Miracles, Castles, Nature and Canton Aargau
24 November 2022
In 1415, the Eidgenossenschaft of eight cantons (Bern, Zurich, Lucerne, Zug, Uri, Unterwalden, Schwyz, and Glarus) conquered Aargau, the homeland of Habsburg. The village of Habsburg and the castle near Brugg are reminders of this history.
All of Aargau? No, The Fricktal remained Habsburg until 1798 ( the Helvetic Republic). The Fricktal remained Catholic during the Reformation. In 1803, the Fricktal became part of the new canton of Aargau of the new Confederation (1803-1813) of 19 cantons.
Its Catholic character accompanies hikers on their journey to and through the Jurapark Aargau. Crosses, chapels and even religiously inspired hiking trails are ubiquitous. One example is the Martinsweg Wittnau.
Several kilometres, the church of St. Martin, the Lourdes Grotto, the Besinnungsweg, the chapel Buschberg, the Martinsbronnen and another small chapel are part of the Martinsweg. The Celts were already religiously inspired by this area, and several burial mounds have been identified.
The Buschberg chapel near Wittnau was created due to a miracle in 1668. The miracle book of the Benedictine monastery Mariastein reports that a millstone crushed miller Benedikt Martin’s legs.
The miracle happened; he got up and continued his way. In gratitude, he placed a cross on the Buschberg, which became a pilgrimage place. By 1868, there we so many visitors that a chapel was built, and in 2003 the 6.5-kilometre-long Martinsweg was created.
The inspiration went so far that Englishman Geoffrey Boltwood opened a new earth energy centre based on sounds from the earth on 21 November 1994. He had already opened a similar centre in England. According to him, the chapel lies on an energy line (the Ley Line) connecting Romanesque, Gothic and pilgrimage sites, including Einsiedeln in canton Schwyz, the Buschberg chapel and Glastonbury in England.
The region also has another, less peaceful history.
The ruins of the castles Old Tierstein (Alt Tierstein), New Tierstein (Neu Tierstein), Old Homberg (Alt Homberg), Pfeffingen and Farnsburg tell the story. The Counts of Thierstein were important regional rulers in the Holy Roman Empire until their extinction in 1519.
However, these religious and historical facts do not hinder the canton’s modern, cultural, industrial and social development. The plumes of smoke from the Göschenen nuclear power plant (Kraftwerk Göschenen), the many art and science centres, multinationals (including ABB) and the Rhine as a modern transport and trade route characterise this region and the Fricktal.
It goes in close harmony with nature conservation and agricultural activity. The beautiful Jura Park, the Tiersteinberg nature reserve and its ‘Dschungelpfad’, the many hiking trails over mountains, through dense forests, meadows and valleys with their many streams, the beautiful blossom of the cherry trees in spring and the silhouettes of these Highstam trees in autumn, and the many well-maintained rests and break places also mark this area.
Moreover, there is always a catering establishment near a beautiful and well-maintained village or along the road, and the Postauto is also available for local transport.
Rotenfluh, canton Basel-Landschaft. Rotenfluh was one of the 46 communes that founded the separatist canton of Basel-Landschaft in 1832.
The mythical Hermes near the post office in the colours and with the heraldry of canton Basel-Stadt !
Source and further information: Aargau Tourism
The Swiss Alpine Club
The Swiss Alpine Club (Schweizer Alpen Club, SAC/Club Alpin Suisse, CAS) organises hiking trips in this region and elsewhere.
The SAC organises ski tours, mountaineering, hiking trips, and other sports in the high mountains, the Alps, and other regions.