famous building

Bieltor

The Bieltor gate, originally known as the ‘Gurzellontor’, marks the western boundary of the old town.

The Bieltor was constructed in the 13th century as part of the medieval city wall. It has undergone many renovations to arrive at its current appearance. On the gate’s outer wall, a replica statue of the town’s patron saint, St. Ursus, greets arriving travellers. In 1623, Gregor Bienckher crafted a beautiful sculpture out of Solothurn’s fragile limestone; the original is housed in the Solothurn Stone Museum. Elaborate reliefs of coats of arms decorate the gate’s inner and outer walls. For centuries, the tower was used as a prison, while the top floor served as the tower watchman’s quarters. During the 18th century, the height of French influence in Switzerland, newly arrived ambassadors from France were greeted at the Bieltor with cannon salutes.