464 meters above sea level
2998 inhabitants (as per 1.1.2017)
Netstal is populated on the left side of the valley and lies on either sides of the Löntsch creek, which runs out from the Klöntal. The village is dominated by four hills, witnesses of a prehistoric downfall of the Glärnisch. A first vestige of human existence in this area is documented by a flinty arrowhead, which can be attributed to the Neolithic period (6000 to 1800 BC).
Netstal is mentioned for the first time in 1289. It can not be proved whether the present village name can be derived from the meaning "stable of the farmer Net", or the old High German word "net" (with the meaning source) or of other origin. "Netzstal" was at first only the hamlet, whose few houses ducked around one of the landslide hills. The fortress on the upper Bühl, formerly probably the seat of the lords of Netstal, was abandoned around 1300. On the 25 m high Bürglen are remains of a medieval refuge, which was abandoned no later than around 1350.
Until the 16th century the Tagwen Netstal covered settlements such as Leuzingen, Löntschen and a part of the vanished Tagwen Turserron. Until the end of 1900, the Klöntal was regarded as part of Netstal.
From ancient times, Netstal belonged to the church of Glarus. In 1421, one of the richest confederates of his time, old Landammann Mathias Netstaler, founded a chapel. Even today the coat of arms of Netstal remembers that of the former Netstaler family, but now there are three stars that symbolizes the three hamlets affiliated to the community. It was not until 1777 that Netstal became an independent congregation and didn't belong anymore to Glarus and in 1876, Netstal was elevated to an independent catholic congregation. The present Catholic church were consecrated in 1935. In 1697, a first Protestant church was built on the site of the current cemetery. Between 1810 and 1813 the today's Protestant church was built by the worshipper free of charge. Between 1624 and 1837 the catholic Landsgemeinde met 77 times in Erlen, on the border with Näfels, and the catholic council of Glarus met until 1742 in the still existing guesthouse "Raben", then until 1798 in the present guesthouse "Zum alten Rathaus". Also striking is the "Stählihaus", one of the few half-timbered houses in the canton, which was built in 1728.
In the 16th century about 500 souls lived in Netstal. By the occurrence of the pest in the years 1611 and 1629 the population was strongly decimated. Increase in prices and famine forced the Netstaler to serve in foreign armies and to emigrate to the whole world. At least, the water power favored the emergence of trade in the 16th century. In 1548, the first mill is documented, and in 1651 the first Zigermühle (Ziger cheese production). Heinrich Weber-Walcher (1654-1722) was the first to operate a paper mill on the lower village creek. At this time, the firewood and building timber from the Klöntal was increasingly traded. During the summer months Nestler worked as cotton wool maker in France. This activity resulted at home in an extensive straw-hat trade.
During the time of the Helvetic Republic, Netstal had been allocated to the Glarus district. The village suffered great damage from warlike events in 1798/1799. A Russian cannon ball as well as the inscription "1799" at the restaurant "Sternen" remind of the fierce fighting between French and Russians in and around Netstal.
Industrialization in the 19th century took place especially in the textile sector. In 1856, the today Netstal Maschinen AG was founded, now headquartered in Näfels, and in 1859, Netstal was connected to the railway network. Between 1820 and 1875, many Netstaler experts, especially cheesemakers, emigrated to Russia.
Around the twentieth century there were still the today's existing factories for paper, metal and plastic goods ("A. & J. Stöckli AG", since 1878), for lime ("Chalchi / Kalkfabrik Netstal AG" since 1900) and gears ("Sauter, Bachmann AG" since 1922). Many manufacturer villas are witnesses of this development. The population of Netstals almost doubled between 1799 and 1870 (increase from 1'350 to 2'600 persons). A museum has documented (since 1981) the construction of the Lönschwerk (1905-1908) with the dam in the Klöntal. From 1862 until its completion, ice had been grown there in a large scale.
As early as 1725, a school room was set up for the first time in a farmhouse, and the first schoolmaster was elected in 1737. On June 6, 1877, the Netstaler consecrated a local school building, which was given a secondary school in 1936 and a primary school in 1959. Since 1867 there is also a kindergarten.
On December 15, 1941, there was a mineslifting blast below Netstal, where four men from the staff of the cantonal battalion 85 lost their lives. A memorial on which a Glarus honorary company places a wreath every year during the Näfelser Fahrt recalls this tragedy.
The legendary Glarner leader of the battle near Näfels, Mathias Ambühl, immortalized a table at the "Ambühlhaus". Not far from this place the Netstaler casino burned in 1952. A commercial and shopping center was opened in 1995 instead of a textile factory, which was only created at the end of the 1970s.
Translation of the official website of Netstal.
The baroque style Church of Netstal
Interior of the Church of Netstal with the organ pipe
The protestant Church of Netstal with the cemetery
(the first church of Netstal was built in 1697 on the place of the todays cemetery)
The Catholic Church of Netstal
(built 1933-1934 by Otto Linder)
Interior of the Catholic Church of Netstal
Family Names from Netstal