from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sempach coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton lucerneCanton lucerne Lucerne (LU)
Constituency : Sursee
BFS no. : 1102i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 6204
Coordinates : 657 278  /  220505 coordinates: 47 ° 7 '59 "  N , 8 ° 11' 37"  O ; CH1903:  six hundred fifty-seven thousand two hundred and seventy-eight  /  220505
Height : 511  m above sea level M.
Height range : 504–743 m above sea level M.
Area : 8.91  km²
Residents: 4169 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 468 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
citizenship )
8.8% (December 31, 2,018)
View over the town of Sempach (LU), in the background the Sempachersee in north direction

View over the town of Sempach (LU), in the background the Sempachersee in north direction

Location of the municipality
Baldeggersee Hallwilersee Mauensee Rotsee Sempachersee Soppensee Tuetesee Vierwaldstättersee Kanton Aargau Wahlkreis Entlebuch Wahlkreis Hochdorf Wahlkreis Luzern-Land Wahlkreis Luzern-Stadt Wahlkreis Willisau Kanton Nidwalden Beromünster Büron Buttisholz Eich LU Geuensee Grosswangen Hildisrieden Knutwil Mauensee LU Neuenkirch Nottwil Oberkirch LU Rickenbach LU Ruswil Schenkon Schlierbach LU Sempach Sursee TriengenMap of Sempach
About this picture

Sempach ( Swiss German Sämpech [ˈsæmpəχ] ) is a small town and municipality in the Swiss canton of Lucerne . It lies in the constituency of Sursee .


Aerial photo (1954)

The town of Sempach is located at the southeast end of Lake Sempach . The southern and south-eastern municipal boundary runs along the Grosse Aa and the Kleine Aa . At the hamlet of Gottmännigen ( Neuenkirch municipality ) it changes north until shortly before Hildisrieden . From there the border goes north-west up the southern slope of the Eichberg to the vicinity of the source of the Rotbach and leads right through the Sempachersee golf course. Within the facility, the municipal boundary turns west and reaches the Morental forest at 735  m above sea level. M. the highest point of the municipality. From the Morentalerwald the border goes in a south-westerly direction down to the Sempachersee, which it reaches east of Eich .

There are several large forest areas in the municipality. The Allmendwald lies on the Kleine Aa, southeast of the town. To the north of him the Schwarzlachen, which is cut through by the A2 motorway. In the east of the community is the Steinibühlwald, in the west of which is the Steinibühlweiher . The Mussi forest grows north-east of the town. In addition, a considerable part of the banks of the Rotbach is forested.

The community consists of the town of Sempach ( 511  m above sea level ), the hamlet of Kirchbühl ( 580  m above sea level ) north of it and numerous groups of houses and individual farmsteads.

68.7% of the municipal area of ​​895 hectares (not including the lake) is agricultural land. 16.3% is settlement area and only 14.5% is covered by forest and wood. Sempach borders on Eich , Hildisrieden , Beromünster and Neuenkirch .


Population development
year Residents
1798 700
1850 1086
1900 1028
1930 1248
1941 1229
1960 1345
1970 1619
1980 2237
1990 3096
2000 3483
2010 4029
2019 4201

The population rose sharply from 1798 to 1850 (+55.1%). This was followed by ups and downs until 1960. Growth from 1860 to 1880 was followed by two decades of population emigration, so that the number of residents in 1900 was lower than 50 years earlier (−5.3%). From 1900 to 1930 there was a growth phase (+21.4%), followed by a slight decline until 1941 and a slight increase in population until 1960. Since then, the population has grown rapidly (1960–2004: +174.6%).


The population uses a highly Alemannic dialect as their everyday language . At the last census in 2000, 93.8% said German, 2.18% Albanian and 0.75% Spanish were their main languages.

Religions - denominations

Mother Church of St. Martin on Kirchbühl

In the past, all residents were members of the Roman Catholic Church. Today (as of 2000) the religious composition of the population is as follows: There are 76.89% Roman Catholics ( Diocese of Basel ), 13.92% Evangelical Reformed ( Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Lucerne ) and 0.32% orthodox christians. There are also 3.53% non-denominational, 2.47% Muslim and 0.43% followers of other non-Christian religions. The Muslims are of Albanian origin, the followers of other non-Christian religions Hindus of Tamil origin.

