Beringen, Switzerland

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Beringen aerial.jpg
Coat of arms of Beringen
Coat of arms
Beringen is located in Switzerland
Beringen is located in Canton of Schaffhausen
Coordinates: 47°41′N 8°34′E / 47.683°N 8.567°E / 47.683; 8.567Coordinates: 47°41′N 8°34′E / 47.683°N 8.567°E / 47.683; 8.567
Country Switzerland
Canton Schaffhausen
District n.a.
 • Total 18.64 km2 (7.20 sq mi)
Elevation 456 m (1,496 ft)
Population (Dec 2015[2])
 • Total 4,541
 • Density 240/km2 (630/sq mi)
Postal code 8222
SFOS number 2932
Surrounded by Hemmental, Löhningen, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Schaffhausen, Siblingen
Profile (German), SFSO statistics

Beringen is a municipality in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland. On 1 January 2013 the former municipality of Guntmadingen merged into the municipality of Beringen.[3]


Bronze Age[edit]

In the Eschheimer Valley near Beringen, a gravesite had been discovered that is believed to reach back to the early Bronze Age. Several feet below the surface and covered by a layer of rocks, a skeleton was discovered, along with a bronze ax with a blade and dagger, as well as a decorative needle, a piece of wire, and several bronze nails. This grave was typical for the burial customs of the early Bronze Age.[4]

Age of The Romans[edit]

There is good evidence that a "Hof" (cluster of buildings) in the Lieblosen-Valley dates back to the time when the Romans governed the territory, as can be seen by an ancient supporting wall embracing the living quarters and two economy buildings. A spectacular find was discovered when a military tile was unearthed showing the imprint of the 11th and 21st legion was well as the 26th cohort, indicating the presence of a corps of volunteers made up of Roman citizens. Similar tiles have been found in Windisch, Bechtersbohl, and Baden-Baden. Further indications of a Roman presence is a complex of walls found near the Aasheimer-Hof in Beringen.[5]

Growth of Beringen[edit]

Beringen grew up along the creek that now runs though the village. The water drove mills in Beringen, such as the flour mill (no longer in operation), the gypsum mill (replaced by homes), and the so-called Oele (now the site of the municipal swimming pool). Water was needed for the dye-shops in the former Doktorhaus (house for Doctors, now a business establishment). Along the banks of the town creek, people washed everything, including pails, troughs, and related objects. The creek also served as drinking water for livestock, and was the only help in case of a fire.

Naturally, the first settlers established themselves close to the creek, one house next to the other. Two rows of houses formed the original village. When fire consumed one of the houses, it was not replaced; instead, a building for public use was erected. This made it possible that six or more households could be supplied with water instead of only one or two. The best and best-preserved example of this is the Leunhof, a well-known restaurant. Others are the Huggehof, Chloesteril, Kellerhof, Vogelhof, and Paradieserhof, Prinzenhof, and the Winkel. The Chelhof stands close to the church and far away from the creek, next to the well.

Today, Beringen's creek is now covered over. Water is supplied through an extensive system of pipes, large blocks for apartments and businesses have been erected, new buildings with small industries, and there are only a few agricultural buildings and outfits existing.

Beringen's History is in its Buildings[edit]

There many notable old building that still exist in Beringen:

  • The Church of Beringen

One does not know the Patron Saint of this church, for sure. Possibly it can be Saint George who appears in an ancient coat of arms of Beringen. In a Chronicle of the historian, Rueger is a reference to a church in Beringen from the year 1061, but there is no official record until the year 1231. In 1580, an addition was built at the west end, and in 1642 an addition was constructed at the east end. In 1645 a tower was added, including a clock. New bells replaced four old bells in 1906 and five years later an organ was installed. Two further renovations took place in 1965 and 1991. Residents continue to enjoy the steeple and sun clock

  • Castle of the Huen of Beringen Family (cica. 13th century)
  • The Peradise-Estate (Monastery)
  • The Lions Inn (circa. before 1711)

In Switzerland, many restaurants and hotels carry the name of an animal for identification ( examples: Lion, Bear, Eagle, etc.) Beringen's most famous restaurant was the "Lion." It was first named in a historical record of 1711. Called a tavern or inn, the owner was obliged to affix to the building a very elaborate sign made of cast iron, depicting a lion. The "Lion" served as the seat for the "Society of Boys" of Beringen. Such societies have existed since the 15th century. The one headquartered in the "Lion" is the only one existing in the Canton of Shauffhausen. This building is a large three story building which sits on a corner. Its front is decorated with ornate words and scrolled imagery along with an image of a lion and keeper. This image spans the entire front of the building, between the second and third floors.

