662 meters above sea level
1138 inhabitants (as per 1.1.2016)
The settlement first occurred on the debris cones of the Auen, Durnagel and Ennetlinth and on the mountain slopes. Therefore, the largest community in Glarus with its 15 Alps consists of the three parts of Matt, Village and Ennetlinth as well as the scattered settlement Auen in the south. 1289 Linthal appears for the first time in written documents. The term Linth river comes probably from the Gaulish lintä (the powerful, the flexible).
Around 1300, the Tagwen Nieder- and Oberlinth appears in the Habsburg rent-roll. In 1376, some Linthal villagers redeemed themselves from the ground rent to be paid to the monastery of Säckingen. After 1415 until 1836 the Wahltagwen Niederlinthal composed of Ennetlinth and Rüti and the Wahltagwen Oberlinthal composed of Village and Matt emerged. In 1837, Ennetlinth, Village and Matt merged to one Wahltagwen Linthal (Rüti belonged merged with Betschwanden).
1283, a chapel is documented in Linthal and latest in 1319 this chapel was upgraded to a parish church. Since 1333, a nearby built sister´s cell is documented. In 1518, priest Heinrich Linggi of Säckingen wrote the Jahrzeitbuch (year book) of Linthal (with details of the fallen Glarners at the battle of Näfels in 1388).
During the Reformation, Linthal remained equally Catholic and Protestant, but the non-confessional congregation composed of the three Tagwen remained until 1869. However, after the second war of Kappel, the church building was assigned to the Catholics, while the Protestants attended divine services in Betschwanden. However, when the Protestants built an own church in Ennetlinth in 1604, no change happened in the mundane matters of the common parish. Almost all forests as well as the goat grazing rights and the wild hay harvest rights still belonged to the common parish. Only in 1795, the parish divided the forest ownership amongst the three Tagwen. This was the year when the village name Linthal was first created. In 1781, a flood destroyed the Evangelical Church. A year later the new church was built in the "Village" Tagwen.
In 1905/06, August Hardegger built the today´s Catholic church in the Tagwen Matt. The old church at the foot of the Kilchenstock (named after it) was demolished except for the tower. The tower, however, was assumed under monument protection.
Agriculture was almost the only line of business until the 18th century. The Middle ages was dominated by sheep farming. Since the 15th, but especially in the 17th century, certain cows were farmed on the alps for export. The access to the Baumgarten alp was ensured by the famous Panten bridge, built in 1457 and repeatedly renewed. In 1530, the Landvogt Schiesser house was built on the Matt. The house was renovated in 1974-76 and houses now the village museum. Already in 1634 an area above the Reitimatt was called "bi the Kalchoffen" (at the limekiln).
Between 1690 and 1694 many Linthaler emigrated (especially to Brandenburg) as a result of border closures and poverty. In 1701, the hamlets Dorf and Matt counted 78 Evangelical men and in 1703 16 Catholic men. Since 1714, cotton hand spinning and from around 1760, hand weaving brought earnings to the village. This led towards the end of the 18th century to a growth in population. In 1799 the population consisted of 1538 people. But until around 1770, extreme poverty had prevailed. In 1777, not even 1000 people lived in the village.
After many severe flood damage (for example in 1726, 1762 and 1764), the Linthkorrektion (taming of the river Linth) between 1832 and 1834 set the stage for the settlement of industry operations. In 1839, Heinrich Kunz from Uster opened the today´s Spinnerei Kunz AG Windisch, which is one of the world´s most advanced spinning operation. Since 1997 the company is owned by an Italian textile group. In 1852, the brothers Becker from Ennenda founded a fine spinning and weaving plant in Linthal. In 1901, the company changed the firm´s name in Bebié and produced until 1998 knitting yarns. Today, the former wool factory houses the retail location Bebié Fabrikladen which sells quality yarns. The Glarner Factory Act of 1864, which was the first act of this kind in Europe, was initiated by pries Bernhard Becker from Linthal (a memorial plaque is located in the parish hall).
In 1879, Linthal was connected to the railway network of the Nordostbahn (Northeast Railway). The population had grown to around 2300 at that time after it had been in 1837 only 1617. Around the turn of the 20th century, however, the number dropped back to around 1900. From 1895 to 1900, the Klausen pass road was built on the side of Glarus and in 1922 the post bus course Flüelen – Linthal was opened.
