Maschwanden und die Allmend. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Knonauer District and Maschwanden

The Eschenbach family founded the castle and town of “Maswandon” in the thirteenth century. Their castle was the Schnadelburg in the Albis region.

Maschwanden was first mentioned in a document in 1260. The town was destroyed by the Habsburgs in 1309 as revenge for the participation of Walther IV von Eschenbach in the murder of King Albrecht of Habsburg (1255-1308). The King is buried in the monastery church Königsfelden in Windisch.

The Lords of Hallwyl acquired Maschwanden in 1339. The city of Zurich was the successor in 1406. The church from 1505 is a typical late Gothic Zurich country church. The stained glass windows from 1505 are famous and can be seen today in the Landesmuseum in Zurich.

From the beginning of the 15th century until the Reformation (1525-1530), Zurich gradually gained dominion over all the areas between the mountain Albis and the river Reuss.

After the conquest of the Aargau in 1415, Zürich annexed the Freiamt Affoltern Steinhausen, Aesch, Birmensdorf-Oberurdorf, Hedingen, the manor of Knonau, Wettswil-Stallikon and finally Bonstetten in 1538.  In its present boundaries, the district of Knonauer Amt was created in 1814.

The Maschwander Allmend and the nature reserve Rüssspitz, located between the Reuss and Lorze rivers, are among the last extensive grassland plains in the Swiss Mittelland.

Vast meadows characterise the area with free-standing willows and a floodplain forest. It is part of the Zürcher Reusstal, a nature reserve connected to the Aargau Reusstal.

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