Frick, Aargau

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Coat of arms of Frick
Coat of arms
Frick is located in Switzerland
Coordinates: 47°31′N 8°1′E / 47.517°N 8.017°E / 47.517; 8.017Coordinates: 47°31′N 8°1′E / 47.517°N 8.017°E / 47.517; 8.017
Country Switzerland
Canton Aargau
District Laufenburg
 • Total 9.96 km2 (3.85 sq mi)
Elevation 350 m (1,150 ft)
Population (Dec 2013[2])
 • Total 5,107
 • Density 510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Postal code 5070
SFOS number 4163
Surrounded by Eiken, Gipf-Oberfrick, Hornussen, Ittenthal, Kaisten, Oeschgen, Schupfart, Ueken
Twin towns Frickingen (Germany)
SFSO statistics

Frick is a municipality in the district of Laufenburg in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. A number of dinosaur fossils, including a nearly complete Plateosaurus skeleton, were discovered in clay pits in the town.[3] [4]


Plateosaurus fossil at the museum

During the upper Triassic period, about 210 million years ago, the region around Frick was a dry lowland with flat hills and small depressions. During the rainy season, the depressions filled with water and dinosaurs congregated around the ponds. When they died, their bodies were covered by the mud in the ponds and fossilized, creating rich fossil beds in Frick. The first Plateosaurus fossils were discovered in 1961 and further excavations during the following decades have discovered numerous fossils. In 2006, the only Coelophysoidea (a small flesh-eating dinosaur species) fossil in Switzerland, was found by an amateur paleontologist in Frick.[5][6]

Frick has a very long inhabited history. At the nearby Wittnauer Horn, a prehistorical, late-Bronze Age fortification was discovered. The Roman era name for Frick (Latin: Ferraricia or iron ore field) refers to the Roman iron ore mine in the area. Additionally, remains of a Roman estate from the 2nd century were found on the main road, and the remains of a small fort from the early 4th century, which would have protected the military road Vindonissa-Augusta Raurica, was discovered below the church hill. On the hill, a new wall was built around 370. The finds in Oberdorf suggest a large Roman settlement from the 1st to 4th centuries. Graves on the church hill also indicate that there was an Alamanni settlement after the Romans. The core of the medieval settlement was clustered around the church hill. The oldest church, a fortified church building, is still visible around the current church. After the fire in the village in 1734 this old section was only partially rebuilt. The new settlement was concentrated along what is now the Bözbergstrasse. Frick is first mentioned in 1064 as Fricho.[7]

Starting in the High Middle Ages, Frick was the center of power of the Counts of Homberg-Thierstein. There was also a Ministerialis family, unfree knights in the service of another noble, known as von Frick. Around 1230 the village came to the Habsburgs and together with Gipf, Upper Frick and with some of Oeschgen, formed the bailiwick of Frick (also called the Homburgeramt). The Homburger Vogt was also chief administrator of the Fricktal (Frick valley). The Bailiwick possessed special powers, including a vogt seal and the right to choose their own vogt, as well as the rights to Zwing und Bann.

The citizens of the Bailiwick were divided into the upper layer of Vollbauern (literally, Full farmers), as well as in the Halbbauern (lit. Smallholding farmers) and the Taun. The Vollbauern included the vogt's family, and were the most privileged. The Taun represented the largest group numerically in the early modern period. Lacking bailiwick citizenship and virtually without rights were the tenants.

After the Act of Mediation in 1803, Frick and the rest of the modern Fricktal became part of the newly formed Canton of Aargau. In 1804 the municipalities of Frick and Gipf-Frick were formed. In 2007 a major dinosaur graveyard was discovered in Frick. Some of the bones are now on display in the Dinosaur Museum.[7]

The Church of St. Peter and Paul were probably built as a private church for the Counts of Homberg during the High Middle Ages. In the Thirty Years War, the village was destroyed together with the church. In the mid-14th century the church came under the authority of Steinen Convent in Basel. Then, in 1492 it was granted to Teutonic Knights at Beuggen. The present baroque building is from 1716, and the reformed church is from 1910. The reformed parish comprises ten municipalities and the parish offices are in Frick and Gipf-Oberfrick. The catholic parish, consisting of Frick and Gipf-Oberfrick, has been a separate parish since 1953.[7]



Frick has an area, as of 2009, of 9.96 square kilometers (3.85 sq mi). Of this area, 4.59 square kilometers (1.77 sq mi) or 46.1% is used for agricultural purposes, while 2.92 square kilometers (1.13 sq mi) or 29.3% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.41 square kilometers (0.93 sq mi) or 24.2% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.06 km2 (15 acres) or 0.6% is either rivers or lakes.[8]

Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 4.3% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 9.5% and transportation infrastructure made up 5.6%. Power and water infrastructure as well as other special developed areas made up 2.8% of the area while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 1.9%. 27.9% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1.4% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 26.3% is used for growing crops and 17.1% is pastures, while 2.7% is used for orchards or vine crops. All the water in the municipality is in rivers and streams.[8]

The municipality is located in the Laufenburg district, located at the meeting of the Bözberg, Staffelegg and Benken Jura passes. It is the central municipality in the Fricktal. It consists of the haufendorf village (an irregular, unplanned and quite closely packed village, built around a central square) of Frick.

