travelgrove Travel Guides

Lugano History, Switzerland

Lugano in Switzerland can trace its beginnings back to ancient history. Considered as a rural place Lugano History started in a small lake and continued up until the town gained its importance in Europe. Look into the most important events in this city of Switzerland and link it to Zurich History.

Lugano History – Pre-Historic Life

According to documents, a settlement started near the Lugano Lake during the Stone Age. Artifacts and ruins were found which proved the existence of settlements in Lugano: Copper and Iron Age objects; Etruscan memorials; and jewelry and household objects.

At the start of the 1st century Before Christ, the area surrounding the Lugano Lake was inhabited by the Romans. Again, archaeological artifacts have proven the existence of this settlement in Lugano.

Lugano History – Founding of Lugano

Based on written records, in 724 Liutprand, a Longobard king, relinquished many properties in Lugano to the Saint Carpophorus Church found in Como. By the 10th century, Lugano became a market town.

In 1189, the settlement near the lake was named Lugano. At around the same time, the coat of arms of the town was created. Before Lugano became a Swiss territory in 1513, the town was an object of clash between the Dukes of Milan and Como. The rule of Swiss continued until the invasion of the Napoleon over the Old Swiss Confederation in 1798. When Napoleon established the Helvetic Republic, he made Lugano the core of the Canton of Lugano.

Lugano History – Canton of Lugano

The establishment of the Canton of Lugano became very significant because it brought together Landvogtein, Valmaggia, Lugarno and Mendrisio. Unfortunately, similar to the other cantons, the independence of this canton was very partial. The main reason why Napoleon founded the Helvetic Republic was to centralize the power in all of Switzerland. A Directory with 5 members headed the Canton of Lugano. This Directory would then appoint a national prefet.

The canton caused a division between the patriots and the traditionalist aristocrats. The patriots supported the Cisalpine Republic and in 1799 uprisings broke out in the city. Francesco Capra, the second prefet of the canton escaped from the city. The rebellion in Capriasca in 1802 led to the freedom of Lugano from the Helvetic Republic. A year after Lugano’s independence, the city’s political problems were subdued and the canton was integrated with Bellinzona.

Lugano History – 20th Century

After the end of the Second World War, Lugano went through a time of growth in terms of banking endeavors. This particularly happened between the 1960s and the 1970s. At present, Lugano is the third financial center of the country of Switzerland.

With all these notable happenings in Lugano History, one will say that it is indeed a successful city. After several invasions, it withheld itself and emerged glorious in its feat against conquerors. More facts about Switzerland may be tracked through Geneva History.

Ask our travel experts a question about Lugano

Things about Lugano you may be interested in

Be the first who requests a site listing for this page.

Read our members' reviews about Lugano

No reviews have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.

Read our members' travel tips about Lugano

No travel tips have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.


Members Who Have Been to Lugano

See who has been to Lugano and ask them a question (membership required)

Community Galleries About Lugano

Browse our members' Lugano galleries to get a better impression of the place
show alladd gallery
the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...

Lugano City Ratings

  • Rating100%
    City Rank1
  • History & Culture: rated for 100%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 100%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 100%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 100%
  • Food: rated for 100%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 100%
  • Shopping: rated for 100%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 100%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 100%
Lugano is one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit. This rank is based on our travelers' reviews. Please also take the time to rank Lugano or write a Lugano destination review or travel tip to share your opinion.Lugano is one of the "must visit" tourist destinations in the world. This rank is based on what other travelers shared about their experiences in Lugano.
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it