Hirslanden Mill

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Group of houses by the mill Hirslanden

The mill Hirslanden (also called Nägelimühle ) was originally a water mill in Hirslanden in the municipality of Zurich in the Swiss canton of Zurich . In its completeness, it is considered a “unique” example of an original mill of the pre-industrial type beyond the city of Zurich.

Hirslanden Mill

Mill Hirslanden 1895

The historic mill Hirslanden is located in the Burgwies on Forchstrasse a little below the confluence of the Werenbach and Stöckentobelbach to the torrent. It was first mentioned in 1396. The Burgwies paint mill and the Hirslanden mill were part of a large number of production facilities in this area, such as the Hirslanden loop from 1852 to 1968.

The existing main building with mill was built in 1532, came into the possession of the Nägeli family in 1742 and has belonged to the city of Zurich since 1971. Although the mill was formerly outside the city, its owner was the only one in the Ancien Régime who was equal to the millers in the city.

The ensemble of buildings on the Wildbach includes the baroque main building from 1532 with a wheel house and sawmill annex, the feudal house, once inhabited by the tenant, and the servant house, as well as warehouses and warehouses. Fiefdoms and servants' houses are typical rural timber frame buildings from the 18th century with a barn and living area. The feudal house built by the miller Johannes Nägeli in 1747 is considered one of the most beautiful half-timbered buildings in the Canton of Zurich.

The Hirslanden mill is the only still functioning mill in the city and has been a listed building since 1986. It was operated as a flour mill by the Nägeli family until 1964. In 2005 the servant house became the Hirslanden neighborhood meeting place.

Mill plant

The weir threshold of the mill stood in the Werenbach. The upstream water from the Werenbach was conducted in a sheet metal canal over the Stöckentobelbach at the color wood mill and partly underground to the waterwheel under Forchstrasse. The partially underground underwater channel has a return flow into the torrent.

The mill operated with the water of the Werenbach is still fully functional with its technology from 1868. The overshot waterwheel built in 1912 with a diameter of 7.5 meters and one meter width drives the two grinding aisles from 1868 by means of belt transmission and an output of 10 hp. It is one of the largest functioning water wheels in Switzerland. This includes various classifiers and grain cleaning machines. The sawmill had had an electric motor to operate the two-part single frame saw since 1923.

The mill is maintained by the Mühlerama Museum (Tiefenbrunnen) and operated for groups of visitors.

Burgwies pond and Umiker power station

Mühleweiher Burgwies with Umiker power station

The Burgwies Weiher was created in 1883 for the Hirslanden mill and the "Neumühle Burgwies" (today the Burgwies carpenter's workshop). In 1941 the Umiker small power plant was built near the pond due to the war-related energy shortage (shortage economy). Two thirds of the concrete structure are underground. The power plant with the rare electro-hydraulic power generation system and the upper water canal have been a listed building since 1995.

Color wood mill Burgwies

Color wood mill with upper water channel of the mill Hirslanden

In 1639, at the confluence of the Stöckentobelbach and the Werenbach, a grater with pestle and fournier saw was first mentioned. The existing main building was built towards the end of the 19th century and had a five meter high water wheel on the western side of the building. The upper water channel led along the Stöckentobel (Stöckenbach or Elefantenbach). The water right was canceled in 1937.

The color wood mill was part of the Hirslanden mill at that time. The paint mill and the Hirslanden mill on the opposite side of the street were connected by an upstream canal.


In 1843 Jacob Boller set up the "Neumühle" with an overshot water wheel and two grinding courses, which was operated with the water of the Werenbach, at the site of today's Burgwies carpenter's workshop. In 1853 the mill was converted into a joinery . Until 1927, an overshot waterwheel with a diameter of two meters and an output of 3.8 hp drove the carpenter's machines.


  • Ivo Pfister, Beat Haas: Every drop for hydropower. Mills and factories on the Wildbach and Wehrenbach in Zurich. Exploration of nine historical mill, commercial and industrial locations between the Trichtenhauser Mühle and the Mühlerama. Publisher: Building Department of the City of Zurich, Office for Archeology. New edition, Zurich 2013.
  • City of Zurich: City streams - discover Zurich's green oases .
  • Helmut Meyer: The mills rattle. In: District magazine “KontAcht” District 8 Riesbach, March 2015.

Web links

Commons : Mühle Hirslanden  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. NZZ of May 17, 2010: A mechanical house with a special motor
  2. ^ City of Zurich: Reconstruction of the servant house in the Hirslanden district meeting place
  3. ^ Mill friends: Mill and saw Hirslanden, Zurich
  4. Wehrenbachtobel: Umiker
  5. Alt-Züri: Farbholzmühle Burgwies
  6. Wehrenbachtobel: color wood mill
  7. Wehrenbachtobel: Neumühle
  8. ^ City of Zurich: Wehrenbach

Coordinates: 47 ° 21 '31 "  N , 8 ° 34' 13.7"  E ; CH1903:  685507  /  245,922