Origin - nationality

At the end of 2014, of the 4,171 inhabitants, 3,841 were Swiss and 330 (= 7.9%) were foreigners. The population consisted of 92.1% Swiss citizens. At the end of 2014, the foreign residents came from Germany (33.9%), Serbia including Kosovo (17.0%), Italy (9.4%), Portugal (7.6%) and Spain (5.5%). 20.6% came from the rest of Europe and 6.1 % came from outside Europe.


The city of Sempach on an engraving by Matthäus Merian , 1654

Place name

Sempach is first attested to in the first half of the 12th century. The name is a combination of Old High German semida "Schilf, Binse" and bach "Bach" and means "Schilfbach, Binsenbach". The transfer to the settlement by the stream is secondary.

Event history

Witch tower

As with all villages around Lake Sempach, the area was settled early on. This is proven by excavations in which Neolithic and Bronze Age pile dwellings came to light. The area was also inhabited at the time of the Romans and the Alemannic conquest (Roman settlement remains and Alemannic graves prove this). The place was first mentioned historically in 1150 in the deeds of the Muri monastery , the Acta Murensia . A short time later, the Habsburgs became the new masters of the community. It received city ​​rights from them around 1220 . Back then, the Habsburgs founded a number of small towns along the so-called Baslerstrasse to secure their way from Basel to Italy via Lucerne and the Gotthard Pass .

Threatened by the expansion policy of the city of Lucerne , the town joined it on January 6, 1386. In contrast to Rothenburg or Wolhusen, for example, it escaped destruction by the Swiss. The Habsburgs were furious after this act and decided to teach the town and the confederates a lesson. This led to the Battle of Sempach on July 9, 1386 , which brought the Habsburgs a heavy defeat. The Sempacher letter was negotiated here in 1393 . The fact that Sempach belonged to Lucerne was not recognized by the Habsburgs until 1415.

Until 1798, Sempach formed its own bailiwick with far more rights for citizens than in the rural communities. From 1798 to 1803 it was the capital of the Sempach district, then the then newly created office of the same name . The town lost much of its former importance as early as the 18th century when a new large road (Luzern-Neuenkirch-Sursee) was built on the left bank of Lake Sempach and from then on it was located off the main traffic axis.

Postal history

The Sempach Stadt post office, built in 1936

The Sempach Stadt post office was built in 1936 because the previous restaurant in the town had become too narrow. Post keeper Alois Lieb therefore intended to build a new building in front of the Lucerne Gate, but the municipal council objected to the post office being moved outside the town. But after the search for new premises within the walls failed, the resistance subsided and the new post office could be built. There was also an auto attendant in the building. This was enlarged in 1951, for which the use of space in the post office had to be optimized. The post office 6204 Sempach Stadt is still in the building today (2019).

Cityscape and landmarks

  • From the former city fortifications, the Lucerne Gate with a clock tower and fresco from 1911 ( Seraphin Weingartner ) and, as an eastern cornerstone, the 13th or 14th century witch's tower with a crenellated wreath still exist at the southern entrance to the city . In contrast, the Surseer Tor on the north side is a reconstruction from the years 1985–1987.
  • The old town consists of only one thoroughfare (Stadtstrasse) and a few alleys (Untergasse, Obergasse, Gerbegasse). While the Untergasse with its inns was once part of the upper middle class, the Obergasse is more of a rural character. In the Gerbegasse, in the midst of contemporary buildings, there is a (heavily restored) late medieval high- rise with a roof (No. 3, around 1500). It is one of the oldest wooden structures of its kind in the Canton of Lucerne.
  • The main structure of the town hall dates from the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century; its half-timbered facade was added on the first floor in the 17th century, and on the upper floor with a roof bay window only in the 19th century. The late Gothic council chamber was used for council meetings, court sessions, but also for banquets and celebrations. It contains cabinet letters from the early 17th century. Since an extensive renovation, the newly opened town hall museum has been documenting the town 's history and the battle of Sempach. The lion fountain in front of the town hall dates from the 16th century (basin and sculpture renewed).
  • The late Baroque chaplaincy (1797) is located in front of the classical parish church of St. Stefan (1831; restored in 2000). The lion monument on the church forecourt was erected in 1886 for the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Sempach in honor of Petermann von Gundoldingen and Arnold Winkelried (Zurich sculptor Urs Eggenschwiler ).
  • Before 1806, when the lake level was lowered by 2 m, the port of the city was located on the "Alte Schiffslände". There are some residential buildings with processed building fabric from the demolished city wall. Next to the sea gate, which no longer exists, there is the “Sust” (18th century), where goods from the water were reloaded, customs cleared and temporarily stored for land transport. The building was later used as a wash house and is now a gallery.
  • The lake promenade runs below the old town and, as an extension, the hiking route to the hamlet of Kirchbühl (approx. 30 minutes).

