4,400 (Dec 31, 2008)
Gordola is a municipality in the district of Locarno in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.
Gordola is first mentioned in 1200 as Gordora. In 1219, it was mentioned as Gordolla/e. Gordola was located near major roads throughout its history. During the Middle Ages, the village was on the hills as the valley floor was covered in swamps. In the 11th-12th Centuries, a castle was built on the shore of Lake Maggiore for the feudal lord appointed by the Bishop of Como. The castle had disappeared by the 14th Century. The Capitanei of Locarno owned land and were landlords in Gordola.
Within the territory of Locarno, Gordola was the only Vicinanza, which could choose its own pastor. It also held the right to designate a member of the parish council. Starting in the 14th Century, many residents of the Verzasca valley traveled to Gordola to spend the winters at the lake. This gradually evolved into a traditional seasonal migration. Starting in 1695 Gordola was divided into two districts (squadre); those of the "original" and the "new" residents (Vicini). The two groups took turns administering the municipality.
The former parish church of SS Peter and Vincenzo was in Tenero and formed a kind of exclave, until 1898, when the provost was moved to the church of S. Antonio Abate. The church of S. Antonio Abate had existed since the 16th Century, but was destroyed in 1829 by a flood and then was subsequently rebuilt. There was a mixed Humiliati order monastery (Santa Maria) in Gordola. It was founded in the 12th Century and around the late 15th Century closed.
Historically, nearly the entire population were farmers and ranchers. However, by 2000, only a very small proportion of the population worked in agriculture and about one third of the population worked in the municipal borders.
The district Motto-Rongia is a historic protected village center.
Gordola has an area, as of 1997, of 7.04 square kilometers (2.72 sq mi). Of this area, 1.7 km2 (0.66 sq mi) or 24.1% is used for agricultural purposes, while 4.31 km2 (1.66 sq mi) or 61.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.17 km2 (0.45 sq mi) or 16.6% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.48 km2 (0.19 sq mi) or 6.8% is either rivers or lakes and 0.1 km2 (25 acres) or 1.4% is unproductive land.
Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 1.6% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 11.1% and transportation infrastructure made up 3.3%. Out of the forested land, 59.8% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1.4% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 6.5% is used for growing crops, while 6.5% is used for orchards or vine crops and 11.1% is used for alpine pastures. Of the water in the municipality, 3.8% is in lakes and 3.0% is in rivers and streams. Of the unproductive areas, 1.1% is unproductive vegetation.
The municipality is located in the Locarno district at the end of the Verzasca valley on the left bank of the river. It consists of the village of Gordola and a portion of Terricciole.