Number 11 in Solothurn

In the city of Solothurn, the number 11 and its multiples – 22, 33, 44, etc. – are accorded special importance. From time to time, you will even hear Solothurn residents of all generations referring to the number 11 as the «holy number». The unusual treatment of the number 11 is an age-old tradition which manifests itself today in a variety of ways. These manifestations encompass both material phenomena – such as a clock with 11 hours which plays the Solothurner Lied (the city's unofficial anthem) on 11 bells – and more abstract concepts, such as a children's brass band named «11i-Schränzer». The number also plays an important role in private lives, which can be seen for instance in the special celebrations held on 11th birthdays and multiples thereof. It is also frequently encountered in the business world, as the products "11-i Schokolade", «Öufi-Bier» (Beer 11) and «öufiyoga» (11 o’clock yoga) or the company name «IMMO-11» demonstrate. There are numerous historical references to the number 11. Between 1344 and 1532, for example, the canton of Solothurn was divided into 11 protectorates. The city's landmark building, the 18th century St. Ursen cathedral, was equipped with 11 altars, a 66-metre high steeple and a stairway with 33 steps.

Detailed description


Oral expressions
Performing arts


Connected traditions


Werner Berger: Solothurn. Eine Stadt und ihre Zahl. Langenthal, 2010 (1988)

Melissa Dettling: «… s’isch immer, s’isch immer e so gsi…» Die Stadt Solothurn und die Bedeutung der Zahl 11. Unveröffentlichte Seminararbeit Universität Basel, Seminar für Kulturwissenschaft und Europäische Ethnologie. Basel, 2011

Paul Ludwig Feser: Das Büchlein von der «heiligen» Solothurner Zahl 11. Ed. Stiftung für die Wiederherstellung Solothurnischer Baudenkmäler. Solothurn, 2001

Franz Haffner: Der klein Solothurner Allgemeine Schaw-Platz. Solothurn 1666. Digitalisiert durch die Zentralbibliothek Solothurn. Solothurn, 2009 (

Thomas Schärli: Von einer Zahl, die nicht nur eine städtische Bedeutung hat. In: Solothurner Jahrbuch. Solothurn, 2011, p. 71

Friedrich Emil Welti: Hans von Waldheims Reisen durch die Schweiz im Jahre 1474. In: Archiv des Historischen Vereins des Kantons Bern 25. Bern, 1920, p. 89-154



Region Solothurn Tourismus

Stadt Solothurn

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