Solothurn, St. Ursus Kathedrale. Foto: TES.

Solothurn, the bishop and the Embassador

Solothurn has been a member of the Confederation (Eidgenossenschaft) since 1481. The canton is named after the city of Solothurn.

This ancient Roman city (Salodorum) was originally a Celtic settlement. After the retreat of the Romans, the area was, for a long time, a transition area between the French and German languages of the Alemanni.

After the Carolingian Empire, the area was part of the Second Burgundian Kingdom (888-1032) and the Holy Roman Empire. By then, the area was entirely German-speaking.

The city allied with Bern in 1285. These alliances were common at this time. The most famous example is the (mythical) Rütlischwur of the three Orte Schwyz, Unterwalden and Uri in 1291.

Solothurn had already become a free imperial city (Reichsunmittelbarkeit) in the Holy Roman Empire in 1218. Like many other towns in Switzerland and southern Germany, it was an autonomous town.

The Time Clock (Der Zeitglockenturm)

After the victory of the Confederation over the powerful Burgundian Dukes in 1476 and 1477, Solothurn became a member of the Confederation.

The Bastion

The French King sent his ambassador to Solothurn in 1530. France and the Confederation concluded the Eternal Peace (La  Paix perpétuelle) in 1516 after the defeat of the Confederation against France at Marignano in 1515. The French embassy to the Confederation remained in Solothurn until 1792.

The St. Ursus Cathedral was built between 1762 and 1773 by the Italian architects Gaetano Matteo Pisoni (1713-1782) and Paolo Antonio Pisoni (1738-1804). It is still the town’s landmark, named after the St. Ursus Stift from 870. It is one of the most prestigious buildings of Solothurn. Pisoni was mainly inspired by the baroque churches in Rome. His cousin Paolo Antonio Pisoni (1738-1804) designed the stairs with the two fountains after the example of Rome.

The St. Ursus Cathedral

Solothurn has been the seat of the diocese of Basel since 1828. The bishop of Basel fled to Porrentruy in 1527 due to the Reformation. Solothurn is the baroque city of Switzerland. Its status is reflected by the grandeur of the many (baroque) palaces and public buildings.

(Source and further information: Tourism Solothurn)

Solothurn and the rowing club of Solothurn

The Witi, near the Aare Ebene