Laufenburg and Habsburg

Since prehistoric times, the Rhine has dug its bed through Laufenburg (Canton of Aargau). A gorge of 12 m wide at its narrowest point and over a kilometre long came into being.

It was called kleiner Laufen (little Laufen), unlike the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, grosser Laufen (big Laufen). During the construction of the Laufenburg power station from 1909 to 1914, the gorge’s rocks were blown up.

The Habsburgs took over the Schlossberg in 1173. The castle became the ancestral seat of the Counts of Habsburg-Laufenburg in 1232. After the death of Count Rudolf II, his sons divided the inheritance. Rudolf III founded the Habsburg-Laufenburg line.  This line died out in 1408. Laufenburg became the Habsburg-Austria seat from 1408 to 1803. In 1803 it passed into the possession of the Canton of Aargau.

The Laufenbrücke was first mentioned in 1207. It was the most important crossing point of the High Rhine for a long time. Laufenburg was granted city rights in 1315. The church of St. Johann was built in the 12th century. The baroque renovation took place between 1753 and 1755.