Neuchâtel NE

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NE is the abbreviation for the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland and is used to avoid confusion with other entries in the name Neuchâtelf .
Coat of arms of Neuchâtel Neuchâtel
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of NeuchâtelCanton of Neuchâtel Neuchâtel (NE)
District : No district division
BFS no. : 6458i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 2000
Coordinates : 561 256  /  204454 coordinates: 46 ° 59 '24 "  N , 6 ° 55' 46"  O ; CH1903:  five hundred and sixty-one thousand two hundred fifty-six  /  204454
Height : 434  m above sea level M.
Height range : 425–1180 m above sea level M.
Area : 18.06  km²
Residents: i33,489 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 1854 inhabitants per km²
View of Neuchâtel

View of Neuchâtel

Location of the municipality
Neuenburgersee Bielersee Murtensee Frankreich Kanton Bern Kanton Bern Kanton Bern Kanton Freiburg Kanton Freiburg Kanton Jura Kanton Waadt Kanton Waadt Kanton Waadt Boudry La Brévine Brot-Plamboz Le Cerneux-Péquignot La Chaux-de-Fonds La Chaux-du-Milieu Corcelles-Cormondrèche Cornaux Cortaillod La Côte-aux-Fées Cressier NE Enges La Grande Béroche Hauterive NE Le Landeron Lignières NE Le Locle Les Brenets Milvignes Neuenburg NE Peseux NE Les Planchettes Les Ponts-de-Martel Rochefort NE La Sagne Saint-Blaise NE La Tène NE Valangin Val-de-Ruz NE Val-de-Travers NE Les VerrièresMap of Neuchâtel Neuchatel
About this picture

Neuchâtel ( French Neuchâtel [ nœʃɑtɛl, nøʃɑtɛl ], familiar [ nœʃ, nøʃ ], Franco-Provencal a Ntchati [ a ntʃaˈti ], Italian outdated Neocastello and Nuovocastello ) is the capital of the western Swiss canton of Neuchâtel .

The political municipality has around 34,000 inhabitants, the agglomeration with the adjoining neighboring communities around 78,000 inhabitants.


The territory of the city and municipality of Neuchâtel extends over 1745 hectares. 36% of it is built on. In addition to the city of Neuchâtel, the formerly autonomous districts of Serrières and Chaumont also belong to the municipality of Neuchâtel. The undeveloped area consists mainly of forests and meadows. In addition, the Domaine forestier des Joux, northwest of Les Ponts-de-Martel, has belonged to the city of Neuchâtel since 1512 .

The city is bordered to the south by Lake Neuchâtel . In the northwest and north lies a section of the mountain flank of the first Jura chain up to the mountain ridge of the Chaumont in the municipal area. To the west is the Seyon Gorge . The Seyon is deflected in the city by a range of hills to the northeast and only flows into the lake about two kilometers further northeast. The mountain spur above the river formed the starting point for the development of the Neuchâtel settlement.

The old town of Neuchâtel consists of two areas: on the one hand the quarter on the hill above the Seyongraben and on the other hand the old lower town on the alluvial cone raised by the Seyon to the lake. On the hill and on its southern flank are the Collegiate Church, Neuchâtel Castle, the prison tower and the Tour de Diesse tower, as well as old residential quarters. The lower town consists of residential and business quarters. Most of the streets in the city center are closed to private motorized traffic. To the east of the city center is the university quarter, while the port of Neuchâtel is on the lakeshore. In the north, the old town is bounded by the railway line.

There are extensive alpine meadows on the Chaumont, on which numerous holiday homes have recently been built.

Bordering municipalities are Milvignes and Peseux in the west, Valangin and Val-de-Ruz in the north, Enges , Saint-Blaise , Cressier and Hauterive in the east.

Historic aerial photo by Werner Friedli from 1949

City quarters

Quarter No. BFS code Neuchâtel districts
Draizes - Vauseyon 1 6458001
Serrières 2 6458002
Alpes 3 6458003
Trois-Portes 4th 6458004
North 5 6458005
Center 6th 6458006
Beaux-Arts 7th 6458007
Maladière - Mail 8th 6458008
La Coudre 9 6458009
Monruz 10 6458010
Pierre-à-Bot - Acacias 11 6458011
Chaumont 12 6458012

Climate table

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Neuchâtel
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.3 5.0 9.9 14.1 18.6 22.1 24.9 24.3 19.5 13.9 7.6 4.3 O 14th
Min. Temperature (° C) −0.7 −0.4 2.5 5.5 9.7 12.9 15.1 14.8 11.6 8.0 3.1 0.4 O 6.9
Temperature (° C) 1.2 2.1 5.9 9.5 13.9 17.2 19.7 19.2 15.2 10.7 5.3 2.3 O 10.2
Precipitation ( mm ) 70 63 69 68 88 87 85 103 93 89 74 89 Σ 978
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.5 2.9 4.4 5.5 6.0 6.9 7.7 7.1 5.5 3.2 1.9 1.3 O 4.5
Rainy days ( d ) 10 9 10 10 12 11 10 10 9 10 10 10 Σ 121
Humidity ( % ) 82 77 69 66 68 67 65 68 74 80 81 82 O 73.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


For the political and general development of the city, the region and the canton, see History of the Canton of Neuchâtel .

