• Political community (including municipality, local community)
  • Community of citizens (including civic community, local community, local civic community, Tagwen, bourgeoisie, bourgeois commune, Patriziato, vischnanca burgaisa )
  • Unified community
  • Mixed community
  • Munizipalgemeinde
  • Bäuert
  • Fraction borough
  • Corporation community
  • Civil parish (repealed)
  • Parish
  • School community

The civil parish (also Burger, local citizens or local congregation regional) is a personal public corporation in Switzerland. Your are independent of the actual place of residence exclusively to individuals who possess the status of the citizen, and thus the national law of the (civil) community.

The boroughs are to distinguish from the political communities (also called communities inhabitants ) and the parishes. With the increase in mobility since the first half of the 19th century, the civic community loses (and thus the communal citizenship ) in importance.

In the cantons of Nidwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Vaud no civil communities exist. Nidwalden, Schwyz and Appenzell Innerrhoden, however, know privately organized corporations that operate in many ways such as civil communities. Today in Switzerland, there are still nearly 2000 citizens municipalities and corporations. The canton of Zurich has no civil communities, but probably still in three municipalities civic goods.

In some cantons, there have been efforts to leaven the citizens of communities in the political communities. In the cantons of Bern, Jura and Solothurn, for example, coexist communities where residents and citizens are separated municipality, as well as those where residents and Bürgermeinden are merged (so-called Mixed or communities united communities ). In the canton of Glarus Tagwen were abolished on 1 January 2011 and integrated into the ordinary communities.

Names depending on the canton and part of the country

Depending on the canton knows the community of citizens under various names. In the canton of Bern and in the Upper Valais they are called civic community, in the cantons of Uri, Aargau and Thurgau Ortsbürgergemeinde, in the canton of St. Gallen is known as a local church and in the canton of Glarus as Tagwen. In western Switzerland, the terms bourgeoisie ( Lower Valais and Fribourg ) or commune bourgeoise (Canton Jura) are common, in the canton of Ticino bear the boroughs the name patriziati. In the Romansh-speaking areas of the canton Graubünden is called vischnanca burgaisa; here the word origin is still visible: Citizens communities arose from the vicinanze ( neighborhoods ) and their successors. The Zurich's civil communities historically came forth by the local authorities, but were not carriers of the civil law.


Manage civil communities usually taken over from the period of the Ancien Régime citizens goods such as forest or Alps. However, this is only when this right is not a corporation or other community entity (such as the Zurich civil parish in). True to the diversity of the cantons and their history, there are very large differences in terms of tasks, powers and organizational structures. In some communities, the political community of citizens on the award of the civil law, in others, the municipality decides.

After the Bernese Municipalities Act the burgers communities are organized as communities Burger properties. The Burger municipalities are entitled to the grant of representation or civil rights community in the form of burgers law, then the fulfillment of their other traditional tasks on the management of their assets and finally the handling of tasks which are transferred by special regulations. You can take on additional tasks, as long as they are not already the same are met by the inhabitants of communities or subdivisions. (Art. 112 GdeG -BE)

Civil Rights and hometown

Every Swiss citizen has a place of citizenship, he is a citizen (or burger) a municipality. This municipal civil rights may also be acquired or exist if no appropriate civic community exists. Further, it is independent of birth or residence of a person. Usually, the place of citizenship is inherited from the father to the children. Earlier, the wife took in marriage the civil rights of the husband as a dual nationality. Since the entry into force force of the new name and citizenship as of 1 January 2013, the marriage has no more influence on the civil rights of the wife, shall retain their old citizenship as the only civil rights.

The civil rights community also plays an important role in the acquisition of Swiss citizenship: Who is a citizen of a municipality in Switzerland, is at the same time citizens of the canton in which the municipality is located, and thus automatically Swiss national. One can not become a Swiss citizen, citizens without a community to be (Art. 37 § ​​1 of the Federal Constitution).

The Citizenship (or hometown ) led long been a family register, which confirmed, among other things, that someone is a citizen of a particular community.

Until the 20th century, the civil parish was obliged to support armengenössig become citizens. It is also why sometimes homeless, for example, propelled by Canton decision in a community zwangseingebürgert (eg in Vaz / Obervaz ).