Sursee is a municipality in the district of Sursee in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. Sursee is located at the northern end of Lake Sempach, not far from where the Sure (or Suhre) river exits the lake ("See"), hence the name "Sursee".

Skyline of Sursee
Coat of arms of Sursee

Coat of arms
Location of Sursee
Sursee is located in Switzerland
Sursee is located in Canton of Lucerne
Coordinates: 47°10′N 8°7′E / 47.167°N 8.117°ECoordinates: 47°10′N 8°7′E / 47.167°N 8.117°E
 • Total6.06 km2 (2.34 sq mi)
504 m (1,654 ft)
 • Total9,953
 • Density1,600/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
Postal code
SFOS number1103
Surrounded byGeuensee, Knutwil, Mauensee, Oberkirch, Schenkon
Twin townsHighland (United States), Martigny (Switzerland)
Profile ‹See Tfd›(in German), SFSO statistics


The shores of Lake Sempach have been inhabited since the Neolithic. Sursee municipality is home to the Halbinsel prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlement that is part of the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps UNESCO World Heritage Site.[3] Halbinsel was settled a number of times during the Neolithic and Bronze Age. At Zellmoos in the Halbinsel site, the bottom layer is from the Cortaillod culture while there are several Late Bronze Age layers above it. There are three Late Bronze Age layers at Gammainseli. The Zellmoos sites were discovered in 1806 and excavated in 1902, 1941, 1991 and 2005. The Bronze Age sites featured several houses with clay floors. A number of ceramic, bronze, bone, stone and flint items were found in the excavation. The Gammainseli site has been known since the 19th century, and was explored by divers in 2005, who found Late Bronze Age potsherds, animal bones and a few bronze items. Some neolithic flints were also found, but no trace of a settlement has been discovered.[4]

In the Roman era, there was a vicus just to the west of the town. In the 8th century, a wooden church was built around which the village gradually developed. The wooden church was replaced by stonework in c. 800, again rebuilt in c. 1000. An Alamannic cemetery and the remains of another early medieval church were excavated to the north-east of the town.

The first mention as Surse dates to 1036, as Ulrich I of Lenzburg gave the village to Beromünster abbey. The village grew into a small town in the 13th century, granted city rights by the Dukes of Austria in 1299. Sursee was conquered by Lucerne in 1415, and managed to retain its city rights under the new lordship.

Picswiss LU-20-03
Sursee, Rathaus (Town Council Building) and Markthaus (Market place)

In the later 19th century, the furnace-factory Ofenfabrik Sursee grew to be the largest employer. By 1950, Sursee was affected by uncontrolled growth and today faces the problems of many agglomeration cities. But during the 1990s, authorities tried to guide the growth in a more controlled, higher quality direction. In 2003, the Wakker Prize was awarded to Sursee for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage. Sursee was awarded the prize for their efforts to control and direct the formerly uncontrolled expansion while avoiding turning the historic old city into a museum or an empty show piece.[5]


Sursee has an area of 5.9 km2 (2.3 sq mi). Of this area, 30.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 21.8% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 46.8% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (0.7%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).[6] In the 1997 land survey, 21.88% of the total land area was forested. Of the agricultural land, 28.72% is used for farming or pastures, while 2.05% is used for orchards or vine crops. Of the settled areas, 17.95% is covered with buildings, 9.23% is industrial, 0.51% is classed as special developments, 3.76% is parks or greenbelts and 15.21% is transportation infrastructure.[7]


Sursee has a population (as of 31 December 2017) of 9,900.[8] As of 2007, 16.9% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 6.7%. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (86.9%), with Albanian being second most common ( 2.8%) and Serbo-Croatian being third ( 2.8%).

In the 2007 election the most popular party was the CVP which received 30.8% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the FDP (23.9%), the SVP (19.7%) and the SPS (12.4%).

