Local History

Büren an der Aare. Bild/Photo: TES.

Büren an der Aare

Büren an der Aare is a medieval town in canton Bern. The history of this town is a mirror of the history of Switzerland. The Celts, Romans, Alemanni and Franks have left their (archaeological) traces. From the thirteenth century onwards the city was in the hands of successively the Barons of Strassberg, the County of Neuchâtel, the Counts of Neu-Kyburg, Solothurn, Austria and finally Bern.

The town of Reiben on the other side of the Aare, however, belonged to the Prince-Bishopric of Basel. The French invasion in 1798 led to the creation of the Helvetic Republic (1798-1803). Büren became a separate district in this republic.

Reiben, as part of this dissolved Prince-Bishopric, came under the French department of Haut-Rhin from 1800 to 1814. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 added Reiben to canton Bern.

French troops, however, returned to Büren and Reiben in 1871, but then fleeing from the Prussian army (the Bourbaki-Panorama in Lucerne illustrates the border crossing of the defeated French army led by General Bourbaki at Verrières in Canton Neuchâtel).

About 2 000 French soldiers and 500 horses found shelter in Büren and Reiben. In 1821 a (wooden) bridge over the Aare river was built and connected Büren and Reiben. In 1911 both places finally merged into one municipality. Even the fire of the bridge in 1989 could not break this band. In 1991 the bridge was restored to its former glory.