Rathaus Introduction 

A Rathaus is a German word, and the literal translation is a “council house”, which means it is the seat of a local government. Rathaus is a common word for “town hall” or “guildhall” or “city hall” in a German-speaking country. 

In Switzerland, there are a number of locations that use the word “Rathaus”.

Zurich Town Hall 

For example, the Zurich Town Hall is located in Zurich, Switzerland, and it is the Rathaus there. 


The Zurich Town Hall was developed in the late 1600s. It was the seat of government for Zurich, and it maintained that status until the late 1700s. Since the early 1800s it has been owned by Zurich Canton, and it has housed both the municipal and cantonal parliaments. 

It was constructed on a fundament anchored in the river of Limmat, and it currently faces the Limmatquai at a bridge, which is referred to as the Rathausbrucke. This building from the 1600s replaces a former Rathaus that was built there in the late 1400s, which itself replaced a court house that had been built in the 1200s. 

Rathaus is also used as the name of an Alstadt district quarter. It is the section of the medieval town on the Limmat river’s right side, and it is separated from the quarter of Hochschulen to the east, and it is delimited by the Central and Bellevue squares to the north and south, respectively.

Rathaus Basel 

In Basel, there is a place called the Markplatz, and in the center is the towering City Hall structure, which is the seat of Basel-City Canton. There flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables sold there. The Rathaus is where the city council meets.

Rathaus Rapperswil 

The Rathaus Rapperswil is the old Rathaus in Rapperswil city, in the St. Gallen Canton of Switzerland. 

The Rathaus is located in the medieval town, in the main square. The structure replaced an earlier structure that was built in the 1200s as a section of the old town hall. A town hall is first mentioned in the early 1400s. 


After the “dinner of the council members”, which is a tradition (along with the cabaret program), there are hundreds of kids that gather in the town square to celebrate the carnival festival. They celebrate the festival on Shrove Tuesday. 

There are a number of sites in the area that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance.

Rathaus Photo Gallery

Rathaus: 01 photo Rathaus Rathaus: 01 photo
Rathaus: 02 photo Rathaus Rathaus: 02 photo
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