Solothurn: Wikis


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Solothurn -
Country Switzerland Coat of Arms of Solothurn
Canton Solothurn
District Solothurn
47°13′N 7°32′E / 47.217°N 7.533°E / 47.217; 7.533Coordinates: 47°13′N 7°32′E / 47.217°N 7.533°E / 47.217; 7.533
Population 15,086 (December 2006)
  - Density 2,398 /km2 (6,212 /sq mi)
Area 6.29 km2 (2.43 sq mi)
Elevation 430 m (1,411 ft)
Postal code 4500
SFOS number 2601
Mayor Kurt Fluri (as of 2008) FDP/PRD
Surrounded by
(view map)
Bellach, Biberist, Feldbrunnen-Sankt Niklaus, Langendorf, Rüttenen, Zuchwil
Twin towns Heilbronn (Germany), Kraków (Poland), Le Landeron (Switzerland)
SFSO statistics
Solothurn [zoom] is located in Switzerland
Solothurn [zoom]
Reichsstadt Solothurn
Imperial City of Solothurn
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
1218–1648 Canton of Solothurn
Capital Solothurn
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Founded AD 14–37
 - Gained Reichsfreiheit 1218
 - Allied with Bern 1295
 - Swiss associate 1353
 - Failed annexation by
    counts of Kyburg
Night of 10 Nov 1382
 - Full member of
    Swiss confederacy
22 December 1481
 - Joined Golden League October 5, 1586 1648
 - Swiss independence
October 24, 1648

The city of Solothurn (German: About this sound Solothurn , French: Soleure, Italian: Soletta, Romansh: Soloturn) is the capital of the Canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. The city also comprises the only municipality of the district of the same name.

The cathedral St. Ursus



This Celtic settlement was renewed around AD 14–37 by the Roman emperor Claudius, and became a Roman stronghold (castrum) under the name of Salodurum. Its strategical importance lay in the position at the approach to the Rhine from southeast.

In the Middle Ages the settlement grew around the remains of the Roman fortress and the religious house of St. Ursen, dedicated to Ursus of Solothurn, founded in the 8th century. In 1127, it was acquired by the dukes of Zähringen, and became a free imperial city in 1218 when that dynasty extinguished. After the alliance with Berne in 1295, it became part of the Swiss Confederation. In 1382 the Habsburgs attacked the city, involving Solothurn in the Battle of Sempach. By the treaty of two years later, the Habsburgs renounced all claims to the territory of the city. The latter was expanded by acquisition of neighbouring lands in the 15th century, roughly up to the today's canton area.

In 1481, it obtained full membership in the Swiss Confederation, and in 15301792 it was the seat of the French ambassador to the Swiss. On October 15, 1817, Tadeusz Kościuszko, the national hero of Poland and United States died in Solothurn and was initially interred at the local cemetery.

In 1828 Solothurn became the seat of the Bishop of Basel.

Rock band Krokus was formed in Solothurn in 1974.


Solothurn is located in the north-west of Switzerland on the banks of the Aare and on the foot of the Weissenstein Jura mountains.


Clock tower (Zeitglockenturm).
The Aare seen from the cathedral.

The city calls itself Switzerland's most beautiful Baroque City.

The old town was built between 1530 and 1792 and shows an architectural combination of Italian Grandezza, French style and Swiss ideas. In 2004, it had a population of 15,137.

In 1980, Solothurn was awarded the Wakker Prize for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage.


Main sights

  • Besenval Palace
  • Cathedral St. Ursus (1762–73). It was begun by Gaetano Matteo Pisoni and completed by Paolo Antonio Pisoni. The interior has stuccoes by Francesco Pozzi and canvasses by Domenico Corvi.
  • Church of the Jesuits (Jesuitenkirche, 1680–89)
  • Clock tower (Zeitglockenturm, 12th century)
  • Gate of Basel
  • Gate of Bienne
  • Landhaus
  • Museum of the Old Arsenal (1609–14), housing the most ancient collection of armor in Europe.
  • Old town
  • The Verena Gorge and the Hermitage
  • Waldegg Castle[1]
  • Weissenstein mountain

The number 11

Solothurn has a special affinity to the number eleven.

The Canton of Solothurn was the eleventh to become part of the Swiss Confederation. There are eleven churches and chapels, as well as eleven historical fountains and eleven towers. The St. Ursus cathedral has eleven altars and eleven bells, and the stairs in front of the cathedral have levels between every eleven steps.

Öufi beer

A local brewery has named itself Öufi, which is Swiss German for eleven, and produces a beer with the same name

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Solothurn is twinned with:


See also

External links


  • B. Amiet, H. Sigrist, Th. Wallner: Solothurner Kantonsgeschichte, 3 volumes
  • U. Wiesli: Geographie des Kantons Solothurn

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Solothurn [1] is town in Switzerland.

Solothurn, on the River Aare at the south foot of the Jura mountain range, is also known as St. Ursen City, Wengi City, the City of Ambassadors, Switzerland's most beautiful baroque city, and the city of culture.

The name "St.Ursen City" recalls the legend of the two Roman legionnaires, Urs and Victor, who were beheaded in Solothurn due to their Christian beliefs. In honour of their martyrdom and the associated miracles, both were declared city saints. St. Ursen Cathedral dominates the city skyline and is its emblem.

Solothurn's history dates back to Roman times. As early as 350 BC the Romans built their "Castrum Salodurum", a bell-shaped walled fort. The remains can still be seen at Friedhofplatz and in Löwengasse.

Solothurn is a German speaking town but communication in French and English is possible in the city center.

Get there

Solothurn is served by one of the most efficient passenger rail services in the world, the Swiss Federal Rail (SBB) system. Trains run roughly each half-hour between 4AM and 1AM every day to and from Geneva, Zurich, Bern, and points in between.

Solothurn is also connected by boat to the bilingual town of Biel/Bienn. Boats by the BSG take 2 hours 50 minutes to complete the journey between the two towns an leave two (Spring/Fall) or three (Summer) times a day.

Get around

The town is small enough to be easily explored on foot. The old town is north of the train station, across the river.

  • The cathedral st. Urs and Victor and its tower which can you can go up.
  • The clock tower and the rest of the old town.
  • Einsiedelei im Verenaschlucht (Hermitage in the Verena gorge) [2], which you can reach in a 45-minute walk north of the city. It's located in a forest and is a beautiful place to walk around, especially in the evenings when candles are lit and placed in between the rocks throughout. Look for signposts and ask around. Please don't abuse this off-the-beaten-path gem and keep it quiet and peaceful as it is a path of meditation.
  • Solothurner torte, a dessert with creme sandwiched between two biscuits. You're bound to like this if you like the Luxemburgerli of Sprungli in Zurich.
  • An der Aare, Oberer Winkel 2, CH-4500, (, fax: 41 (0)32 626 24 10). Member of Swiss Quality Hotels Internatioal. Centrally located three star hotel in the Baroque city of Solothurn, 150m to the city center and only 800m to the railway station. One-person room from 120CHF Two-person room from 157CHF (rates 2009).
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun


  1. A canton of Switzerland.
  2. A city in Switzerland, the capital of the canton of Solothurn.


  • (canton): the canton of Solothurn


See also


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