The magic number
The mystery behind the number 11
Solothurn’s special number
Solothurn’s history is closely tied to the ‘holy’ number 11. Solothurn residents young and old regard the number 11 as magical or even sacred. The traditions surrounding the number extend far into the past and are celebrated in many different ways to this day. Several references to the number 11 have been passed down over the years. According to legend, the town’s patron saints – Ursus and Victor – were soldiers in the 11th Theban Legion during the Roman Empire. As Christian converts, the men were martyred by beheading in Salodurum (Solothurn). In the Swiss Confederation, Solothurn is listed as the 11th canton. The town is known for its 11 churches and chapels, 11 fountains and 11 towers. The elevens of yore also include 11 trade guilds, bailiwicks, canons and chaplains.