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(German Munster)
Coat of arms of Moutier (German Munster)
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton BernCanton Bern Bern (BE)
Administrative district : Bernese Juraw
BFS no. : 0700i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 2740
Coordinates : 594 872  /  236631 coordinates: 47 ° 16 '50 "  N , 7 ° 22' 15"  O ; CH1903:  594,872  /  236631
Height : 535  m above sea level M.
Height range : 494–1274 m above sea level M.
Area : 19.61  km²
Residents: 7384 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 377 inhabitants per km²
Mayor : Marcel Winistoerfer ( CVP )
View of Moutier

View of Moutier

Location of the municipality
Bielersee Frankreich Kanton Jura Kanton Neuenburg Kanton Solothurn Kanton Solothurn Verwaltungskreis Biel/Bienne Verwaltungskreis Seeland Verwaltungskreis Emmental Verwaltungskreis Oberaargau Belprahon Champoz Corcelles BE Corgémont Cormoret Cortébert Court BE Courtelary Crémines Eschert Grandval BE La Ferrière BE La Neuveville Loveresse Mont-Tramelan Moutier Nods BE Orvin Perrefitte Péry-La Heutte Petit-Val Plateau de Diesse Rebévelier Reconvilier Mont-Tramelan Renan BE Roches BE Romont BE Saicourt Saint-Imier Sauge Saules BE Schelten Seehof BE Sonceboz-Sombeval Sonvilier Sorvilier Tavannes Tramelan Valbirse Villeret BEMap of Moutier (German Munster)
About this picture

Moutier is a municipality in the Bernese Jura administrative district in the Swiss canton of Bern . In the referendum of March 28, 2021, 54.85 percent of the electorate voted for a move to the canton of Jura . The procedure for changing cantons according to Art. 53 Para. 3 of the Federal Constitution will last until around 2026.

The German name Münster BE is still in use, but it is used less and less.


Moutier lies at 535  m above sea level. M. , 10 km south of the Jura canton capital Delsberg (linear distance). The place extends in the Jura , in the valley basin of Moutier, which also bears the name Grand Val , on both sides of the Birs above the mouth of the Raus brook and on the adjacent slopes. The Birs crosses the Grand Val from south to north across the chain structure of the Jura and forms important gorges both above and below Moutier.

The 19.5 km² municipal area covers the western part of the Moutier basin. In the south, the area extends to the ridge of the Graitery chain, which is 1270  m above sea level. M. forms the highest point of Moutier. The densely forested northern slope of the Graitery is very steep and has limestone ledges . To the west of the Graitery are the Gorges de Court (gorges of Court), which break through the Graitery anticline and excellently open up the fold structure of this chain. In the extreme southwest, Moutier extends to the height of Mont Girod ( 1037  m above sea level ).

To the north of Moutier are the Gorges de Moutier , another typical gorge with imposing limestone cliffs; Here the Birs breaks through the anticline of Mont Raimeux . The northern border of Moutier runs on the northern edge of this Klus on the Arête du Raimeux rock ridge , which is 1000  m above sea level on the western slope of Mont Raimeux . M. achieved. To the northwest, the municipality extends to the high altitude of the Montagne de Moutier (up to 1169  m above sea level at Les Clos ), which is interspersed with a few sinkholes . There are extensive Jura high pastures with the typical mighty spruce trees , which either stand individually or in groups. In the far north-west the area extends with a narrow tip into the catchment area of ​​the Soulce brook and onto the anticline of Le Mont , which forms the southern boundary of the Delsberg basin . In 1997, 12% of the municipal area was in settlements, 56% in forests and woodlands, 31% in agriculture and a little more than 1% was unproductive land.

The hamlet of Les Clos ( 1115  m above sea level ) at the level of the Montagne de Moutier as well as numerous individual farms belong to Moutier. Neighboring communities of Moutier are Perrefitte , Champoz , Court , Eschert , Belprahon and Roches in the canton of Bern and Châtillon and Soulce in the canton of Jura.


