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Coat of arms of Mels
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of St. GallenCanton of St. Gallen Canton of St. Gallen (SG)
Constituency : Sarganserlandw
BFS no. : 3293i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 7325 Schwendi im Weisstannental
7326 Weisstannen
8879 Pizolpark (Mels)
8886 Mädris-Vermol
8887 Mels
8888 Heiligkreuz (Mels)
8889 Plons
Coordinates : 750 466  /  212538 coordinates: 47 ° 2 '48 "  N , 9 ° 25' 8"  O ; CH1903:  seven hundred and fifty thousand four hundred and sixty-six  /  212538
Height : 497  m above sea level M.
Height range : 455–2935 m above sea level M.
Area : 139.11  km²
Residents: 8623 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 62 inhabitants per km²
Mayor : Guido Fischer
Mels from the west, Sargans in the background

Mels from the west, Sargans in the background

Location of the municipality
Gräppelensee Schwendiseen Voralpsee Schwarzsee SG Schottensee Wildsee SG Talsee GL Spaneggsee Oberer Murgsee Unterer Murgsee Chammseeli Heusee Grosssee Stausee Garichti Gigerwaldsee Mapraggsee Chapfensee Lac da Pigniu Walensee Liechtenstein Österreich Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden Kanton Glarus Kanton Graubünden Wahlkreis See-Gaster Wahlkreis Toggenburg Wahlkreis Werdenberg Bad Ragaz Flums Mels Pfäfers Quarten Sargans Vilters-Wangs WalenstadtMap of Mels
About this picture

Mels is a municipality in the Sarganserland constituency in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen . It is located in the Seeztal , west of the neighboring municipality of Sargans, and is the largest municipality in the canton in terms of area.


Historic aerial photo by Werner Friedli from 1968

Mels is located between Mount Gonzen , the Rhine and the Seez . The Pizol mountain is located in the municipality of Mels . Until the early 18th century, the settlement area of ​​Mels was largely a swamp-like landscape. The lowest point is the Seez plane ( 457  m above sea level ) and the highest is the Big Disk ( 2936  m above sea level ).

The community includes the settlements of Heiligkreuz near Mels, Plons, Ragnatsch, as well as the hamlets of Butz, St. Martin, Mädris, Tils, the hillside settlement of Vermol and the Walser villages of Schwendi and Weisstannen in the Weisstannental .


The hill of Castels was settled during the Neolithic , Bronze , Iron and Roman Ages. The Nidberg castle ruins go back to the early Middle Ages . There were also finds from these epochs at Gasella, Alp Kohlschlagchläui, Rossheld, Plons, Alp Wallabütz-Matt, Ragnatsch, Heiligkreuz, Alp Palfries, Balnenwand and around the village of Mels.

In the early and high Middle Ages , the monasteries Disentis , Pfäfers , Einsiedeln and Schänis owned properties in Mels. The predecessor of the parish church of St. Peter and Paul was built around 550. There were four churches in the 9th century. In 1376 the parish church with the branches of Wangs and Vilter was incorporated into the Pfäfers monastery. In 1529 Mels was reformed; the Protestant pastor and Glarus Fridolin Brunner worked as a reformer in 1531, but he was expelled in 1532. Mels returned to the Catholic faith. In 1654 the Capuchin monastery was founded.

The rule with blood jurisdiction was exercised by the County of Sargans , while the Meier von Windegg at Nidberg Castle (1265–1437, Meierhof of the Pfäfers Monastery) had the lower jurisdiction . The rule of Nidberg was bought in 1371 by the Dukes of Austria .

In the 15th / 16th In the 19th century, Mels switched from Romansh to German. From 1483 to 1798 it belonged as part of the Sargans Bailiwick to the common rule of the Old Confederation . Mels has had a community organization since the 17th century and was the capital of the district of the same name in the canton of Linth during the Helvetic Republic . In 1814 Mels took part in the uprising of the rural democrats in the Sarganserland for more political rights.

During the Second World War , the rocky hill of Castels was expanded into one of the most important artillery fortresses of the Sargans fortress.

Art, culture, leisure

The Konkordia Mels music society, founded in 1875, is one of the oldest clubs in Mels. It is one of the largest music associations in Switzerland and has been playing in 1st class harmony without interruption since 1957. With various “subsidiary associations” such as youth music, youth games and young drum tours, it promotes young people intensively. Since 2008 she has been participating in music festivals in the parade music with evolutions and has won various victories.

