top of page


593 meters above sea level

222 inhabitants (as per 1.1.2016)

Diesbach 7
Diesbach 8
Diesbach 6
Diesbach 3
Diesbach 4
Diesbach 2
Diesbach 9
Diesbach 1
Diesbach 5
Diesbach Alter Stall
Diesbach Schulhaus
Diesbach Dorfbrunnen 4
Diesbach Dorfbrunnen 3
Diesbach Dorfbrunnen 2
Diesbach Dorfbrunnen 1
Diesbach Cable Car Ohrenplatte
Diesbach Berggasthaus Ohrenplatte
Diesbach about 1910
Diesbach Betschwanden about 1920
Diesbachfall Weber 1880
Diesbach Weberei Legler
Diesbach Legler & Cie 1908



The village lies at the foot of the Freiberg Kärpf (the oldest game preserve of Switzerland) between Hätzingen and Betschwanden. Diesbach was first settled on the alluvial fan of the Rufi gully. The hamlet Dornhaus, located in the south of Diesbach, was settled on deposits of the Dies- or Dornhous creek. The settlers were looking for the proximity of a protecting forest, for which still the field name "im Baa" (Bannwald / avalanche forest) reminds. In the 19th century, the hamlets of Diesbach and Dornhaus, separated by the Dolen gully, were minted by industrial and residential buildings of the textile company Legler.

Diesbach appears for the first time in written documents about 1350. The name belongs to an old verb diessen (loud sound, noise). The term for the settlement was also written with a double "ss" (such as still Oberdiessbach near Thun and Diessbach near Büren an der Aare). Remains of a medieval residential tower are believed to be found in the Bürgli in Dornhaus. 1413, Landammann Albrecht Vogel issued a certificate for the cooperative Diesbach regarding various "judicial findings". This dispute was fought between Wilhelm Dietty and Heini Kinnater (both likely members of the Glarus leaderhsip group). The dispute involved a property situated in the lower part of the commons at the Linth, which is known today as Michelerlen. Diesbach originally belonged to the large Tagwen of Nesselowe, from which Diesbach was released in the late Middle Ages.

In early modern times, Diesbach was part of the Wahltagwen Betschwanden (including Hätzingen and Haslen). It adopted the name Dornhaus in 1752. Dornhaus is a term for a single house, already witnessed in 1657; as a place name it exists since 1692. The field name was made out in the term "in den Dornen" (in the thorns; at the thorn bushes). Between 1711 and 1835, the Tagwen purchased many properties. It also acquired in 1836 the Alp Diestal at the Übelbach (Übel creek) from five local individuals. Until today, Diesbach has shares in the Alp Braunwald. Until 1989, the constituency included the municipalities Diesbach Dornhaus, Hätzingen and Betschwanden, later also Haslen, Leuggelbach, Nidfurn and Luchsingen. Since 2004, Diesbach was part of the municipality of Luchsingen and since the the community restructuring in 2011 it belongs to the community Glarus Süd.

First Diesbach belonged to the church in Glarus and since the 14th century it belongs to the church in Betschwanden. Since the reformation in 1528 the majority of the citizens are Protestants.

Until 1800, they grew hemp to prduce the half woolen Mätze (yarn). But in the 18th century, the cotton hand spinning represented the most significant source of income. In 1774 one also reported about a slate pit under the Eggbergen in the Diestal. In the same year Jakob Messmer built on the initiative of Councillor and trade magnate Adam Schiesser the house "Zum Sunnezyt", with Rococo stucco work of the brothers Moosbrugger. Not far away, Tomas Legler was born 1782 in a Holzstrickhaus (traditional wood house) which was built 1736. He participated as a regular officer in the crusages of Napoleon to Corsica, Elba and Russia.

The fighter in the Battle of Berezina in 1812 reported how he was asked to sing the song "Our life is like the journey". These four last stanzas of the poem "The night journey" - of course with a different melody - entered as the Beresinalied (Beresina song) in the history. Legler died 1835 in Holland. Today, the "Thomas Legler House" houses a museum with the general theme of "The country and its people in the 18th and 19th centuries", taking account of individual fates and the history of Diesbach.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the home weaving still flourished. Diesbach was also a place of the tailors. In the years 1845-48 about one-seventh of the population emigrated to America (new Glarus) out of poverty. The village population dropped from approximately 470 people in 1837 to approximately 420 in the middle of that century. Shortly thereafter, the Textile company Legler was founded in Diesbach. The pan-European operating Legler Holding Ltd. developed from this small spinning and weaving plant. In 1875, a part of the family emigrated to Italy and founded a company, which employed up to 2500 people in Ponte San Pietro in Bergamo. Already in the 1860s, 200 weaving looms stood in the production facilities in Diesbach. In 1888, up to 235 people were employed there and also in the time until the first world war, 220 people were engaged. However, in 1989 the textile secotr was sold in whole Europe and on September 30, 2001, the weaving plant in Diesbach had to close its doors.

In 1888, 525 people had lived in the village as a result of the industrialization, in 1950 476 and in 1990 the number dropped to 284 (including a small group of Tibetans).

In 1907, textile manufacturer Mathias Legler initiated the building of a hut in the Diesbacher Huben and paid for. A year later, he donated the alpine hut to the Swiss Alpine Club ("Leglerhütte", 2273 m ü. M.).

The Diesbach fall is one of the last waterfalls in Glarus. The people from Diesbach call him "Stüber" (dust fall). Already in 1629, the creek hit the villages of Diesbach and Betschwanden. Within 14 years (1750, 1762 and 1764) the stream devastated Betschwanden and transfored the village in a scree.


Out of fear of avalanches they plant a protection forest. Only in 1781, better weirs have been built. The Legler company began in 1888 with the use of part of the water above the fall. This was the first electric power station in Glarus. In 1945 and again in 1995, the creek created again adversity for the village. But the water disaster of 14./15. June 1910 and the respective devastations were caused by the Rufi gully and not the Diesbach. The walls built in the late 1940s protect the village today against the outbreaks of the riverines.

The church parish of Betschwanden was responsible for the early education of Diesbach-Dornhaus. In 1844, the citizenship of Betschwanden built an own schoolhouse. But ten years more, the children from Diesbach went to the first floor of the rectory nearby the church of Betschwanden, until the Tagwen Diesbach bought the house of Councillor Streiff, which is until today cold old schoolhouse, and established a large classroom on the first floor. In 1886, the present school building im Feld (in the field) was built. Diesbach and Betschwanden went separate ways until 1963. The departure of the textile industry forced the two municipalities to relocate the lower and upper primary school to Diesbach. A primary school district existed between 1984 and 2004 along with Rüti and Betschwanden. Since then, however, the elementary students of Diesbach visit along with the primary school children of the other villages of the unified municipality Luchsingen the schoolhouse in Hätzingen.

A new village center evolved next to the hotel "Diesbach" with a post office, a village shop, a dairy, the schoolhouse and the 1996 created community multi-purpose building with an infant school. The widening of the cantonal road in 1977/78 also resulted in a major change of the village image. The house of the co-founder of New Glarus, judge Niklaus Dürst, as well as the birthplace of Adam Schiesser were gone. The Leglerhaus received a new place. Recently, new residential quarters evolved mostly off the main road.

In 2011, the community structure of canton Glarus was reorganized and Diesbach became part of the new administrative community Glarus Süd.

Translation of the official website of Diesbach

Legler House (museum)
Thomas Legler

Family Names from Diesbach








bottom of page