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Sigriswil village
Sigriswil village
Coat of arms of Sigriswil
Coat of arms
Sigriswil is located in Switzerland
Location in Switzerland
Sigriswil is located in Canton of Bern
Location in Canton of Bern
Country Switzerland
Canton Bern
District Thun
 • Total 55.41 km2 (21.39 sq mi)
810 m (2,660 ft)
 (Dec 2020 )
 • Total 4,847
 • Density 87.475/km2 (226.56/sq mi)
Postal code
Localities 11 villages (Aeschlen ob Gunten, Gunten, Meiersmaad, Merligen, Ringoldswil, Schwanden, Sigriswil, Tschingel ob Gunten, Wiler, Endorf, Reust); Justistal
Surrounded by Beatenberg, Heiligenschwendi, Horrenbach-Buchen, Krattigen, Leissigen, Oberhofen am Thunersee, Spiez, Teuffenthal
Twin towns Lutry (Switzerland), Villa General Belgrano (Argentina)

Sigriswil is a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.


Die Kirche von Sigriswil - CH-BAR - 3241445
Sigriswil church
Gemütliches Zusammensein am Tisch auf der Terrasse - CH-BAR - 3241443
Soldiers relaxing in Sigriswil between 1914 and 1918

Sigriswil is first mentioned in 1222-23 as Sigriswile.

Archeological remains dating from the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age show that the area around Sigriswil has been inhabited as early as 5000 years ago. It's thought that the first modern inhabitants can be traced back to Alamanni tribesmen who settled on the banks of Thun lake around the 5th Century A.D., later moving on up into the higher elevations around the modern village of Sigriswil between the 8-10th century. The village church of St. Gallus was first mentioned in 1222-23 in the Strättliger Chronicle as one of the twelve churches around Lake Thun. However, it was probably built during the 10th to 12th centuries. The patronage rights over the church and the Justistal settlement and alpine meadow were given to Interlaken Abbey in the 13th century.

In 1347, the inhabitants of Sigriswil were able to buy their independence in the Castle of Thun from Count Eberhard (a member of the Kyburg dynasty who had fallen on hard financial times) for the sum of 300 "Pfund Thuner Pfennige" (300 pounds of 'Thun Pennies'). By 1384, Bern ruled over the municipality, though the citizens of Sigriswil were able to govern themselves.

In 1467 the old church was demolished and a new parish church was built. In 1528 Bern adopted the new faith of the Protestant Reformation and suppressed all monasteries, including Interlaken Abbey. The patronage right over the church transferred to Bern, while Justistal became part of the municipality. In 1678-79 the second church was demolished and the current church was built.

Following the 1798 French invasion, Sigriswil became part of the newly created Canton of Oberland in the Helvetic Republic. After the collapse of the Republic and 1803 Act of Mediation it rejoined the Canton of Bern in the newly created Thun District.

Traditionally the villagers of Sigriswil fished in Lake Thun, raised crops and vineyards on the valley floor and raised cattle in the summer in high alpine meadows before bringing them down for winter. By 1914 a combination of disease, competition from imported wine and the looming World War destroyed the wine industry in the municipality. During the late 19th and early 20th century steam boats and improved roads began bringing tourists to the municipality. Hotels and restaurants opened along the lake shore and on the slopes. The first class hotels settled along the lake shore, while small chalets and vacation homes developed in the mountain valleys and terraces. Today, Sigriswil is a tranquil alpine farming village as well as a popular tourist resort.


2011-07-23 Lago de Thun (Foto Dietrich Michael Weidmann) 164
Merligen (Sigriswil)

Sigriswil has an area of 55.41 km2 (21.39 sq mi). As of the 2004/06 survey, a total of 21.76 km2 (8.40 sq mi) or 39.3% is used for agricultural purposes, while 26.1 km2 (10.1 sq mi) or 47.1% is forested. Of rest of the municipality 2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi) or 4.7% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.28 km2 (0.11 sq mi) or 0.5% is either rivers or lakes and 4.62 km2 (1.78 sq mi) or 8.3% is unproductive land.

From the same survey, housing and buildings made up 2.6% and transportation infrastructure made up 1.8%. A total of 41.9% of the total land area is heavily forested and 3.8% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 16.5% is pasturage and 21.8% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water. Of the unproductive areas, 4.2% is unproductive vegetation and 4.2% is too rocky for vegetation.

The municipality is spreads over lakes and mountains along the right bank of Lake Thun. It includes the watershed of the Zulg river and the Güggisgrat and Sigriswilgrat mountain ranges. It consists of eleven villages (Gunten, Merligen am See, Aeschlen, Sigriswil, Endorf, Ringoldswil, Tschingel, Schwanden, Meiersmaad, Reust and Justistal) as well as scattered hamlets.

On 31 December 2009 Amtsbezirk Thun, the municipality's former district, was dissolved. On the following day, 1 January 2010, it joined the newly created Verwaltungskreis Thun.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sigriswil para niños

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