, since 1972
  • ItalyItaly Urbino , Italy, since 1976/78
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland Vevey , Switzerland, since 1981/83
  • GeorgiaGeorgia Gagra , Georgia, since 1987


In Locarno can Heinrich von Kleist 's novella The beggar Locarno play.


Art history
  • Yvonne Bölt, Maurizio Checchi: Locarno, guida storico-artistica. Armando Dadò Editore, Locarno 1996.
  • Art guide through Switzerland. Completely re-edit Output. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History . Volume 2. GSK, Bern 2005, ISBN 3-906131-96-3 , pp. 594-610.
  • Simona Martinoli u. a .: Guida d'arte della Svizzera italiana. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History , Bellinzona 2007.
  • Johann Rudolf Rahn : I monumenti artistici del medio evo nel Cantone Ticino. Tipo-Litografia di Carlo Salvioni, Bellinzona 1894, pp. 119–172.

Web links

Commons : Locarno  - 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. admin.ch . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  2. a b Lexicon of Swiss municipality names . Edited by the Center de Dialectologie at the University of Neuchâtel under the direction of Andres Kristol. Huber, Frauenfeld 2005, ISBN 3-7193-1308-5 , p. 538 f.
  3. ^ Material from the Linguistic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland ; see. Adolfo Janner et al. a .: 700 anni Bosco Gurin. Grassi, Bellinzona 1956, p. 460.
  4. Rice, Switzerland and global warming. In: gastrofacts.ch. Terreni alla Maggia SA. Winery and farm, accessed March 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Aldo Crivelli: Tomba romana a Locarno. In: Rivista Storica Ticinese. 9th vol., No. 1-6, January-December 1946. Istituto Editoriale Ticinese, Bellinzona 1946, ZDB -ID 2005308-3 , p. 1221.
  6. ^ Giuseppe Chiesi: Visconti (dukes). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . 4th November 2014 .
  7. Rudolf Pfister: For the sake of faith. The Protestant refugees from Locarno and their admission to Zurich in 1555. Evangelischer Verlag, Zollikon 1955, p. 14.
  8. ^ Mark Taplin: The Italian Reformers and the Zurich Church, c. 1540-1620. St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History, Routledge, 2017, ISBN 978-1-351-88729-8 .
  9. ^ Rudolf Pfister : Die Reformationsgemeinde Locarno, 1540–1555. In: Zwingliana. 10, 1955, pp. 161-181.
  10. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 , the theologian Paul Steinmann developed a theater project to which Stefano Nicastro contributed the music and Remo Sangiorgio directed. The bilingual game about the exile of the Reformed community of Locarno is called l'espulsione - the expulsion and is also based on the font Dunos On the Persecution of Locarnesi from 1602; See also Paul Steinmann: l'espulsione - Una pièce sull'esilio della communità dei riformati locarnesi nel 1555. The expulsion - A game about the exile of the Reformed community of Locarno in 1555, Associazione R500 ( Memento des Originals of October 10, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.riforma500teatro.ch
  11. a b c Virgilio Gilardoni: I monumenti d'arte e di storia del Canton Ticino, Locarno e il suo circolo (Locarno, Solduno, Muralto e Orselina). Volume I. Ed. By the Society for Swiss Art History . Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 1972.
  12. The Reformation Cities of Europe. The expulsion. In: reformation-cities.org/cities. accessed on January 14, 2018.
  13. Paolo Tognina: Locarno città della Riforma. Il ricordo della Riforma sulle rive del Verbano. In: rsi.ch, Segni dei Tempi, RSI 1, Lugano April 15, 2017, accessed on January 14, 2018.
  14. a b c d e f g h i j k l Rosanna Janke, Rodolfo Huber: Locarno (municipality). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . October 13, 2009 .
  15. Consiglio comunale. Città di Locarno, accessed October 29, 2016 (Italian).
  16. ^ Alain Scherrer, City President. In: locarno.ch, accessed on January 14, 2018.
  17. Elezioni Federali 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2020 .
  18. ^ Federal Statistical Office : NR - Results parties (municipalities) (INT1). In: Federal Elections 2019 | opendata.swiss. August 8, 2019, accessed August 20, 2020 .
  19. Navigazione Lake Maggiore. In: navigazionelaghi.it, accessed on January 14, 2018.
  20. List of sites of national importance. Directory on the website of the Federal Office for Culture (BAK), accessed on January 10, 2018.
  21. Art guide through Switzerland. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History. Volume 2. Bern 2005, pp. 591-593.
  22. Art guide through Switzerland. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History. Volume 2. Bern 2005, p. 601.
  23. ^ Center of the city. In: ticino.ch.
  24. ^ Castello Visconteo
  25. a b Elfi Rüsch, Riccardo Carazzetti: Locarno. The castle and the Casorella (= Swiss Art Guide. Series 72, No. 711). Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GKS. Bern 2002, ISBN 3-85782-711-4 (Italian original ibid 2001).
  26. Art guide through Switzerland. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History. Volume 2. Bern 2005, p. 600 f.
  27. The Rivellino of Locarno - military architecture perhaps by Leonardo da Vinci?
  28. ^ Museo civico e archeologico.
  29. Complete section after: Art guide through Switzerland. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History. Volume 2. Bern 2005, pp. 594-605 passim.
  30. ^ Church of Santa Maria Assunta and Canons' House
  31. ^ Church of San Francesco
  32. Complete section after: Art guide through Switzerland. Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History. Volume 2. Bern 2005, pp. 594-605 passim.
  33. ^ Pierre Lepori: Teatro di Locarno, Locarno TI . In: Andreas Kotte (ed.): Theater Lexikon der Schweiz - Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero. Volume 3, Chronos, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0715-9 , pp. 1809-1811. (Italian); see also the website of the theater.
  34. Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca
  35. ^ Associazione Amici di Casa Rusca
  36. Ghisla Art Collection
  37. ^ Fondazione Marguerite Arp
  38. ^ Fondazione Remo Rossi
  39. ^ Archivio Ivan Bianchi
  40. ^ Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno
  41. ^ Ticino Film Commission
  42. ^ Locarno Film Festival. In: ticino.ch, accessed on March 19, 2017.
  43. ^ Moon and Stars
  44. ^ Moon and Stars. In: ticino.ch.
  45. ^ Locarno Folk. In: ticino.ch.
  46. ^ Locarno on Ice. In: ticino.ch.
  47. ^ Football Club Locarno
  48. FC Aramaici-Suryoye ( Memento of the original from July 17, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / mobile.football.ch
  49. ^ Associazione Sportiva Lusitanos.
  50. ^ Football Club Makedonija Locarno.
  51. ^ Associazione Sportiva Portoghesi Locarno. ( Memento of the original from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / mobile.football.ch
  52. ^ Triathlon Locarno. In: ticino.ch, accessed on March 19, 2017.
  53. ^ Ascona-Locarno Run
  54. Camping Delta at ethorama.library.ethz.ch/de/node
  55. Città di Locarno - Gemellaggi , accessed on October 29, 2018