Liestal and the Törli
6 March 2022
Liestal (Canton of Basel-Landschaft) was an ancient Roman and Alemannic settlement. The town was first mentioned in 1189 under the name Lihstal.
Count Hartman IV of Froburg extended Liestal to a fortified settlement in 1240 and elevated it to a city. Liestal received a fortification, gates and towers, a rampart and a moat, a market and a customs house.
The Prince-Bishop of Basel bought the town in 1305 and turned it into a garrison town. After the devastation caused by the earthquake of 1356 and the great fire of 1381, the town was a large construction site until 1415.
The Obere Tor, the Törli, from the 14th century, lies in the axis of Rathausstrasse, Marktgasse and Burgstrasse and follows the Roman and medieval road.
The gate was painted in 1499 with heraldic motifs and coats of arms. The facade painting dates back to 1950, after many other frescoes from previous centuries.
The artist Otto Plattner (1886-1951) painted a stylised version of a warrior dressed in armour holding the Swiss flag. He painted and adapted the Rütli oath and George the dragon slayer on the other side of the tower.
In 1972 and 2019, new restorations of the frescoes were carried out, and the many building phases and frescoes since the 14th century were analysed. These provide a good insight into the political history of the city.
Today, the townscape is still dominated by the well-preserved historic centre, the old town, and the Törli.
You can reach the forests and hills just outside the town quickly or visit the Poetry and Town Museum (Dichter- und Stadtmuseum), the MuseumBL, the Harmonium Museum, the zoo, the theatre or musical events within walking distance. Since 1832/1833, Liestal has been the seat of the cantonal government.
(Source and further information: www.liestal.ch).
The townhall (Das Rathaus)
The reformed city church (die Evangelische Stadtkirche)
Monument for the poet and politician Georg Herwegh (1817-1875)