The first written mention of Neuchâtel dates back to 1011, when the Burgundian king Rudolph III. Novum Castellum (the new castle) gave his wife Irmengarde (Irmingard) a gift. This “new castle” was presumably where the prison stands today and was little more than a small garrison.

The city grew slowly. In 1180 Ulrich II of Neuchâtel and his wife laid the foundation stone for a new castle and the Eglise collégiale. Ulrich's descendants gave the Neuchâtel residents the status of a Free City in 1214. In 1250 the first houses were built on the left side of the Seyon River.

The Neubourg district, which still exists today, and the city wall were created. In 1349, the plague killed a third of the city's population.

In 1530, the French religious refugee Guillaume Farel (1489–1565), who was sent from Bern with a letter of recommendation, brought the Reformation to Neuchâtel. At first he could only preach in the little Chapelle de l'Hôpital. But soon he attracted so many listeners that he was allowed to preach in the city church. As a result, the local altars, statues, images and crosses were destroyed because they were considered idols. Only the tomb of the Counts of Neuchâtel survived this iconoclasm. Shortly afterwards, the city council joined the Reformation, but the aristocratic upper class remained Catholic until 1707. As a result, many French evangelical refugees found acceptance in the city and the surrounding area and helped shape the further development. The French author Antoine Marcourt was called as the first Protestant pastor. Farel traveled to Geneva to work with Jean Calvin for the Reformation. Pierre-Robert Olivétan became a private tutor in Neuchâtel; he met Farel in 1532 in the Piedmontese Chanforan with Waldensians to discuss a translation of the Bible into French. Olivétan translated the Bible into French and had it printed by Pierre de Vingle in Neuchâtel in 1535 as the first full French Bible. It was reprinted a little later in Geneva and other cities and is still considered the most important French translation of the Bible. When Calvin and Farel had to leave Geneva in 1538, Marcourt was called to Geneva and Farel returned to Neuchâtel as pastor. He introduced a church order based on the Geneva model. In numerous trips to Italy, France and Germany he stood up for the French-speaking Protestant believers. Today the Farel statue on the esplanade in front of the town church commemorates his work.

In 1579 the river Seyon burst its banks, destroying all bridges in the city as well as the town hall and the city archives below.

Between the 13th and 18th centuries, the city grew to the shores of Lake Neuchâtel and the mouth of the Seyon. Some wealthy patricians began building houses outside the old city walls, with some of the money also coming from the thriving slave trade. The Faubourg de l'Hôpital, the Faubourg du Lac, the Quartier du Lac and the later so-called Quartier Universitaire emerged. In 1838 the Académie de Neuchâtel was opened and became a university in 1910 .

In the years 1839 to 1843, the Seyon River , which repeatedly flooded the city, was corrected . It was diverted in tubes and a shopping street (the Rue du Seyon) was built on the site of the old river bed. The lake shore was also rebuilt several times in the 19th century. After the construction of the railway line and the train station (1859) on the flank of the Chaumont , the city grew further north. The tram line to Boudry was opened on the lakeshore . In 1930 the previously independent municipality of La Coudre was incorporated into the city of Neuchâtel.

In 1939 Brown, Boveri & Cie. the first gas turbine suitable for electricity generation with an output of 4 MW. In 1988 ASME listed the turbine as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark . When the turbine failed in 2002, it was dismantled and exhibited in a pavilion in Birr , where it was originally built.

In 2015, Neuchâtel was awarded the honorary title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe . Neuchâtel is also one of the ten Swiss cities that received the label of “Reformation City” in 2017 from the Evangelical Church Federation.


legislative branch

7th 13 13 
A total of 41 seats

The conseil général ( General Council ) is elected proportionally every four years by the voters . Since the election on November 27, 2016, it has been composed as shown in the diagram below.


The executive is formed by the five-person conseil communal ( local council ). It is elected every four years by the electorate in parallel to the legislature . The city council changes annually among the members of the municipal council. At the moment (as of 2016) it consists of two representatives of the FDP , two Social Democrats and a Greens .


Neuchâtel is not only home to the authorities of the city and canton of Neuchâtel, but also the Federal Statistical Office . As part of the decentralization of the federal administration , it was moved from Bern to Neuchâtel in 1998 .

