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The history of a medieval town

Murten lies on the north-south route (E4 & A1) between Berne and Lausanne and is the main town of the Lake District of Fribourg. The medieval town lies in the Swiss midlands, on the edge of the Grosse Moos, on a gentle hill (450 metres above sea level) on the shore of the lake named after it. From the important past numerous sights such as the castle, the curtain wall, the street picture and the arcades have been well preserved. The majority of the approximately 5,700 inhabitants speak German (73%) and a minority French (14%).


  • Murten was first mentioned in 515 as "Muratum", 1013 as a fortress.
  • 1159-1179 City founded under Duke Berchtold IV of Zähringen as a fortress to the west. The Zähringen dying out in 1218, Murten becomes a "free imperial city" under the German Emperor Friedrich II.
  • 1255 Murten concludes a protection contract with Count Peter of Savoy.
  • 1377 Count Amadeus of Savoy granted the town charter.
  • 1416 last big city fire and reconstruction in stone instead of wood.
  • 1475 Murten is occupied by Bern and Fribourg. End of Savoy rule.
  • 1476 Siege of Murten by the Burgundian army of Charles the Bold, which is crushed by the Confederates. The anniversary of the battle, June 22, is celebrated annually as a solenness (youth festival).
  • 1484 Murten becomes the common dominion of the cities of Berne and Fribourg for more than three hundred years. Schultheiss is used alternately for five years.
  • 1798 French invasion.
  • 1803 Napoleon finally assigns Murten to the Canton of Fribourg against the will of the population.