Between 1830 and 1915 was the heyday for the health resort Bad Stachelberg, known for its famous Sulphur springs. The healing power of this spring was discovered by the Glarner doctor Johann Marti in 1768.
The Linth-Limmern high pressure water register array with the Limmern dam, built between 1957 and 1965, is of national importance. It provides the community with approximately 40 jobs and tax revenues (water royalties). However, the non-existent Schreyenbach fall paid the ecological tribute for this. Revival initiatives were launched recently. In 1960, the population peak was achieved with 2645 people living in the village. But thirty years later, only half of it (1370) still lived there. And also the Tödi-Greina-Base-Tunnel, which was supported by the Eastern Swiss cantons in 1960, has disappeared from the today´s transport policy debate.
Between 1600 and 1640, the Protestant children were taught by a schoolmaster who was a farmer. Only in 1799, the first teacher took his post and in 1840, Linthal inaugurated the Evangelical schoolhouse and rectory (1974 it was converted to the municipal house). In 1847, the school building Auen was built, whose new building was finished in 1958. Since 1865 there was a schoolhouse in the hamlet Dorf, which was used after 1973 for all secondary and high class students of Luchsingen, Hätzingen, Betschwanden, Diesbach and Rüti. The schoolhouse in Sand was built 1889, its new building in 1973/74. The citizen- and old people´s home opened its doors in 1938.
The Tödi area (the name goes back to "d´Ödi" (mountain wasteland) is geologically very significant. For example, dinosaur bones were found during investigations made in 1944/45 in the barrier area of the future Limmern lake. In 2000 they even found the second oldest vertebrate traces ever detected so far in Switzerland. The footprints in a slab of the Rötidolomit probably came from a group of archosaurs which lived 230 million years ago.
Linthal had to deal always with the forces of nature. In 1758, the Berglialp avalanche thundered to the valley. Landslide danger in the Kilchenstock led to the evacuation of a whole village part in 1930. Between 1989 and 2003, 5.6 million Swiss francs were invested in a forestry project on the Kilchenstock financed by the Swiss Federation, Canton Glarus and the Tagwen. In January and March 1996, 2´500´000 cubic meter solid rock fell from the Zuetribistock on the Sand Alp, whereupon within five years a discharge canal for the Sand creek was built for 12 million Swiss francs.
The village is the tourist base for the Klausen- and the Kisten pass as well as for high mountain trekking tours, for example to the Tödi. The Tödi (3614 m above sea level) is also called the "roof of Glarus" and the first ascent was achieved in 1837 by three chamois hunters from Linthal. On the Linthal territory there are also five SAC (Swiss Alpine Club) huts, including the Grünhorn hut (2453 m above sea level), the first SAC hut in Switzerland (built in 1863). From 1922 until 1934 the international Klausen mountain car races took place. Since the 1990s so-called Klausen car race memorials take place.
Early on, the area in the rearmost Linthal inspired creative artists to their works. The Viennese writer and satirist Karl Kraus finished his drama "Die letzten Tage der Menschhet" (the last days of mankind) in the hotel Tödi in Tierfehd, which was opened in 1860 as a "Curanstalt und Gasthof Tödi" (Health Resort and Guesthouse Tödi) and used by the guests of Bad Stachelberg (see above) as a summer residence. In a now abandoned hut, nearby the today´s hotel building, the giant Melchior Thut (2,34 meter tall) was born in 1736. In 1988, Eveline Hasler traced his live in the novel "Der Riese im Baum" (The Giant in the Tree). The painter Alexander Soldenhoff (1882-1951) retired at a time during the summer months in his artist´s workshop on the "Bödeli".
In 2011, the community structure of canton Glarus was reorganized and Linthal became part of the new administrative community Glarus Süd.
Translation of the official website of Linthal
Website of the Village Association
The Protestant Church of Linthal
(built in 1782, restructured 1882 and restored 1982-84)
The cemetery of Linthal
The Catholic Church of Linthal
The Interior of the Catholic Church in Linthal