Belfaux overlooking the mountains of Gantrischgebietes

Belfaux (? ​​Freiburg Patois Bifou / i ) is a municipality in the District de la Sarine ( German: Sarine district) of the Canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. The former German name Gumschen is hardly used anymore.


Belfaux is located on 584 m above sea level. M., 4.5 km west-northwest of the capital of the canton of Fribourg (air line). The village is located on a terrace on the southern flank of the Sonnaz in Molassehügelland of Fribourg Mittelland. It is part of the agglomeration of Freiburg.

The area of ​​6.4 km ² large municipality area includes a portion of the Molassehöhen west of Freiburg. The southern part of the municipality is crossed from the southwest to the northeast of the wide valley of Sonnaz. South of Sonnaz enough the area over the gently rising slope of Belfaux up on the adjacent heights of Chésopelloz and Bois de la Faye (up to 640 m above sea level. M. ). In between is the little valley of the Ruisseau du Tiguelet. To the northwest, the communal land extends to the forest height Bois des Devins ( 672 m above sea level. M. ) and over the vast Forêt Cantonale, in the 700 m above sea level. M. the highest point of Belfaux is achieved, up to the north of it lies slightly undulating plateau near the village of Misery. From the municipality surface 1997 15 % came from settlements, 31 % of forest and shrubs, 53% to agriculture and slightly less than 1% was unproductive land. To Belfaux include extensive housing estates, the village Cutterwil ( 633 m above sea level. M. ), formerly constituted an independent municipality, as well as several individual farms. Neighboring communities of Belfaux are La Sonnaz Givisiez, Chésopelloz, Chésopelloz, Autafond, Grolley and Courtion.


With 2862 inhabitants ( 31 December 2012) Belfaux belongs to the medium-sized municipalities in the canton of Fribourg. Of the 85.4 % inhabitants are French-speaking, German-speaking 7.5 % and 1.5 % speak Macedonian (as of 2000). The population of Belfaux amounted in 1850 to 474 inhabitants, in 1900 there were 615 inhabitants. During the 20th century, the population steadily increased further. Since 1970 (1156 inhabitants) rapid population growth was associated with a doubling of the population recorded in 30 years. The settlement area of Belfaux is almost grown today with that of Chésopelloz.


Belfaux was until the mid 20th century a predominantly coined by farming village. Even today, the agriculture, dairy farming and livestock have a certain role in the occupational structure of the population. Many other jobs are in the local retail industry and the services available. 1964 aluminum foundry was founded in Belfaux. Since the 1970s, more small and medium-sized enterprises were added that are worked in the advertising industry, the pharmaceutical industry, information technology, fish farming, horticulture and in the manufacture of stone slabs. In recent decades, the village has developed into a residential community. New residential areas have been built above Belfaux and on the northern flank of the Sonnaz. Many employed persons are therefore commuters who work mainly in the region of Freiburg.


The community is conveniently moderately well developed. It lies on the main road from Freiburg via Grolley to Payerne. The nearest links to the motorway A12 ( Bern -Vevey ) is located approximately 3 km from the center. On August 25, 1876, the railway line from Freiburg to Payerne was taken with a station in Belfaux in operation. Closer to the center of the village came to the station on the line of Fribourg - Murten to lie, which was opened on 23 August 1898. For the dispersion in public transport two bus lines of the Transports publics Fribourgeois of Freiburg provide after Domdidier or Cournillens.


The territory of Belfaux was settled very early. The earliest traces which indicate the presence of man, go back to the Mesolithic period. In Pré -Saint -Maurice, a Sodbrunnen was found, which was used during the Hallstatt period. Also from the La Tène period, the Roman period and the Burgundian traces of settlement and tombs have been discovered.

The first documentary mention of the place was in the 12th century under the name Bel Fo and Bellofago. Later, the names Belfo ( 1228 ) published, Bellfozen ( 1229 ) and Belfol ( 1416 ). The place name is derived from the Latin words bellus Fagus ( beech beautiful ). The German versions are Gumschenn Gumeschon and 1283 respectively in 1555 survived.

Belfaux belonged in the Middle Ages to the rule Montagny and came in 1283 under the suzerainty of the Habsburg dynasty. By buying the village came in 1442 under the rule of Freiburg and the Old Landscape ( Spitalpanner ) has been assigned. Due to a fire, the parish church of Saint- Etienne was destroyed in 1470, with a large wooden crucifix from the 13th century, was miraculously spared. As a result, the rebuilt church became a major pilgrimage destination, especially because all the faithful who visited the house of God on a Friday or alms donated, according could count the Bishop of Saint- Etienne to 40 days indulgence. Especially during the 17th and 18th centuries the pilgrims reached its peak.

After the collapse of the ancien régime (1798 ) was one Belfaux during the Helvetic Republic and the subsequent time to the district of Freiburg, before it was incorporated in 1848 with the new cantonal constitution in the Sarine district. General Dufour had his quarters in Belfaux during the special covenant war. Here, the Freiburg government signed on 14 November 1847, the surrender document. Effective on January 1, 1977, the previously independent Cutterwil was incorporated into Belfaux.


The parish church of Saint- Etienne was first mentioned in 1138 and rebuilt from 1841 to 1852 in the style of neoclassicism. It is a monumental three-nave building with a semicircular apse. In the choir there is a wooden crucifix from the 13th century. Just as the parish church has been recorded in the Register as a cultural asset of national importance the mansion Lanthen - Heid.

Next to the church, the Auberge du Mouton is from 1759. Situated in the center some characteristic farmhouses and patrician houses from the 17th to 19th centuries have been preserved. On the road to Misery left is a house with cross Stock windows and portal, dated 1630th

The Château du Bois built at the beginning of the 18th century and now houses a private school.

Interior of the church

Hôtel des XIII Cantons


  • Alain Berset (born 1972 ), the Council of States and Federal