Roman times

During Roman times , the Moutier and Court gorges were not yet passable. The Roman road therefore ran from the Col de Pierre Pertuis through the Vallée de Tavannes and then over the saddle of Champoz, followed the Grand Val to Crémines and then led over Vermes into the Delsberg basin. However, there is no evidence of a Roman settlement on the site of today's Moutier.

middle age

The development of Moutier is closely related to the Moutier-Grandval monastery . The town of Moutier, ruled by a governor, developed around the monastery in the High Middle Ages . At the beginning of the 15th century, he concluded castle rights with Basel and Solothurn . A dispute broke out over the election of the provost in 1486, in which Bern intervened and tried to mediate. This was the beginning of the influence of Bern on the southern parts of the Jura. Moutier also concluded a castle law with Bern, which was renewed thirteen times in the following period. As a result, the Principality of Basel gradually lost power over the Prévôté. In 1706 the provost, under the leadership of Henri Visard, successfully rebelled against the prince-bishop's rule and adopted its own constitution.

Propstei Moutier-Grandval

The Moutier-Grandval Propstei (German: Münster-Granfelden ) comprised the Moutier Valley (Grand Val), the Petit Val and the Vallée de Tavannes, as well as smaller areas in the southern and eastern parts of the Delsberg Basin from the 16th century to 1797. It was divided into two bailiwicks according to the faith. The Catholic Bailiwick of Sous-les-Roches comprised two dairy farms (mairies) north of the Klus von Moutier and in the Delsberg basin. The remaining parts formed the reformed Bailiwick of Sur-les-Roches with five dairy farms.

Recent history

Aerial photo from 400 m by Walter Mittelholzer (1931)

In 1797 the Prévôté was conquered by French troops and united with France . Moutier initially belonged to the Département du Mont-Terrible , which was connected to the Département Haut-Rhin in 1800 . By the decision of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, French rule ended and the place came to the canton of Bern, whereby the area of ​​the former provost's office in the Moutier district was united. At the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century there were several tensions between the minority of the French-speaking Bernese Jura and the predominantly German-speaking canton of Bern. In 1893 the Bernese Jura was granted a certain degree of autonomy. Moutier has officially been called the city since 1950.

On June 23, 1974, when it came to the Jura , the population of Moutier decided relatively tightly to remain with the canton of Bern. In the elections of 1982, the majority situation tipped, and the electorate elected a pro-Jurassic mayor, who demanded the connection of Moutier to the canton of Jura. Nevertheless, in a consultative vote in 1998, a narrow majority of those entitled to vote refused to join the canton of Jura. The union of the southern Jura with the canton of Jura was still under discussion. In the vote on the institutional future of the Bernese Jura on November 24, 2013, Moutier was the only municipality in the Bernese Jura in which a majority of those who voted put a yes in the ballot box, in favor of negotiations for the establishment of a new, common canton of Jura .

The Autonomous people celebrate the vote for the move to the Canton of Jura in front of the Hôtel de la Gare on Place Roland Bégueli (March 28, 2021).
Moutier the evening after the vote (March 28, 2021)

On June 18, 2017, the municipality voted to remain in the canton of Bern or to move to the canton of Jura. With a turnout of 88%, those entitled to vote spoke out in favor of changing cantons with 2067 (51.7%) to 1930 votes (48.3%). However, the vote was declared invalid on November 5, 2018 by the government governor of the Bernese Jura after complaints about irregularities had been submitted to the ballot box. This led to a large protest demonstration by the pro-Jurassians on November 9th. On August 29, 2019, the administrative court of the canton of Bern confirmed that the vote was invalid. On September 12, 2019, the Pro-Jurassier decided not to take the judgment to the federal court so that a new vote could take place as soon as possible. The second vote took place on March 28, 2021, with the federal authorities accompanying and monitoring the entire procedure - a process that is unique in Switzerland. The result was even more in favor of a change of canton, with 2114 (54.9%) to 1740 votes (45.1%). The municipality is expected to move to the canton of Jura in early 2026. The result of the vote is not yet final. If, on the other hand, no complaint is made or any complaint is rejected, the citizens of the cantons of Bern and Jura will be presented with the agreement on the change of canton for a referendum. If both cantons should agree, the Federal Assembly must approve the change of canton so that it can be carried out.