Coat of arms and colors

Coat of arms of Neuchâtel
Blazon : « In gold, a red-armored and red-tongued black eagle , topped with a golden breastplate with a post divided six times by rafters from red and silver . »

(«Neuchâtel special rulership coat of arms»)

Reasons for the coat of arms: The coat of arms appears as a combination of a simple imperial eagle with the family coat of arms of those of Neuchâtel .

The city's colors are green and red.

National elections

The voting shares of the parties in the 2019 National Council election were: GPS 26.2%, SP 20.9%, FDP 17.8%, POP / Sol 12.9%, glp 11.2%, SVP 7.7%, CVP 3 , 2%.


The city's landmarks, visible from afar, are the castle and the collegiate church (La Collégiale), which also houses the cenotaph (tomb of the Counts of Neuchâtel). The castle now houses part of the cantonal administration. Other attractions in Neuchâtel include the Tour des Prisons, the Maison des Halles and the Hôtel DuPeyrou . The Chaumont observation tower is located near Neuchâtel .

Culture and leisure

The Neuchâtel art museum


Neuchâtel has three nationally important museums:

  • The Center Dürrenmatt , in which paintings and drawings by the Swiss writer and playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt are exhibited. Dürrenmatt moved into his house above the town in 1952, where he lived and worked until his death on December 14, 1990. In some of his works he had also thematized this life on the linguistic border - in particular the fact that from 1952 he lived in the French-speaking part, but wrote in German. After his death, his house was expanded to include a museum that was officially opened in September 2000. This museum - the Center Dürrenmatt - is dedicated to Dürrenmatt's literary, pictorial and other artistic work on several floors. In addition to numerous exhibits, including handwritten sketches for his pieces and many of his pictures, and regular events, it also offers a view over Lake Neuchâtel
  • the Musée d'art et d'histoire , in which the three world-famous vending machines of the Jaquet-Droz brothers are exhibited.
  • the internationally known Musée d'Ethnographie (Ethnography Museum).

Another museum in the city is the Muséum d'histoire naturelle . The cantonal archaeological museum Laténium is located in the neighboring municipality of Hauterive NE .

Music, film and festivals

Several festivals take place in Neuchâtel every year. These include the Street Music Festival and the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival . The best known is the Fête des Vendanges wine festival , which has been held annually in September since 1902 and now attracts over 100,000 visitors.

Since 2001 the Festi 'Neuch has taken place every year at the beginning of June , a four-day open-air festival with a program geared towards pop, rock, hip-hop and electro. The site is right on the lakeshore along the Jeunes Rives. While the first edition attracted around 3,000 visitors, the number of tickets sold increased to around 37,000 by 2010.


The city gained national fame in sport through the football club Neuchâtel Xamax , which became Swiss champions in 1916, 1987 and 1988 . The first team played in the 2018/19 season for the first time since bankruptcy in January 2012 in the Super League , the highest league in Switzerland. The venue is the Stade de la Maladière .

The HC Université Neuchâtel ice hockey club only plays in the amateur league . In December 2019 the women's floorball world championship took place in Neuchâtel .


Neuchâtel has all the usual types of schools in Switzerland. With the so-called immersion teaching, bilingual teaching in French and German has been introduced at some primary schools in the city and in the canton of Neuchâtel. With the University of Neuchâtel and the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland , Neuchâtel is a university town .


With the Hôpital Pourtalès, Neuchâtel has a public hospital with 24-hour emergency care. It belongs to the Hôpitaux neuchâtelois clinic network . With the Hôpital de la Providence there is also a private hospital in the city.


Regional trains in Neuchâtel

Neuchâtel is connected to the SBB and BLS networks with four stations . In Neuchâtel station , three pairs of trains run to the TGV in Frasne, which run between Paris and Lausanne. In Central Switzerland, Neuchâtel is served by trains on the St. Gallen - Lausanne route and Zurich - Geneva Airport on the Jura foot line as well as by S-Bahn trains, Regio-Express trains and regional trains.

Transports Publics Neuchâtelois , or transN for short , operate an extensive network of train and bus lines in the city and canton , in particular the Neuchâtel tram , which today only consists of an overland line to Boudry , and the Neuchâtel trolleybus (three lines) and various bus routes ; further three funiculars . One of these runs from Neuchâtel-Ecluse according to plan, another from Neuchâtel-La Coudre to the Chaumont. Neuchâtel-Gare has been linked to the lower town and thus to the university since 2001 by the town-owned Fun'ambule; transN also runs the business here.

PostBus Switzerland operates a few other intercity bus routes .

There is a connection to the Swiss motorway network with the A5 , which runs in tunnels across the city.

Parish partnership




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Web links

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Individual evidence

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