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Coordinates: 46°14′N 7°39′E / 46.233°N 7.650°E / 46.233; 7.650 The Oberaargau is the region that encompasses the upper watershed of the Aar River in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. On the north, lie the Jura Mountains, and on the south the hills leading to the Emmental

Administratively, the Oberaargau forms a district within the region Emmental-Oberaargau of the canton of Berne. Historically (until 2009), the Oberaargau comprised the two administrative districts of Wangen and Aarwangen.


It lies in the extreme northeast corner of the canton and includes the districts of Aarwangen and Wangen, and part of the district of Trachselwald. It is surrounded by the cantons of Solothurn, Aargau, and Lucerne. It is connected to the rest of the canton of Bern only in the south, where it borders on the Emmenthal.

The Oberaargau lies on the Swiss Plateau between the large population centers of Bern and Zürich and has therefore become a major thoroughfare for traffic running both east and west and north and south. The Aar River traverses it from west to east, and the primary motorway of Switzerland (the A1) and the main Bern-Zürich railway run through it, making it a central transport region.

The primary city is Langenthal, and the towns of Herzogenbuchsee, Wangen, and Aarwangen are important transportation centers. Since the building of the motorway, the primary economic development has taken place in the north, at the foot of the Jura Mountains, particularly in the towns of Wiedlisbach and Niederbipp.

The highest point in the Oberaargaus is the Höllchöpfli in the municipality of Rumisberg, at 1231 meters, and the lowest point is on the Aare at Wynau, at 405 meters.

Administrative district[edit]

Oberaargau District
Verwaltungskreis Oberaargau
Location of Oberaargau District
Country   Switzerland
Canton  Bern
Capital Wangen an der Aare
 • Total 331 km2 (128 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 76,485
 • Density 230/km2 (600/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Municipalities 47

The Oberaargau District in the Canton of Bern was created on 1 January 2010.[1] It is part of the Emmental-Oberaargau administrative region and includes 50 municipalities over an area of 330.86 km2 (127.75 sq mi) with, as of December 2008, 76,485 inhabitants.

Border Name Population
(31 December 2013)[2]
Area in km²
Aarwangen Aarwangen 4,253 9.87
Attiswil Attiswil 1,374 7.64
Auswil Auswil 460 4.63
Bannwil Bannwil 691 4.79
Berken Berken 43 1.38
Bettenhausen Bettenhausen 679 3.95
Bleienbach Bleienbach 661 5.71
Busswil bei Melchnau Busswil bei Melchnau 194 2.87
Eriswil Eriswil 1,386 11.32
Farnern Farnern 208 3.70
Gondiswil Gondiswil 745 9.39
Graben Graben 317 3.16
Heimenhausen Heimenhausen 1,021 5.85
Hermiswil Hermiswil 93 1.04
Herzogenbuchsee Herzogenbuchsee 6,979 9.83
Huttwil Huttwil 4,702 17.28
Inkwil Inkwil 622 3.36
Langenthal Langenthal 15,291 17.25
Lotzwil Lotzwil 2,468 6.18
Madiswil Madiswil 3,161 23.19
Melchnau Melchnau 1,525 10.30
Niederbipp Niederbipp 4,371 17.37
Niederönz Niederönz 1,548 2.80
Oberbipp Oberbipp 1,642 8.48
Obersteckholz Obersteckholz 424 3.90
Ochlenberg Ochlenberg 587 12.13
Oeschenbach Oeschenbach 237 3.90
Reisiswil Reisiswil 193 2.00
Roggwil Roggwil 3,862 7.80
Rohrbach Rohrbach 1,402 4.07
Rohrbachgraben Rohrbachgraben 409 6.48
Rumisberg Rumisberg 471 5.16
Rütschelen Rütschelen 566 3.98
Schwarzhäusern Schwarzhäusern 501 3.79
Seeberg Seeberg 1,423 15.74
Thörigen Thörigen 1,046 4.52
Thunstetten Thunstetten 3,066 9.65
Ursenbach Ursenbach 907 9.13
Walliswil bei Niederbipp Walliswil bei Niederbipp 217 1.48
Walliswil bei Wangen Walliswil bei Wangen 580 3.06
Walterswil Walterswil 543 7.89
Wangen an der Aare Wangen an der Aare 2,156 5.23
Wangenried Wangenried 409 2.93
Wiedlisbach Wiedlisbach 2,181 7.47
Wolfisberg Wolfisberg 181 2.42
Wynau Wynau 1,559 5.08
Wyssachen Wyssachen 1,154 11.71
Total (50) 78,508 330.86


The region was already known as the Oberaargau in the early Middle Ages (in Latin superior pagus Aragauginsis). However, this concept also included the Emmenthal.

In the High Middle Ages, the area was divided among the counts of Froburg, Aarwangen (later Grünenberg), Zähringen (later the Habsburgs).

As the political influence of the city of Bern increased in the late Middle Ages, the Oberaargau came more and more into its sphere of influence. In the 15th century, Bern conquered both the Oberaargau and the Unteraargau and ruled them as one.

When Bern lost its old power in 1798, the Unteraargau became the modern canton of Aargau. The boundary between the Oberaargau and Unteraargau was fixed in 1798 along the Wigger River. In 1802, however, it was shifted west to Murg. This action was confirmed by the Act of Mediation of Napoleon in 1803 and the Congress of Vienna in 1815.


  1. ^ Amtliches Gemeindeverzeichnis der Schweiz, Mutationsmeldungen 2009 / Répertoire officiel des communes de Suisse, Mutations 2009 / Elenco ufficiale dei Comuni della Svizzera, Mutazione 2009 (PDF) (Report). Federal Statistical Office. 2009. 2776. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (German) accessed 18 August 2014

External links[edit]