Glarus

472 meters above sea level

6098 inhabitants (as per 1.1.2017)

Portrait

 

Remains of a prehistoric colossal of Glarus are the castle and the Sonnenhügel (sun hill formerly called gallows hill) in the northeast part of the village, as well as the Bergli on the western edge and the Iselirain in the center. Until the fire of 1861, the Tschudirain was also there. In the early 7th century the construction of the first church dates back which was used by the  entire valley as a church. A further sacred building stood on the castle hill, where the historians presume the existence of a medieval refuge fort. However, the core of the village settlement lay next to the parish church at the Spielhof (destroyed by the fire in 1861), where the traffic routes of the valley converged and the administrative seat of the monastery of Säckingen was. At the oak, the court place, a second village area was built. The corresponding Tagwen "Oberdorf" and "Niederdorf" are mentioned in the Säckinger as well as in the Habsburg Urbar (deed). The name "Glarus" was used for the first time for the town and the valley in 1178, and the German name was first mentioned in 1289. Already in 1246 the knights of Glarus appear in written documents, whose coat of arms is the black Capricorn on a golden background which was also since 1939 the emblem of the town. This shield was also used by the Meier (major) of Windegg around 1300, and by representatives of the Tschudi family from the 16th century onwards.

The linguistic expression "Glarus" originates, on the one hand, from the Latin-Romanesque word claronas (meaning clearings, light spots) and on the other hand from the Germanization of the name of Saint Hilarius (probably the first patron of the local church).

In 1419, the Landsgemeinde raised the village to the main spot and the weekly market place. In 1470, a fire and watch regulations were issued. Because of the river Linth there were often disputes with Ennenda. Therefore, in 1507 for the first time a contract regarding the lining of the river Linth was concluded. An effective community organization can only be comprehended in a letter dated in 1531. According to a list of houses of the Tagwen of 1561/62 there were 98 houses in the inner village area; 38 houses were scattered from the Abläsch over the Oberdorf to Riedern. In 1554 about 1550 people lived in Glarus, of which about 150 were Catholics. In place of the first provable town hall of 1471, Gilg Tschudi built in 1559 a new town hall on the south side of the court yard. Among other things, the new building housed the arched provincial archive, the prisons and the torture chamber, the great hall for the council and the courts. Military exercises also took place in Spielhof or in Zaun. A further public building was the hospital built in 1560. There was also a school house, various office buildings, a shooting and dancing house (used in the rainy weather for the pleas of life and member), the Ankenwaage (weighing scales) and a gunsmith house. The place of execution lay in the Ygruben, at the eastern bottom of the gallows hill. This was the place where the supposed witch Anna Göldi was executed in June 1782 (the last execution of a supposed witch in Switzerland).

Glarus was affected by fire in 1299, then in 1336 and 1477 and the last time in 1861. In 1593 and 1594 Glarus was hit by landslides of the "Drei Schwestern" (three sisters) at the Vorderglärnisch.

 

From 1623 onwards, the meetings of the Tagwen took place on a separated denominational basis. In the eighteenth century, eight out of the ten main families of Glarus lived in the town of Glarus. In May 1798, Glarus became the main town of the newly created Canton of Linth and the district of Glarus. In September / October 1799 it suffered the passage of foreign armies (Suworov).

The reorganization of the township began in 1837 with the election of a thirteen-headed council. In 1878, the citizens supported a separation of the citizen- and the local community (Bürger- und Ortsgemeinde). Bot institutions contributed to the build-up of a local infrastructure. Buildings of the citizen community were: the Gemeindehaus (parish hall, built by C.F von Ehrenberg in 1837, a total renovation of this building happened in 1997); the poorhouse and old-age home (built 1852-55, now rest and nursing home Höhe); the Schützen- und Gesellschaftshaus (clubhouse, built 1858/59 by F. W. Kubli) for community meetings; the orphanage (built 1882-85, aborted in 1955) and the Pfrundhaus (asylum, built 1928-30 by R. Bischoff and H. Weideli). Buildings of the local community were: the Schlachthaus (slaughterhouse, built in 1869, privatized 1996); the administrative buildings on the Zaunstrasse (built in 1899); the swimming pool (built in 1921, total renovation in 1997) and the sports field Buchholz (built 1921-22, now sports and leisure facilities Glarus). The buildings of the Cantonal and Swiss Federal authorities include: the government building (built 1837-38 by architect C.F von Ehrenberg, but burnt down in 1861); the Cantonal Zeughaus (armory, built 1846-48 by F. W. Kubli); the station with connection to the network of the Swiss railways (built in 1859); the new railway station built like a castle (1902/03 b H. Ditscher); the canton hospital (built 1878-1881 b P. Reber and its first extension built in 1894-95 by B. Decurtins) and the second extension built 1924-28 by H. Leuzinger and a new annex building built 1961-70 by J. Zweifel and H. Strickler) and the post office (built 1894-96 by Th. Gohl), which is integrated in the "Glärnischcenter" at the station since 1985. In 1993, the Landsgemeinde granted a 92 million loan for the total renovation of the hospital.

