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Berntor in Murten

Murten ( ) is a municipality in the See district of the canton of Fribourgmarker in Switzerlandmarker.

It is located on the southern shores of Lake Moratmarker. Murten is situated between Bernemarker and Lausannemarker and is the capital of the Lake District of the canton of Fribourg.


This small medieval town lies in the Swiss "Midlands" on the edge of the Great Marsh, on a gentle hill (450 metres above sea level) and on the shore of Lake Morat (or Murtensee, named after the town). Numerous attractions from a significant past have been well preserved here, such as the castle, the ring wall, the street scene and the arcades. Lake Morat is a smaller lake located in between Lake Bielmarker and Lake Neuchâtelmarker.

Mount Vully is situated on the western side of the Seeland's largest plain and resembles a pearl gently placed among the three lakes of Murten, Neuchâtel and Biel. Already long ago, the Celtic and Helvetic tribes appreciated the region's temperate climate and the local countryside's particular charm. Today, the Vully vineyards take up a large part of the south face of Mount Vully. The over 100 hectares of vineyards are facing towards Lake Morat.

Murten is also famous in history for the defeat of Charles the Bold by the Swiss. The former fortified city, which has kept most of its ramparts and towers, has picturesque charm.

The first language of 73% of the population is German, of 14% French, and of 3% Italian.


The town’s name is derived from the Celtic word moriduno, meaning “lakeside fortress”. It was first mentioned in 515 as the existence of a defensive place called “Muratum”. By 1013, the place was known as a fortress. Duke Berchtold IV of Zähringen founded the town in 1159 next to the fortress. After his death, Murten was recognized as a “Free Imperial Town” by the German emperor Frederic II. At that time, the emperor himself lived in the South of Italy and a small town north of the Alps was not his concern. It did not last long -– in 1255 Murten fell under the protection of Count Peter of Savoy.

A fire in 1416 led to rebuilding in stone.On June 22 1476, Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, laid a siege known as the Battle of Murten. The town hung on for 13 days but finally was saved by the Bernese army. The enemy’s army was destroyed completely — some 10,000 Burgundians were killed. Since then, Murten celebrates the victory every year on June 22.

From 1484 on, and for 300 years, Murten was ruled by the two cantons — Bernmarker and Fribourgmarker. In 1803, Napoleon gave the town to the canton of Fribourg. Today Murten is still a part of the Canton of Fribourgmarker.


Estimated Growth of Population
1900 2645 habitants
1910 2418 habitants
1930 2570 habitants
1950 3106 habitants
1960 3610 habitants
1970 4512 habitants
1980 4657 habitants
1990 4718 habitants
2000 5578 habitants
2004 5651 habitants

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