Solothurn: History & Tradition

Salodurum, which was eventually to become the mediaeval Solothurn, was founded in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius (14-37 A.D.), remaining a a small Roman market town until the third century. In 888 A.D. the territory of the present-day canton became part of the Kingdom of Burgundy, which, in turn, fell to the Holy Roman Empire in 1033.


The Zähringen dynasty, who had held power as Protectors, eventually died out, and Solothurn became a Free Imperial City in 1218. Because the city was not willing to recognise Frederick the Fair of Germany as king, a siege by the Austrian Duke Leopold I ensued in 1318.


In the years 1443-1477, Solothurn sided with the Confederacy in the Old Zurich War and in the Burgundian Wars. This led to Solothurn's accession to the Confederacy in 1481. 

Read more... (only available in German)



Tradition – Chesslete

If you want to know what really makes the people of Solothurn tick, you must experience the Solothurn carnival at least once. It is best to be there from the start. At five o'clock in the morning, the people of Solothurn gather each year on the Friedhofsplatz, dressed in white nightshirts, pointed caps and red neckerchiefs. These "Chessler" then set off to drive winter out of town with their bells and rattles and then, when their job is done, they meet in the pubs of Solothurn for a bowl of the traditional gruel.



Culinary tradition


Funggi-Kartoffen are not what you may be thinking! They are a kind of potato purée with apples. Potatoes and apples are peeled and boiled in water. Spices are added, a purée is made and the dish is smoothed to taste with butter and cream.



Recipe (only available in German)


Traditional products

  • Solothurner Torte
  • Sähli Schlössli
  • Jänzene (Brandy)
  • Solothurner Weinsuppe

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