The wall paintings in the former parish church of St. Martin in the Kirchbühl district , including the fragment of one of the oldest depictions of the legend of the " Encounter of the Three Living and the Three Dead ", were created around 1310. They are among the most extensive and oldest fresco cycles in one of the oldest churches in the canton of Lucerne.

The battle chapel Sempach on the road to Hildisrieden is a memorial to the Battle of Sempach .

In 2017, Sempach was awarded the Wakker Prize by the Swiss Homeland Security for the careful development of its historic town centers .


City council

The Sempach City Council consists of five members and is set up as follows:

  • Franz Schwegler ( CVP ): Mayor
  • Hanspeter Achermann ( FDP ): Social
  • Tanja Schnyder-Duss ( FDP ): Education
  • Mary Sidler Stalder ( CVP ): Construction
  • Bruno Stofer ( CVP ): Finances

Cantonal elections

In the 2019 Cantonal Council elections for the Canton of Lucerne, the share of the vote in Sempach was: CVP 33.9%, FDP 18.9%, SVP 12.6%, SP 11.9%, GPS 10.5%, glp 9.3%, EVP 1.4%.

National Council elections

In the 2019 Swiss parliamentary elections, the share of the vote in Sempach was: CVP 32.8%, SVP 18.0%, FDP 16.2%, Greens 11.9%, SP 10.7%, glp 8.3%, EPP 1, 3%.


The community is connected to the public transport network by the Sursee – Eich-Sempach post bus line . The district of Sempach Station , which politically belongs to the neighboring municipality of Neuenkirch , has a train station on the Lucerne – Olten railway line , the train station is about 1.5 km from the center of Sempach. The place is located on the main road Lucerne – Sempach – Sursee and has its own motorway connection to the A2 .

Culture and nature

With the Swiss Ornithological Observatory, the most important center for ornithology in Switzerland is also located in Sempach.

In Sempach there has been a tradition of riding around the driveway for over 400 years .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities associated with Sempach


  • Waltraud Hörsch: Sempach. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  • Adolf Reinle : The art monuments of the canton of Lucerne. Volume IV: The Sursee Office (= Swiss Art Monuments. Volume 35). Edited by the Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1956, ISBN 978-3-906131-23-8 .
  • Judith Rickenbach: Traces of time. Cultural and historical walks in the canton of Lucerne. Hitzkirch 2001.
  • Alfred Helfenstein: Name book of the community Sempach. Self-published in 1965.
  • Alfred Helfenstein: Court and gender book of the municipality of Sempach. 1967.
  • Alfred Helfenstein: Works and activities in Sempach the small town. Edited by the Sempach Trade and Tourist Association.
  • Alfred Helfenstein: Sempacher battle celebration. (Annually published festival newspaper).

Web links

Commons : Sempach  - 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. Permanent resident population according to nationality category, gender and municipality ( memento of the original from January 1, 2015 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. (Permanent resident population) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ Linguistic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland , Volume V 1b.
  4. .
  5. Balance of the permanent resident population according to demographic components, institutional structure, nationality and gender (Federal Statistical Office, STAT-TAB)
  6. LUSTAT: Community profile Sempach ( Memento of the original from May 8, 2016 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 /
  7. Lexicon of Swiss municipality names . Edited by the Center de Dialectologie at the University of Neuchâtel under the direction of Andres Kristol. Frauenfeld / Lausanne 2005, p. 826.
  8. Post structures - PTT archive. Retrieved September 1, 2019 .
  9. Hans Georg Wehrens: The dance of death in the Alemannic language area. "I have to do it - and don't know what." Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2012, p. 26, ISBN 978-3-7954-2563-0 .
  10. LUSTAT Statistics Lucerne. Retrieved August 1, 2020 .
  11. ^ Federal Statistical Office : NR - Results parties (municipalities) (INT1). In: Federal Elections 2019 | August 8, 2019, accessed August 1, 2020 .