Location: Zofingen  Map

Constructed: 12th century by Grafen von Frohburg family


Description of Aarburg

Aarburg (in French Aarbourg) is a commune and Swiss historical city of the canton of Aargau, located in the district of Zofingen. It limits to the north and the west with the commune of Olten (SO), to the northeast with Starrkirch-Wil (SO), to the east with Oftringen, and to the south with Rothrist. Aarburg is a picturesque city situated in the Zofingen District of Switzerland on a banks of Aar river, one of the tributaries of the High Rheine. Aarburg's most promiment feature is a magnificent medieval castle that dates back to the 12th century when it was constructed by the by Grafen von Frohburg family. Human ingenuity allowed architects to construct unique buildings perched on a sides of steep mountains and hills.



Coin finds suggest a settlement by the Celts . In Roman times, a road led from the Olten area via Aarburg in central Switzerland . When building a factory came at the beginning of the 20th century a hoard of coins to the fore, especially the coins from the reign of Emperor Tetricus I contained. The Münzschatz had probably been buried during the Bagau rebellions of the years 284/85.

When exactly the castle on the rock spur (the present fortress Aarburg ) was built, is not known. In any case, it is first mentioned in 1123 as a possession of the Counts of Frohburg . From the castle they managed the office Aarburg , which included the western part of today's district Zofingen, but without the city itself Zofingen . 1299 sold the Frohburger Castle and the Office Aarburg to the Habsburgs . The settlement at the foot of the fortress was first referred to as a city in 1330. Archaeological findings have shown that the city was probably built around 1312. Squeezed between the cities of Oltenand Zofingen, which are both only four kilometers away, Aarburg could not develop economically and always remained a small town. The Aarburgs lived mainly on the customs revenue that the trade brought on the Gotthard route .

After a brief siege, the Bernese conquered the town on April 20, 1415. From 1416 resided on the castle of the governor of the Office Aarburg. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Bernese built the castle into a fortress to protect the connection between the reformed cities of Bern and Zurich at the narrowest point of the Bernese dominion from attacks by the Catholic neighbors. A harbor on the "Woog" has been occupied since 1361. The river navigation gained in the consequence of large economic importance, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries.

On March 10, 1798, the French took the city ​​and fortress without a fight. They dissolved the office Aarburg and the regional administrative tasks within the new Helvetic Republic were taken over by Zofingen. The newly created canton of Aargau took over the fortress in 1804, which initially served as a prison and penitentiary. It included prisoner king Bernhard Matter ; Since 1893, a cantonal education center has been housed there. On May 4, 1840, a major fire raged that destroyed most of the buildings and the church; 68 families were homeless. The town was rebuilt, but without the main fortifications. In front of the fortress, on the rocky spur, a new church was built between 1842 and 1845.

The first textile factory started operations in 1824. The connection to the railway network took place on June 9, 1856 with the opening of the route Aarau - Olten - Zofingen - Emmenbrücke ; on March 16, 1857, the route followed to Herzogenbuchsee , which was extended a little later to Bern . Aarburg thereby became a preferred industrial location . In the second half of the 20th century, the community experienced a further boost: Thanks to the construction of the motorways, more businesses settled and the population doubled.