The gymnastics club Mels is multiple Swiss champions in the disciplines parallel bars and floor gymnastics. The humorous acrobatic group D'Holmikers was founded in 1993 and has since participated in countless international shows. The highlight was winning the bronze clown on the occasion of the 41st Monte Carlo International Circus Festival.

In the UHC Sarganserland, a nationally known floorball club that plays in the National League B, several players from the Mels community play.

The cultural association Altes Kino Mels has been the leading provider of cabaret in all fields in the Sarganserland since 1985.


Logo of the community of Mels

The cultural and historical Geoweg Mels , a geo site of the Sardona Geopark , leads around and on the hill of Castel .


Agriculture was predominant for a long time. In the more than 20 Mels Alps, livestock was farmed and traded, arable farming was less important. From the middle of the 18th century horses were bred for transit traffic and viticulture expanded. From the 14th to the 18th century, there were smelting works and forges for the iron ore from Gonzen in and around Mels . Millstones were dismantled on Castels for export to Germany until 1915 . The glassworks existed from 1803 to 1863. In the 19th century several textile factories (cotton weaving, spinning, weaving, dyeing) started operations. The former textile factory Stoffel stands prominently on a hill above the village. It was opened in 1878 and once employed up to 600 people for 450 looms and 43,000 spindles . In 1960 the factory was sold to America, later sold by that owner to Italy. 1997 marked the end of the factory. In 2012 scenes from the film Grüninger's files were filmed there, as the Diepoldsau refugee camp was also located in an old factory in 1938. Shortly afterwards, the area was bought by a group of investors who wanted to convert the good building fabric into apartments and studios. The site developer of the comparable Alte Spinnerei Murg site is also involved .

Shopping centers

Near the highway A3 are several large shopping centers that cover the regional needs of the Sarganserland: The Pizolpark of Migros , the Pizol Center of Coop and various other centers such as the CPB Riet. All of Switzerland's major retail chains are located in these centers. In the municipality there is also a Jumbo DIY store with a large Fust branch and, since November 2011, a large Bauhaus specialist center.


The Swiss Ministry of Defense operates a barracks and a recruitment center in Mels, in the Plons district , to which those required to be employed from the cantons of St. Gallen , Graubünden , Schwyz , Glarus , Appenzell Innerrhoden and Appenzell Ausserrhoden are invited.


Mels is located on the Ziegelbrücke-Chur railway line and is served hourly in both directions by the Ziegelbrücke - Sargans - Chur regional trains. In road traffic there is a motorway triangle with the A3 and A13 , from which you can reach Chur , Zurich and St. Gallen .

Mels has a well-developed bus system with connections to Sargans and the Rhine Valley . The bus lines also run through Melser side streets.


Population development
year 1800 1850 1900 1950 1980 2000 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Residents 2433 3305 4035 5837 6235 7837 8019 8026 8080 8358 8481 8501 8513 8553 8550 8523 8557
Population Chart (1993-2013)

The number of residents has increased in the last few decades because Mels was increasingly industrialized. In addition, the number of businesses increased.

Religions - denominations

Denomination Catholic evangelical without or other
number 72.96% 9.43% 17.61%


See also


  • Erwin Rothenhäusler, Dora Fanny Rittmeyer, Benedikt Frei: The Art Monuments of the Canton of St. Gallen, Volume I: Sargans District. (= Art Monuments of Switzerland. Volume 25). Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1951. DNB 750089172 .

Web links

Commons : Mels  - 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 .
  2. ^ Regula Anna Steinhauser-Zimmermann, Wolfgang Göldi: Mels. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. ^ Association - MG Konkordia Mels. In: Retrieved July 17, 2016 .
  4. Altes Kino Mels 25 years old Liechtensteiner Volksblatt, article from September 21, 2010
  5. Altes Kino, Mels, pdf file, accessed on December 15, 2014
  6. New district for Mels - industrial wasteland becomes residential area , NZZ, July 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Numbers 1800–2000 from Regula Anna Steinhauser-Zimmermann, Wolfgang Göldi: Mels. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  8. Mels community: information sheet. Accessed July 31, 2019 .
  9. Mels Online: Key Figures. Accessed July 31, 2019 .