In 1845, another organization was founded in the "Lion", an association of artisans and tradesmen, the "Gewerbeverein" It was the first association ever organized in Beringen. Its name was later changed to "Reading Society" (Leseverein), but was dissolved in 1960.

Although the building was still standing in 2004, it was being used for apartments and a beauty salon, the restaurant and inn facilities were abandoned in the 1930s. The large Lion sign has been saved and adorns the staircase of the new and more modern community center "Zelg"

  • The Old School House (c. 1739)
  • The Vogel Hof

This was one of Beringen's oldest section. Houses were built together very tightly ( almost like row houses), with the roofs extending far outwards towards the front as protection against rain and sun, the entrances into the cellars were in the front side of the buildings, and wide stairways lead into the second floor of each house. Such a layout is called a "Hof" and Vogel was the name of one of the families living there. Coopers, furniture builders, and stonemasons were established here and resided in the Vogel Hof. The last survivors of the Vogel family in Beringen died in 1978.

  • The Old Flour Mill

The Flour Mill is several hundred years old. It lies at the upper end of the village. Historically, it was first described in 1536; it belonged to the community as a whole and was leased back to some of the burghers every few years. Repairs and renovations took place in 1843 for the house, 1842 for the mill, and 1841 for the barn. The mill ceased operation decades ago, but the building is still used as a dwelling. Above the main door is the following engraved verse:

  • The "Old" Post House
  • Community House (Gemeindehaus Restaurant)
  • The Eagle-House

Historical Timeline[edit]

Aerial view with surrounding villages and the Rhine. Beringen is located in the center of the top part of the photograph
Village museum

965 AD - The first mentioning of Peringen known to be in existence, from the Oehninger Chronicles, though the document is considered to be a 12th Century forgery.[6]

1090 AD - Bartholdes de Berinin: witness in a trade involving Beringen.[6]

1102-1112 AD - First mentioning of a Chono de Beringen in a Charter.

1150 AD - Lutfridus and Guntherrus de Beringen-witnesses in a legal dispute between St. Blasien and Allerheiligen involving Mount Staufen.

1568 AD - Beginning of ore excavation on the Laufenberg (Mount Laufen) until the year 1850. Note: blast furnace located at Jestetten, and 1614 near the Rhine Falls.

1835 AD - Election of the first village of Town Council.

1863 AD - The Railway of the Archduke of Baden begins operating. The first locomotive ran on 12 December 1862 from Neuhausen to Waldshut.

1893 AD - Street lighting installed in Beringen.

1897 AD - Introduction of ballot boxes is approved by the Cantonal Chancellery of Schafhausen.

1905 AD - The public street car system begins operations.

1950 AD - Ewald Rahm installs a private historical museum on the upper floor of Schlachthuesli (sort of a butchers building). The public water supply system is with the city of Neuhausen.

1962 AD - The Swiss Industrial Society (SIG Schweizerische Industrie Gesell-schaft) builds a factory for wrapping machinery in Beringen. Max Bircher, mechanical engineer, moves from Schaffhausen to Beringen into the new factor building.

1963 AD - Bachmann and Company, builders of cranes, opens a factory in Beringen.

1964 AD - A new public streetcar company (ASS) starts operation on 1 October, replacing the old system of 1905.

1965 AD - A 100th Anniversary celebration of Beringen.

1967 AD - Consecration of the Catholic Church at Shauffhausen-Street.

1969 AD - Consecration of the new municipal swimming pool

1976 AD - Dedication of the Village Center "Zelg" with new city offices, post office, Savings and Loan Bank, and Fire Department. Ewald Rahm donates his entire historical collection to the community and is given a room in the new village center.

