Brugg is geographically located near the confluence of the rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat and is named after an important bridge close by. The picture of the bridge was already used on the oldest city seal and can still be found on the crest of the city today. Brugg was built where the river is particularly narrow and therefore easy to cross; during the Roman Empire, the first bridge was built in order to facilitate transportation of goods to the Legion camp Vindonissa but also for merchants coming from Oberrhein and crossing the Jura massive ‘Bözberg’ in oder to continue their journey through the Alps.
The ruling Habsburg Family
The name ‘Brugg’ was mentioned for the very first time on an official document in 1064, when the Earl
of Habsburg had to register his possession to the monastery in Muri, including some goods in ‘Bruggo’.
Brugg has been founded by the Earls of Habsburg. Shortly after 1200, the city next to the ‘Aare’
received the right to hold a market and its development to a city came to a successful end when the
Municipal Charter was granted 1284 by King Rudolf of Habsburg. During the 12th century, a watchtower
known today as ‘black tower’ was built next to the bridge in order to protect the city. Together with the
‘Salzhaus’, this impressive building is still one of the main sights of the city. During the 14th century,
Brugg remained closely associated with the Habsburgs, their presence had a great impact on the
economic and cultural life. Frequently, the Habsburgs gathered their forces in Brugg, also before the
campaign to Sempach in 1386. It is important to mention the most beautiful monument which was built
by the Habsburgs: The monastery of Königsfelden. It formed the intellectual and economic centre of the
region and the artistic highlight of medieval stained-glass painting in Switzerland.
After the conquest of the Aargau in 1415 by the mighty Berne, other lords determined the history of the
city. The flourishing Latin school based in Brugg provided the church in Berne with excellently trained
specialists which led to the nickname ‘prophet’s town’.