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Country  Switzerland
Population  16,728 (2013)
Area  26.01 km2
District  Lebern
Mayor  Stadtprasident (list) Francois Scheidegger FDP/PRD (as of 2014)

Grenchen (French: ) is a municipality in the district of Lebern in the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland.


Map of Grenchen

It is located at the foot of the Jura mountains between Solothurn and Biel, approximately 25km (15mi) north of Bern. With over 16,000 inhabitants, it is one of the larger towns of the canton of Solothurn. The city is well known for its watch industry, that has been present for more than 150 years.

Chcuppartien 1985 fck fc grenchen 1986 fck gc zurich

Grenchen is the 2008 winner of the Wakker Prize for architectural heritage.

Airshow 06 grenchen

Jura-Sternwarte Grenchen is located at Grenchen.


Grenchen in the past, History of Grenchen

Around 1000 AD, the local barons built a castle on the local cliff that was inhabited for three centuries. The name Grenchen was first documented in 1131 as Granechun. The name comes from the gallo-romanic graneca, meaning by the granary.

  • 1851: Clock manufacture begins
  • 1918: General strike
  • Geography

    Grenchen has an area, as of 2009, of 26.01 square kilometers (10.04 sq mi). Of this area, 9.85 km2 (3.80 sq mi) or 37.9% is used for agricultural purposes, while 10.42 km2 (4.02 sq mi) or 40.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 5.39 km2 (2.08 sq mi) or 20.7% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.34 km2 (0.13 sq mi) or 1.3% is either rivers or lakes and 0.05 km2 (12 acres) or 0.2% is unproductive land.

    Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 2.2% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 9.7% and transportation infrastructure made up 6.8%. while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 1.4%. Out of the forested land, 38.5% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1.5% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 25.8% is used for growing crops and 6.0% is pastures and 5.3% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water.

    The municipality is the capital of the Lebern District. It is the second largest city in the Canton of Solothurn. The municipality stretches from the hamlet of Staad along the Aare river, (at an elevation of 430 m (1,410 ft)) to the first mountain range of the Jura Mountains (the Oberer Grenchenberg is 1,348 m (4,423 ft)).


    The entire village of Grenchen is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.


    As of 2010, Grenchen had an unemployment rate of 5.7%. As of 2008, there were 122 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 36 businesses involved in this sector. 5,906 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 217 businesses in this sector. 4,197 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 544 businesses in this sector. There were 7,988 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 43.8% of the workforce.


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