Population development
year Residents
1850 917
1900 3,088
1910 4,164
1930 4,704
1950 5,916
1960 7'472
1970 8,794
1980 7,959
1990 7,860
2000 7,701

With 7,384 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018), Moutier is the largest municipality in the Bernese Jura . Of the residents, 86.5% are French-speaking, 3.9% German-speaking and 3.6% Italian-speaking (as of 2000). The population of Moutier showed particularly high growth rates around the middle of the 20th century. After a peak around 1970, the economic crisis caused the population to decline by around 10% in the following decade. Since 1980 there has been an overall downward but strongly weakened trend.


4th 12th 7th 
A total of 41 seats
  • Rauraque : 4
  • PSA : 12
  • SP : 1
  • CSP : 1
  • RPJ : 3
  • Interface : 2
  • CVP : 5
  • MAV : 1
  • FDP : 5
  • SVP : 7

The legislature is called conseil de ville ( city ​​council ) and has 41 members who are elected by the people for four years. The graphic on the right shows the distribution of seats in the city council after the election on November 25, 2018.

The executive of Moutier is the conseil municipal ( municipal council ), which is elected for a period of four years. It consists of nine people including the mayor . Since the election on November 25, 2018, it has been composed as follows: PSA 3 seats, CVP 3 seats, SVP 2 seats, FDP 1 seat.

City president has been Marcel Winistoerfer (CVP) since 2017, who replaced Maxime Zuber (PSA) after 22 years (as of January 2018).

The voting shares of the parties on the occasion of the 2019 National Council election were: CVP 31.1%, SVP 24.6%, GPS 12.4%, SP 11.8%, FDP 6.9%, PdA 3.8%, glp 2.6 %, EVP 2.2%, EDU 1.5%, Capaul 1.1%.


Moutier developed into an industrial community around the middle of the 19th century. The industrialization began in 1840 with the establishment of a glassworks , soon after that came watchmaking industry to do so. The great economic boom came with the establishment of the Tornos machine tool factory . In the last decade of the 19th century, this company and its rival firms helped Moutier to achieve an importance that went far beyond the Jura region.

Today the machine tool construction, the textile and glass industry as well as the mechanical and precision engineering companies belong to the most important branches of industry of the place. There are also numerous jobs in the service sector, while two percent of the workforce still work in agriculture .


Moutier has a public hospital with 24-hour emergency care. It belongs to the clinic network of the Hôpital du Jura Bernois . In January 2020 it became known that the government council of the canton of Bern is selling 35 percent of the share capital of the hospital group to Swiss Medical Network . In cases that exceed the scope of duties of this hospital, there is close cooperation with the Biel Hospital Center .


The community is well developed in terms of transport. It is located on the main road from Basel and Delsberg to Biel / Bienne , from which the road to Balsthal branches off in Moutier . The A16 motorway bypasses the town on the east and south side and offers it two interchanges. With it, Moutier is connected to both the Swiss national road network and the French motorway network.

Moutier is also an important rail junction on the Jura railway line Basel – Biel. On December 16, 1876, the first line from Delémont to Moutier was opened. Five months later, on May 24, 1877, the continuation to Court followed . On May 1, 1908, the Moutier – Solothurn line of the then Solothurn-Münster Railway (now part of BLS AG ) was inaugurated. Then the 8 km long Grenchenberg tunnel was built, which crosses under two Jura chains and leads from Moutier directly to Grenchen in the Swiss plateau . The inauguration took place on October 1, 1915.

The bus routes from Moutier to Eschert and Belprahon , to Souboz and to Delsberg take care of the fine distribution in public transport .

Tourist Attractions

The collegiate church, which was built in the 11th and 12th centuries and consecrated to Saints Germanus and Randoald , was a victim of the flames several times and fell apart at the end of the 18th century. From 1858 to 1863, today's Reformed Church, a flat-roofed three-apse basilica, was built in its place. It contains stained glass windows by Coghuf from 1961.