On May 10/11, 1861 a fire disaster occurred, which reduced 593 buildings to rubble. Only the districts to the west of the Spielhof, the Oberdorf, the newer neighborhoods in the south, and all of the textile printing plants remained spared. The architects Johann Caspar Wolff and Bernhard Simon drew up the plans for the grid-shaped reconstruction of the town. The church was built in 1863-66 according to designs made by F. Stadler (the renovated church was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize in 2001). The government building was built in 1862-64 according to plans of Bernhard Simon The court building 1862-64, the Mercier-Haus 1862-63 and the high school 1870-72 were built according to plans of Johann Caspar Wolff. In addition, the municipality laid 1862 gas lines and in 1895 created the today's water supply. Since 1901, the gas and waterworks have been owned by the municipality.

 

The Klöntal, which was mentioned for the first time in 1468, was not conceded to the Tagwen Glarus until 1902 by council order. Built in 1904-08 in the Klöntal, the Löntschwerk brought important income to the Glarus concessionary community and enabled the electricity supply organization (EVG) to be operational in 1908. In 1914, a stage coach operation was established on the Klöntal route. In 1927, the first postbus arrived there. Since 1994 the bus line Glarner Mittelland connects the villages Glarus, Ennenda, Riedern and Netstal. In 1997 the old-age home "Im Volksgarten" was inaugurated. Today, the Tagwen is integrated into the local community.

Glarus has been the place for the Landsgemeinde (since 1623), the center of the cantonal administration with the Landesarchiv (archive) and the Landesbibliothek (library), the Kantonsschule (high school), Kantonsspital (hospital), Kunsthaus (art museum, built in 1952), Ober- und Kantonsgericht (cantonal courts) as well as the Landrat (cantonal executive).

A renovation of the old town church tower was made in the 13th century. During the time of Ulrich Zwingli, who worked as a pastor in Glarus from 1506-1516,  a side chapel was added. Around the turn of the century, the St. Michael Chapel was built on the Burghügel (castle hill), which in 1762 had to give way to a new chapel building (renovations in 1972 and 1999). Previously, after a stay in Linthal, Felix and Regula should have lived there before they fled to Zurich. There was also a sister house (Kloshaus) until almost 1600 (archaeological excavations were realized in 1970/71). At the end of the 14th century, the parish of Glarus included the villages Glarus, Riedern, Netstal, Ennenda and Mitlödi. In 1528 the Reformation succeeded in Glarus. However, the old church was still used by both confessions. In 1697 there were two confessional parishes.

 

After the redemption from Säckingen (1395) the high forests which were divided between the individual church communities were allocated between 1828 and 1830 to the five Tagwen of the old common church community of Glarus. Since 1862, the Protestant church community only reached to Glarus and Riedern. In 1961, the simultaneum (free faith) also came to an end. 1962-64 was followed by the construction of the St. Fridolin's church by E. Brantschen. The treasury of the Church, including the "Zwinglikelch" (the Zwingli Chalice), remained with the Catholic church community. A new reformed church was also built in 1965-66 in the Vorauen.

In the High Middle Ages mainly sheep farming was practiced and in the 14th and 15th century more and more cattle farming. In addition there was cultivation mainly of barley, oats and hemp. Mills (1434 mentioned), sawmills, walkings, Ziger production, hammer mills and so on also developed along the Oberdorf- or Strengen creek as well as along the Giessen creek, a natural side river of the Linth. Both rivers were run above ground until 1861. As early as the fifteenth century, commercial relations developed with Zurich, Ulm, Munich, and Venice. In addition, the mercenary system, which until the 19th century was an important economic factor, had an important influence. In early modern times, the municipality also promoted the cultivation of fruits. In the 16th century iron ore was also mined in the Klöntal. In 1740, Johann Heinrich Streiff (1708-80) founded the first cotton printing plant along the Oberdorf creek. The number of houses grew from 188 to 440 between 1714-1797, and the population rose from 1'800 to 2'500. At the time, representative buildings such as the house "In der Wies", the Iseli- and the Paravicini house, the Tschudihof, the Insel, the Stampf etc. were built.

After 1800 a rapid increase of the population occurred (in 1837: 4'094 / 1870: 5'517). New groups of houses were formed in Abläsch, Bohlen, Zaun, on the Allmeind, the Pressi, and the Schützenplatz. In 1850 the Kirchweg was built, in 1860 the station area with the "Glarnerhof" (1861-62) and the Volksgarten (1874-76); in 1812 the today's Dr. Kurt-Brunner-house was built in the Sand, which is since 1968 the representative building of the government council with a glass plate coat of arms collection of national importance. New residential quarters were added in the 20th century. The population rose from 4'942 to 5'724 between 1900 and 1950. Today it amounts to 6'098, of which almost half are Catholics.

