The Rhine bridge of Rheinfelden
25 July 2022
The Romans built the first bridges between Lake Constance and Strasbourg on the Upper Rhine. The Zähringers built the first wooden Rhine bridge in Rheinfelden shortly after the town’s foundation in the 12th century.
The rocks in the Rhine served as a natural pillar for the bridge construction. Rheinfelden became an important trading and administrative centre soon afterwards.
The bridge fell victim to floods or was destroyed in the war several times. It happened for the first time in 1445. The last wooden bridge was built by Blasius Balteschwier (1752-1832) in 1807. He and his descendants specialised in covered wooden bridges on the Rhine, Limmat and Aare. Some of them still exist.
The wooden covered bridge at Rheinfelden burned down on 12 June 1897. Today’s concrete and stone arch bridge was built in 1912. A boundary stone with the Baden and Aargau coats of arms is set into the parapet marking the present-day Swiss and German border.
The bridge is 147 metres long and 10.5 metres deep. The five arches are between 22 and 40 metres wide. Today, the bridge symbolises the connection between Switzerland and Germany, between Swiss and German Rheinfelden.