The age distribution in Sursee is; 1,753 people or 20.2% of the population is 0–19 years old. 2,712 people or 31.2% are 20–39 years old, and 2,862 people or 32.9% are 40–64 years old. The senior population distribution is 1,014 people or 11.7% are 65–79 years old, 304 or 3.5% are 80–89 years old and 43 people or 0.5% of the population are 90+ years old.[7]

In Sursee about 68.3% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).

As of 2000 there are 3,288 households, of which 1,135 households (or about 34.5%) contain only a single individual. 267 or about 8.1% are large households, with at least five members.[7] As of 2000 there were 1,063 inhabited buildings in the municipality, of which 788 were built only as housing, and 275 were mixed use buildings. There were 418 single family homes, 120 double family homes, and 250 multi-family homes in the municipality. Most homes were either two (317) or three (288) story structures. There were only 33 single story buildings and 150 four or more story buildings.[7]

Sursee has an unemployment rate of 2.37%. As of 2005, there were 104 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 10 businesses involved in this sector. 1990 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 110 businesses in this sector. 7404 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 534 businesses in this sector.[6] As of 2000 55.5% of the population of the municipality were employed in some capacity. At the same time, females made up 46.4% of the workforce.

Picswiss LU-20-24
Roman Catholic Church of St. George in Sursee

In the 2000 census the religious membership of Sursee was; 6,004 (74.5%) were Roman Catholic, and 791 (9.8%) were Protestant, with an additional 269 (3.34%) that were of some other Christian faith. There are 2 individuals (0.02% of the population) who are Jewish. There are 381 individuals (4.73% of the population) who are Muslim. Of the rest; there were 89 (1.1%) individuals who belong to another religion (not listed), 299 (3.71%) who do not belong to any organized religion, 224 (2.78%) who did not answer the question.[7]

Sister cities

Sursee is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b "Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeinden nach 4 Hauptbereichen". Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeitskategorie Geschlecht und Gemeinde; Provisorische Jahresergebnisse; 2018". Federal Statistical Office. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Site - Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps
  4. ^ nomination documents Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine accessed 14 August 2011
  5. ^ Wakker Prize website ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 24 August 2009
  6. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 24-Aug-2009
  7. ^ a b c d e LUSTAT Lucerne Cantonal Statistics Archived 2011-11-27 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in German) accessed 12 August 2009
  8. ^ "STAT-TAB – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit" (online database) (official site) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Federal Statistical Office - FSO. Retrieved 17 September 2018.

External links

2002 World Wheelchair Curling Championship

The 2002 World Wheelchair Curling Championship was held from January 21 to 26 in Sursee, Switzerland.

2004 Tour de Suisse

The 2004 Tour de Suisse was the 68th edition of the Tour de Suisse cycle race and was held from 12 June to 20 June 2004. The race started in Sursee and finished in Lugano. The race was won by Jan Ullrich of the T-Mobile team.

2004 World Wheelchair Curling Championship

The 2004 World Wheelchair Curling Championship was held from January 19 to 24 in Sursee, Switzerland.

2008 World Wheelchair Curling Championship

The 2008 World Wheelchair Curling Championship was held from February 2 to 9 at the Eishalle Sursee in Sursee, Switzerland.

2021 Winter Universiade

The 2021 Winter Universiade, the XXX Winter Universiade, is scheduled for 2021 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

FC Luzern Frauen

FC Luzern Frauen is a women's football club from Lucerne, Switzerland. The team is the successor of the women's section of FC Sursee, and was named SC at the start.

Guido Winterberg

Guido Winterberg (born 19 October 1962) is a Swiss former professional racing cyclist. He rode in five editions of the Tour de France.

Hans Küng

Hans Küng (pronounced [ˈhans ˈkʏŋ]; born 19 March 1928) is a Swiss Catholic priest, theologian, and author. Since 1995 he has been President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Stiftung Weltethos). He is notable for his rejection of the doctrine of papal infallibility. Although Küng is not officially allowed to teach Catholic theology, his priestly faculties have not been revoked. In 1979, he had to leave the Catholic faculty, but remained at the University of Tübingen as a professor of ecumenical theology, serving as an emeritus professor since 1996.