1977 AD - First International Festival of Beringen.

1979 AD - Purchase of Nature Preserve "Faerberwiesli" by the village council.

1984 AD - Dedication of "Zimmerberg" multi-purpose center.

1990 AD - Decation of the new Co-op Center


As of 2006, Beringen had an area of 18.64 km2 (7.20 sq mi). Of this area, 28.6% is used for agricultural purposes, while 59.8% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 11.3% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (0.2%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).[7]

The municipality is located in the Schaffhausen district. It consists of the linear village of Beringen on the south base of the Randen range in the upper Klettgau. Today it is mostly an industrial municipality.


Beringen has a population (as of 2008) of 3,375, of which 16.3% are foreign nationals. Of the foreign population, (as of 2008), 39.3% are from Germany, 22.9% are from Italy, 2.7% are from Croatia, 12.6% are from Serbia, 1.5% are from Macedonia, 0.5% are from Turkey, and 20.5% are from another country.[8] Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 11.2%. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (93.6%), with Italian being second-most common ( 1.9%) and Serbo-Croatian being third ( 1.0%).[7]

The age distribution of the population (as of 2008) is children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 20.5% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 60.1%, and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 19.3%.[8]

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SVP which received 38.6% of the vote. The next two most popular parties were the SP (31.9%), and the FDP (29.5%) .[7]

The entire Swiss population is generally well educated. In Beringen about 81.2% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[7] In Beringen, as of 2007, 1.99% of the population is attending kindergarten or another pre-school, 7.43% are attending a Primary School, 3.59% attend a lower level Secondary School, and 2.84% attend a higher level Secondary School.[8]

As of 2000, 23.3% of the population belonged to the Roman Catholic Church and 58.1% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church.[8]

The historical population is given in the following table:[6]

year population
1531 43 Households
1771 702
1850 1,418
1900 1,208
1950 1,757
2000 3,027
2011 3,538


Beringen has an unemployment rate of 1.27%. As of 2005, there were 37 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 13 businesses involved in this sector. 1,194 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 48 businesses in this sector. 540 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 105 businesses in this sector.[7]

As of 2008 the mid year average unemployment rate was 1.7%. There were 151 non-agrarian businesses in the municipality and 69% of the (non-agrarian) population was involved in the secondary sector of the economy while 31% were involved in the third. At the same time, 83.3% of the working population was employed full-time, and 16.7% was employed part-time. There were 2009 residents of the municipality were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 32.9% of the workforce. As of 2000 there were 426 residents who worked in the municipality, while 1109 residents worked outside Beringen and 1179 people commuted into the municipality for work.[8]

As of 2008, there are 6 restaurants, and 1 hotel with 51 beds. The hospitality industry in Beringen employs 32 people.[8]


  1. ^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  2. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (German) accessed 30 August 2016
  3. ^ Nomenklaturen – Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz (German) accessed 9 February 2013
  4. ^ History of the Canton of Schaffhausen, 1901, p.37
  5. ^ History of Canton of Shaffhausen, 1901, p.45
  6. ^ a b c Beringen in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  7. ^ a b c d e Swiss Federal Statistical Office Archived 5 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 4 December 2009
  8. ^ a b c d e f Statistical Office of the Canton of Schaffhausen (German) accessed 2 December 2009
  • Ewald Rahm, History of the Canton of Schaffhausen, 1901, p. 37 & 45
  • Hans Wäschle, Beringen Switzerland,
  • Edith M. Faulstich, "Why I Chose A Swiss Grandfather", 1945, [Story],
    * Alice M. Fisher-Granddaughter of Edith M. Faulstich/Fisher-> A Vanderpoel/Bollinger descendant of the Conrad Bollinger Family from Beringen, Switzerland and author of The Siberian Sojourn, Our Forgotten American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), 12 June 1972, American Expeditionary Force in Siberia during World War I,

External links[edit]