Kunstwerk Agnes Krone von Rudolf von Rheinfelden auf dem Inseli mit Blick zum Rhein und Statue Judith

Rheinfelden's history

Zähringer, Habsburgs, Confederates - Rheinfelden has known many rulers, all of whom have left their mark on the historic old town. But the town is also planning for the future and is committed to combining modern and old in the best possible way.

Rheinfelden was elevated to the status of a town by Duke Konrad of Zähringen around 1130.

This makes Rheinfelden the oldest Zähringen town in Switzerland. Even today, the town's medieval social structure can still be seen in the townscape: The wealthy burghers lived in the Marktgasse, the eastern part of the town was used for farming, as can be seen from the numerous barns, and the church, canons' houses and aristocratic residences rose above the burghers and farmers.

Mosaik Adler der Zähringer auf dem Zähringerplatz

The Zähringer family died out in 1218 and Rheinfelden became a free imperial town in 1225. In 1330, King Ludwig the Bavarian pledged it to the Habsburgs. Rheinfelden thus became an Austrian town and remained so for almost half a millennium.

Rheinfelden experienced difficult times during the Thirty Years' War.

The clashes took place between the Habsburgs and the French. After the Thirty Years' War, the Austrians built an artillery fort on the island, as Rheinfelden had been an Austrian fortress against France since the loss of Alsace. Rheinfelden felt this painfully during the wars of Louis XIV and the wars of succession in the 18th century: Marshal Créqui shelled the town in 1678, and in 1744 the French took the town and blew up the artillery fort.

Historische Ansicht Rheinfeldens um 1650 aus der Luft

1844 marked the beginning of a new upswing for Rheinfelden.

Two salt works were founded, the now disused Rheinfelden salt works and the Riburg salt works. The extraction of salt also marked the beginning of the use of the unique natural brine for bathing. Soon, inns set up as brine baths, the first being the "Schützen" in 1846.

Schweizer Salinen Riburg mit Saldom und 2 Bohrhaustürmen

Worth living. Lovable.

The two breweries also contributed to the community's upswing: "Salmen-Bräu" and "Feldschlösschen". The latter has developed into the largest brewery in Switzerland. Today, Rheinfelden is a modern meeting place for health and wellness, seminars, group trips and day trips with its hotels, above all "Schützen" and "EDEN", the Reha Rheinfelden, the Klinik Schützen for psychosomatic medicine and medical psychotherapy and the Parkresort with the sole uno wellness world.

Awarded the Wakker Prize of the Swiss Heritage Society 2016.

Growth yes, but with quality. With this conviction, the town of Rheinfelden has played an active role in shaping the development of the Zähringen town in recent years. The Swiss Heritage Society is now recognizing the forward-looking urban development strategy, the careful handling of the historic town center and the promotion of cooperation across property, neighbourhood and even national borders.

Information on the Wakker Prize

Guided tour of the Wakker Prize

Logo Auszeichnung Wakkerpreis 2016 Altstadt Rheinfelden

Rheinfelder Neujahrsblätter.

Historically interesting contributions and current articles on events in and around Rheinfelden are published annually. Order the two most recent volumes in the online store or search for a specific year via ETH Zurich's E-Periodica.

New Year's Journals in the online store

Rheinfeld history.

Would you like to find out more about Rheinfeld's history? The book "Drinnen, Draussen, Dabei" tells it.

Order the book

Contact us

Fricktal Museum
Marktgasse 12
4310 Rheinfelden
+41 61 835 57 80


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