Local History

Riehen, Wettsteinhaus/Spielzeugmuseum. Bild/Photo: TES.

Bettingen and Riehen

The canton of Basel-Stadt consists of three municipalities: Basel, Riehen and Bettingen. Riehen and Bettingen are located on the right bank of the Rhine, surrounded by Germany.

The canton and city of Schaffhausen also have a similar situation. Riehen is a place that was already inhabited before and during Roman times. Alemanni settled there after the departure of the Romans in the fifth century (perhaps next to the authentic population of Romanized Celts).

The name Riehen appears for the first time in a document from 1113. In the following centuries, the bishops of Basel and St. Gallen and the monasteries of St. Blasien and Wettingen owned estates in the area and the village. In 1522 and 1540 the city of Basel acquired these estates by purchase. Riehen was later ruled by a bailiff (Landvogt) and was a so-called Untertanengebiet.

Riehen became a Protestant municipality in 1528, and more and more (wealthy) inhabitants of Basel bought estates. After the invasion of the French revolutionary troops in 1798, the village was granted the same rights as Basel. With the (French) Mediation Act of 1803 Riehen was assigned to the district of Liestal. 

Since the canton division of 1833 Riehen has been part of Basel-City and, like Bettingen, the village managed to keep her autonomy.

Bettingen has mostly the same history. Alemanni, after the departure of the Romans, owned mainly by noble families, monasteries and bishops during the Middle Ages and since 1513 belonging to the city of Basel and following its history, including the Reformation, the period 1798-1815 and part of the canton Basel-Stadt since 1833.