Uncertain Times

Schaffhausen 1501, accession to the confederation

With the accession into the Swiss Confederation in 1501 Schaffhausen became the northern outpost of this alliance. In 1529 the border city joined the Reformation leaving it almost entirely surrounded by Catholic territory. Growing tensions led to defensive preparations, yet the building of the Munot did not begin until 1564.begonnen.

Since the 1540s, Schaffhausen’s councillors had repeatedly debated on whether to renovate the medieval predecessor to the Munot. On 6th November 1563, the decision was finally made to replace it with a new building.

Construction was supposed to take 25 years and cost 50,000 gulden – a considerable sum for the time! While specialist workmen, tradespeople and builders were paid a salary, the ordinary citizens of the city and its surroundings were given the task of transporting the building materials for the most part without remuneration.

a | east flanking wall, b | Munot battlements, c | Munot tower, d | caponiers, e | west flanking wall, f | outer ward

Foto: ProSpect GmbH

Foto: ProSpect GmbH

Builders at work (16th century). Mural, St George’s Abbey, Stein am Rhein, 1515/16.