Näfels, Kloster Mariaburg. Foto/Photo: TES.

Näfels and the Battle

The village of Näfels (canton)of Glarus) owes its name to the Romansh settlement. The Latin word ‘Novale’ means new land. In Romansh, it became ‘Novalis’ in the plural. In a further linguistic development, “Novalias” emerged and later the current name Näfels.

The Alemanni settled in the area after the departure of the Romans. The Alemannic term ruodan (roden or riuten) gave rise to the word Rauti for new land. The place is also known for the battle of Näfels in 1388 when Habsburg was (again) defeated by the Eidgenossen.

The first church is not documented until 1523. In the 17th century, Näfels was granted the status of capital of the Catholic state of Glarus. However, there was also a Protestant Reformed part in Glarus.

The monastery on the Bürghügel was built between 1675 and 1679. There are three beautiful altars with paintings by Johann Michael Hunger (1634-1714). The present late Baroque Hilarius Church was built between 1777 and 1781.

The Glarus City Church (Stadtkirche Glarus) was built between 1863 and 1866 by architect Ferdinand Stadler (1813-1870) as a neo-Romanesque basilica.