Sebastiani Brunnensingen Kirche Eingang Rheinfelden

Well singing of the Sebastiani Brotherhood

On the evenings of December 24 at 11 pm and December 31 at 9 pm, the Sebastiani Fountain Singing takes place. Twelve men dressed in black parade from fountain to fountain with a lantern in the dark old town. The brotherhood was founded in 1541 during a plague epidemic in Rheinfelden and is named after the patron saint of plague sufferers, St. Sebastian.

The Sebastiani Brotherhood.

Many centuries ago, the plague came to the Rheinfelden region. After a short time, there were no more people to care for the sick or the dead due to the contagion. So in 1541, twelve brave men formed a league and invoked St. Sebastian as an emergency helper and intercessor. They now cared for the sick and buried the dead. The brotherhood vowed hand in hand that no one would abandon another in times of need and death and that they would stand by all people.

In order to avert God's punishment, these twelve men vowed to God Almighty and Mary, the most holy mother of Jesus, to sing the Christmas carol at the seven main fountains in the solemn hour of Christmas and New Year's night in order to implore the most merciful sparing of the plague and all the evils of the father city.

Sebastiani Brunnensingen Stadtkirche Rheinfelden

The well singing.

The brotherhood has become a tradition. Today, the fountain singing stops at six fountains. It starts at the Storchenbrunnen, the place where the plague once broke out. At the time, it was believed that the plague was caused by the contamination of water and that singing at the fountains could avert the threat of epidemics.
At the same time, the lights go out everywhere in the town and the alleyways and squares are shrouded in medieval darkness. For an hour, it simply becomes quiet and solemn. Anyone standing at the Storchenbrunnen fountain will see twelve men dressed in black striding down Tempelgasse, led by the lantern bearer.

Sebastiani Brunnensingen Kirche Eingang Rheinfelden
Sebastiani Brunnensingen Bruderschaft Kreis

The route of the fountain singing

1. stork fountain (fountain at customs, Fröschweid)
2nd Kuttelbrunnen (former Metzigbrunnen, Zähringerplatz)
3rd Albrechtsbrunnen (former hospital fountain, Albrechtsplatz)
4th Theodorsbrunnen (Obertorplatz fountain, Obertorplatz)
5th Capuchin Fountain (near the Capuchin Church)
6. fountain in front of St. Martin's Church


  • December 24 at 11 p.m., followed by midnight mass in St. Martin's Church
  • December 31 at 9 p.m., followed by an organ concert in St. Martin's Church

Good to know

  • The starting point is at the Rhine bridge/customs.
  • Registration is not required.
  • Participation is free of charge.

By the way: the fountain singing of the Sebastiani Brotherhood is an intangible cultural heritage and on the list of living traditions in Switzerland.

Contact us

Sebastiani Brotherhood Rheinfelden
Markus Klemm

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