The development of the industry was particularly marked by the cotton printing industry, such as the Aegidius Trümpy company (whose headquarters was called "Schloss" / "castle") as well as Brunner, Gebr. Streiff, Heer-Schuler and the cotton printing company Hohlenstein, as well as the bleaching plant Streiff along the Strengen creek. Industrialization also attracted new trades, for example, the Erlen brewery (1827-1981) and the cigar Factory Denzler & Kupper resp. Bachofen & Cie. (1851-1957). In 1837 a strike took place at Aegidius Trümpy factory, the first one in Switzerland (the unsuccessfully occupied factory bell is located in the Freuler Palace museum). In 1845, emigrants established the settlement of New Glarus in Wisconsin. Around 1890 the textile factories were in a crisis. On the other hand, the first bank in Glarus, opened its doors in 1852 and became a branch of Credit Swiss in 1912. Since 1884 the Glarner Kantonalbank also exists. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a branch opening of the Horgen furniture factory. Glarus is also the seat of Geska, the only Ziger factory in the Canton. Tschudi & Co., founded around 1890, was the editor of the "Glarner Nachrichten" newspaper until 1997 and a company with its own publishing house. Since then, Südostschweiz Presse AG, in Chur has been responsible for the publication of the local newspaper "Die Südostschweiz" with a special section "Glarus", which is supervised by a local editorial in Glarus. Today, more than half of the employees work in the third (service) sector.

The oldest school was a Latin school, encouraged by the reformer Zwingli, which disappeared at the end of the 16th century. Similar new foundations in the 18th century suffered the same fate when the Ancien Régime collapsed. In 1524 a school house was built on the castle hill. In 1594 an evangelical school house was built on the Pressi. Between 1783 and 1798 there existed a high school with Latin for boys from twelve years. In 1811, the Heer institute was opened as a private secondary school. In 1818 it was replaced by the Isler-Bruch Institute. In 1835, there was a semi-private, semi-municipal secondary school in the Zaun school house. In 1867 the school was taken over by the community. In 1872, the school was moved to the main street near the Spielhof, and in 1890 it became the "Höheren Stadtschule" with a lower secondary school. Between 1956-77, it was operated as the Kantonsschule (secondary school), which was moved to the newly built Kantonsschule on the Winkelstrasse (built by R. Leu in 1973-77). In 1860 the Burgschulhaus was built for the Catholics. In 1876 the denominational schools were abolished and the school community Glarus-Riedern was created. Other educational establishments emerged: the school of craftsmanship (until 1975); 1955-57 the primary school Erlen; 1978-80 the upper level school Buchholz. Finally, as early as 1908, a vacation home on the Obersack below the Schwammhöhe had been built.

Beyond landslide, on the Klöntal lake, there is the Gessner monument, which was created in 1788 for the Zurich idyllic poet and painter Salomon Gessner. In the 19th century the development of the tourism began. Around 1830 a dairy and whey spa was built in Richisau. In 1856 a guesthouse and in 1874 a health resort was built there, which burned down in 1915. In 1902, as a premiere in Switzerland, the first ski race took place in Untersack and already in 1893 the first ski club was founded in Glarus. The first slalom world champion in 1932 in Cortina d'Ampezzo was Rösli Streiff from Glarus.

Translation of the official website of Glarus.

The Neo-Romanesque Church of Glarus

(built 1863-1866)

The Town Church of Glarus

(view from the back)

The old Romanesque St. Hilarius and Fridolin Church in Glarus (built 11th/12th century / burnt down in the big fire 1861)

The Burgkapelle (castle chapel)

built in 1762 

The Burgkapelle belongs to the Catholic Parish St. Fridolin

and was built after the old St. Michael Chapel was replaced by the new chapel

The Catholic St. Fridolin Church in Glarus

(built 1962-64)

Family Names from Glarus

 

Aebli

Bauhofer

Beglinger

Blumer

Brunner

Dinner

Dürst

Feldmann

Freuler

Gallati

Glarner

Hauser

Heer

Hefti

Heiz

Hösli

Iseli

Iselin

Jacober

Knobel

Kubli

Kundert

Käser

König

Landolt

Leuzinger

Luchsinger

Marti

Milt

Müller

Oertli

Paravicini

Reust

Ris

Schmid

Schuler

Simmen

Staub

Streiff

Stüssi

Stäger

Suter

Trümpi / Trümpy

Tschudi

Vogel

vordermann

Walcher

Weiss

Wild

Wyss

Zweifel

 

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