The Chalières chapel (formerly called Saint-Pierre) dates back to the time of the abbey's heyday and , after the Reformation, served as a Protestant church for Perrefitte and Champoz. It was inaugurated in 1019 in the presence of Emperor Heinrich II . The chapel consists of the rectangular nave and the apse raised by a ridge turret , the dome of which is decorated with well-preserved pre-Romanesque paintings (transition from Ottonian to Romanesque style in western Switzerland); they were discovered during a renovation between 1934 and 1936.

On the southern side of the Birs is the Catholic Church Notre-Dame de la Prévôté , which was built from 1963 to 1965.

The current construction of the castle (Préfecture) dates from 1738 to 1742. The baroque building was built on the foundations of the medieval castle, while the medieval surrounding wall with its corner towers was preserved. The Préfecture was the administrative seat of the Prévôté and the second residence of the Canons.

The town hall (Hôtel de ville) was built in 1830 in the classicism style, it has a half-hip roof , a bell tower and a porch. In the center of Moutier there are numerous buildings in the neo-baroque and local style. The factory buildings were built around 1900 and many workers' houses date from 1875 to 1880. The Musée jurassien des Beaux-Arts is located in Moutier .

A panorama of Moutier can be seen from the Golat Pavilion on the rocky crest of the western flank of the Gorges de Moutier . The two gorges Gorges de Moutier and Gorges de Court are considered natural attractions .


Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent resident population from STAT-TAB of the BfS , municipalities see also regional portraits 2020 on, accessed on May 29, 2020
  2. TAGBLATT, ninth vote on canton affiliation: Moutier changes from canton Bern to canton Jura. Retrieved March 28, 2021 .
  3. Voting results by municipalities. (pdf; 71 kB) State Chancellery of the Canton of Bern, accessed on November 26, 2013 .
  4. Moutier becomes Jurassic. Tages-Anzeiger, June 18, 2017, accessed June 18, 2017 .
  5. ^ Moutier vote declared invalid. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, November 5, 2018, accessed on November 5, 2018.
  6. The Jura conflict flares up again - The Bernese governor cancels the Moutier vote. The municipality cannot move to the canton of Jura for the time being. The autonomists want to take to the streets against the “political decision”. Antonio Fumagalli, Moutier, NZZ 6.11.18
  7. Half of the population in Moutier is scared - the other half sees themselves as a victim of Bern - the ditch that runs through the Bern-Jura town of Moutier is clearly noticeable the day after the vote was canceled. Unknown autonomists covered the city center with diatribes overnight. A silent march has been announced for Friday. Antonio Fumagalli, Moutier, NZZ 6.11.18
  8. Der Bund : Thousands of demonstrators feel cheated of their victory. Retrieved October 5, 2019 .
  9. www srf ch, Swiss Radio and Television Company, Swiss Radio and Television Company Pro-Jurassier do not appeal to the Federal Supreme Court. Retrieved October 5, 2019 .
  10. Law dossier: Moutier will vote on March 28, 2021 on whether he is a canton. In: . Federal Department of Justice and Police , October 8, 2020, accessed on October 9, 2020 .
  11. Moutier vote: control of the voting register not completed. In: Media release by the government council's law delegation, March 27, 2021, accessed on March 27, 2021 .
  12. Moutier changes from the canton of Bern to Jura. Swiss radio and television , March 28, 2021, accessed on March 28, 2021 .
  13. Daniel Gerny: A pleasantly clear result - but for Bern, saying goodbye to Moutier is bitter. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , March 28, 2021, accessed on March 28, 2021 .
  14. Moutier becomes Jurassic - How quickly can Moutier change cantons? Swiss radio and television, March 28, 2021, accessed on March 28, 2021 .
  15. Federal Council: The municipality of Moutier wants to switch to the canton of Jura (press release). March 28, 2021, accessed March 28, 2021 .
  16. ^ Procès verbal. Ville de Moutier, accessed November 8, 2020 (French).
  17. ^ Procès verbal. Ville de Moutier, accessed November 8, 2020 (French).
  18. ^ Results of the municipality of Moutier. (html) State Chancellery of the Canton of Bern, October 20, 2019, accessed on November 13, 2020 .
  19. Swiss Medical Network joins a public hospital. In: January 10, 2020, accessed January 11, 2020 .