Coat of arms[edit]

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Argent a Wolf salient Gules[9]


Frick has a population (as of December 2013) of 5,107[2] As of June 2009, 25.9% of the population are foreign nationals.[10] Over the last 10 years (1997–2007) the population has changed at a rate of 22.3%. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (85.1%), with Italian being second most common ( 3.6%) and Albanian being third ( 3.2%).[11]

The age distribution, as of 2008, in Frick is; 441 children or 9.3% of the population are between 0 and 9 years old and 587 teenagers or 12.4% are between 10 and 19. Of the adult population, 691 people or 14.6% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 664 people or 14.1% are between 30 and 39, 820 people or 17.4% are between 40 and 49, and 599 people or 12.7% are between 50 and 59. The senior population distribution is 462 people or 9.8% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 273 people or 5.8% are between 70 and 79, there are 155 people or 3.3% who are between 80 and 89,and there are 25 people or 0.5% who are 90 and older.[12]

As of 2000 the average number of residents per living room was 0.59 which is about equal to the cantonal average of 0.57 per room. In this case, a room is defined as space of a housing unit of at least 4 m2 (43 sq ft) as normal bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and habitable cellars and attics.[13] About 41.9% of the total households were owner occupied, or in other words did not pay rent (though they may have a mortgage or a rent-to-own agreement).[14]

As of 2000, there were 148 homes with 1 or 2 persons in the household, 836 homes with 3 or 4 persons in the household, and 554 homes with 5 or more persons in the household.[15] As of 2000, there were 1,585 private households (homes and apartments) in the municipality, and an average of 2.5 persons per household.[11] In 2008 there were 610 single family homes (or 29.9% of the total) out of a total of 2,041 homes and apartments.[16] There were a total of 24 empty apartments for a 1.2% vacancy rate.[16] As of 2007, the construction rate of new housing units was 12.9 new units per 1000 residents.[11]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SVP which received 33.1% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the CVP (19.9%), the SP (16%) and the FDP (12.9%).[11]

In Frick about 66.6% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[11] Of the school age population (in the 2008/2009 school year), there are 318 students attending primary school, there are 246 students attending secondary school, there are 402 students attending tertiary or university level schooling in the municipality.[15]

The historical population is given in the following table:[7]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1768 495 —    
1850 1,112 +124.6%
1900 937 −15.7%
1950 1,589 +69.6%
2000 4,028 +153.5%

Heritage sites of national significance[edit]

Church in Frick

The Catholic church of St. Peter and Paul as well as the charnel house is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.[17] The village of Frick is designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.[18]


The municipality is located on the A3 motorway.


As of 2007, Frick had an unemployment rate of 2.77%. As of 2005, there were 100 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 17 businesses involved in this sector. 1,270 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 45 businesses in this sector. 1,731 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 206 businesses in this sector.[11]

In 2000 there were 2,111 workers who lived in the municipality. Of these, 1,351 or about 64.0% of the residents worked outside Frick while 1,764 people commuted into the municipality for work. There were a total of 2,524 jobs (of at least 6 hours per week) in the municipality.[19] Of the working population, 18% used public transportation to get to work, and 40.4% used a private car.[11]


From the 2000 census, 2,061 or 51.2% were Roman Catholic, while 931 or 23.1% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 21 individuals (or about 0.52% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic faith.[15]


  1. ^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  2. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistics Office – STAT-TAB Ständige und Nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Region, Geschlecht, Nationalität und Alter (German) accessed 18 August 2014
  3. ^ Sauriermuseum Frick website accessed 23 July 2013
  4. ^ Dinosaur Mass Grave Unearthed in Switzerland
  5. ^ Sauriermuseum Frick website- German language text (German) accessed 23 July 2013
  6. ^ Brinkmann, Winand. "Swiss theropod (Dinosauria) material from the Late Triassic of Frick, Canton Aargau". University of Zurich. Retrieved July 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Frick in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  8. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office-Land Use Statistics 2009 data (German) accessed 25 March 2010
  9. ^ Flags of the accessed 30-April-2010
  10. ^ Statistical Department of Canton Aargau -Bereich 01 -Bevölkerung (German) accessed 20 January 2010
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 30-April-2010
  12. ^ Statistical Department of Canton Aargau -Bevölkerungsdaten für den Kanton Aargau und die Gemeinden (Archiv) (German) accessed 20 January 2010
  13. ^ Eurostat. "Housing (SA1)". Urban Audit Glossary (PDF). 2007. p. 18. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Urban Audit Glossary pg 17
  15. ^ a b c Statistical Department of Canton Aargau - Aargauer Zahlen 2009 (German) accessed 20 January 2010
  16. ^ a b Statistical Department of Canton Aargau (German) accessed 20 January 2010
  17. ^ Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance 21.11.2008 version, (German) accessed 30-April-2010
  18. ^ ISOS site accessed 30-April-2010
  19. ^ Statistical Department of Canton Aargau-Bereich 11 Verkehr und Nachrichtenwesen (German) accessed 21 January 2010

External links[edit]