Haris Seferović

Haris Seferović (born 22 February 1992) is a Swiss footballer who plays for Portuguese club Benfica and the Switzerland national team as a striker.

Seferović made his professional debut at Grasshopper in April 2009; shortly after, in January 2010, he was signed by Italian side Fiorentina. However, much of his time at the latter club was spent out on loan, with a successful spell at Novara in Serie B, followed by a transfer to Real Sociedad of Spain in 2013. A year later, he joined German club Eintracht Frankfurt, with whom he spent three seasons before a transfer to Benfica in Portugal.

A full international since 2013, Seferović represented Switzerland at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, earning over 50 caps.

Highland, Illinois

Highland is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,919 at the 2010 census. Highland began as a Swiss settlement and derived its name from later German immigrants.

Highland is a sister city of Sursee in Switzerland.

Highland, because it is located in Madison County, Illinois, is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

Michael Schär

Michael Schär (born 29 September 1986) is a Swiss professional road bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam CCC Team.Born in Geuensee, Schär has competed in nine Grand Tours during his career, and was the winner of the Swiss National Road Race Championships in 2013. He competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. His father Roland was also an Olympic cyclist.

Nationalliga A (women's football)

The Women's Nationalliga A is the highest-level league competition for women's football clubs in Switzerland. It was established in 1970.

League winners qualify for the UEFA Women's Champions League. The teams that end as number 11 and 12 relegate to the Nationalliga B.

Nicolas Haas

Nicolas Haas (born 23 January 1996) is a Swiss footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Palermo on loan from Atalanta.

Olten–Lucerne railway

The Olten–Lucerne railway line is one of the major railway lines of Switzerland, running between Olten and Lucerne. It was built by the Schweizerische Centralbahn and opened to Lucerne in 1856. The Schweizerische Centralbahn was taken over by the Swiss Federal Railways in 1902. The line is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and electrified at 15 kV 16.7 Hz and has two tracks.

Passenger services consist of a mixture of intercity, inter-regional and regional express services between Basel and Lucerne, some to or from Chiasso. There are also half-hour S-Bahn services between Lucern and Sursee (S18) and hourly services between Sursee and Olten (S22).

Pia Vogel

Pia Vogel (born 8 January 1969 in Sursee) is a Swiss rower. Along with Kim Plugge she finished 5th in the women's lightweight double sculls at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Sursee District

Sursee District is one of the five Ämtern, or districts, of the German-speaking Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. Its capital is the town of Sursee. It has a population of 74,131 (as of 31 December 2017). In 2013 the name was changed from Amt Sursee to Wahlkreis Sursee as part of a reorganization of the Canton. A sixth Wahlkreis was created, but in Sursee everything else remained essentially unchanged.

Sursee District consists of the following municipalities:

^a 1992/97 survey gives a total area of 287.50 km2 (111.00 sq mi) without including certain large lakes, while the 2000 survey includes lakes and gives the higher value.

Sursee–Triengen railway

The Sursee–Triengen-Bahn (ST) is a small railway company in Switzerland. It owns a railway line of only 8.9 km between Sursee, where it connects to the SBB-CFF-FFS network, and Triengen. The line was opened on 23 November 1912 with steam traction. Unlike most other railways in Switzerland, it was never electrified but a small diesel locomotive was purchased in 1965.

Swiss Women's Cup

The Swiss Women's Cup (German: Schweizer Cup; French: Coupe de Suisse; Italian: Coppa Svizzera; Romansh: Cuppa Svizra) is a women's football cup tournament that has been organised annually since 1975 by the Swiss Football Association (SFV-ASF).

Walter Mundschin

Walter Mundschin (born 17 October 1947 in Sursee) is a Swiss former footballer who played as a libero.


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